In an effort to help shape public opinion of the NHL lockout, the league's owners have brought in market research firm Luntz Global. The firm was founded by Frank Luntz, who is one of the Republican Party's chief strategists.
The firm conducted a focus group with 30 NHL fans in Washington D.C. on Friday in order to get a sense of how fans are feeling in general and which messages from ownership might be most effective on the public at large. The owners are trying to stem the tide of ill will that came as a result of the league's third lockout in 18 years.
Luntz Global is not new to public relations in sports, as it has also worked with both the UFC and NFL, often during labor disputes. The NFL brought the firm on board last summer when facing a potential lockout of its own.
The NHL has already canceled the first two weeks of the regular season, and more cancellations are expected.