The Stanley Cup Finals Lift Phil Kessel to Media Rating High

The media’s relentless focus on the NBA finals and the battle royal between Lebron and Curry has created a little bit of a media vacuum surrounding another big sporting finale – The Stanley Cup.

You can’t talk about this year’s 2016 Stanley Cup without mentioning Phil Kessel, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ right wing star.  Kessel just missed winning the playoff MVP title to fellow teammate and captain, Sidney Crosby.  Kessel lead the Penguins in playoff scoring with 10 goals and 22 points and also led the team in shots  with 98.

Kessel posted strong media rating numbers throughout the Stanley Cup finals, ending the May media period up +26 points or +41 percent to close at a rating high of 64.   The MVP runner-up generated $332k in media value during the Cup final, which is was slightly below his team  captain’s $492k for the May period.

While Crosby may have taken the coveted playoff MVP title for the Penguins, it was Phil Kessel who drove much of the media attention throughout the finals.  Crosby’s ratings were off -20 points to close below his 12-month moving average (49).

And tomorrow the NHL announces the 2016 MVP, which will narrow the list of finalist which include Kessel’s team captain, Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) versus Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks) and Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars).

Kane’s media rating for May was off -10 points at a 57 while Jamie Benn closed the final NHL season media period at dow -7 points at 47.  Both players’ media rating trends look very good over the preceding few years with the recent declines due to the fact that neither players made the final Stanley Cup finals.

For an interesting final analytic comparison, I present the first aggregate media rating comparison between the two leagues themselves: NHL and the NBA.  Since both leagues overlap on the calendar, it provides a nice opportunity to compare the combined media rating performance across the top players in each sport.

While the NBA shows a more consistent rating lift over the preceding 4-year period, both leagues ended the 2015/16 season with only a 6 point difference.  But keep in mind that at an aggregate sector versus sector level, a 6-point spread is considerable.