Forget granting fans increased access to the team. Forget dedicating themselves to having a strong social media presence that gives people a better look at the personalities of the players that they are supporting. Forget corroborating to form a new interactive online platform. Forget fancy on-ice visual productions that occasionally use pop culture references to show they are in tune with the demographic they are promoting themselves to. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, shows just how differently the New Jersey Devils are being run quite like their decision to send a perennially half naked walking tattoo who is best known for untying his opponent's shoes, "self medicating", and slinging ungodly amounts of dick his own personalized jersey.
Can you imagine if there were a flawless prospect that looked and acted like J.R. Smith, but had the talent of Connor McDavid? Lou Lamoriello would have taken him off his draft board the second he inevitably bared his torso at the combine. Meanwhile, the new school Devils are searching him out just so he knows he's welcome to attend a game - and eventually end up shirtless in a luxury box - when he makes his way home to Newark. Never in my wildest dreams did I think a goddamn hockey team (or any other organization that genuinely cared about the perception of their brand) would be actively seeking to associate themselves with J.R. Smith, never mind the franchise that - up until about 18 months ago - demanded that their players remain clean shaven until the playoffs. The only thing that could make this better and more culturally aware is if the employee responsible for shipping him the jersey slid into his DM's to get his address.
Always and forever, Swish. Always and forever....