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NHL SIGNS RUSSELL AS ALL- STAR SPONSOR; LOOKING TO BREAKOUT
Published May 2, 1995
Russell Athletic will sign on as title sponsor of NHL's All- Star balloting for the '96 game in Boston, according to Terry Lefton in the current issue of BRANDWEEK. Lefton also reports that the NHL is "shoring up its roster" of sponsors for its grassroots tournament, "Breakout." Details are not final, but it is expected the Russell deal "will be akin" to the program used by MLB in which apparel retail chains such as Champs and J.C. Penny were used as voting sites. For Russell, the "buy is the latest in a series of increasingly aggressive marketing moves," as they plan a sweepstakes to coincide with balloting. Blockbuster had been the NHL's All-Star balloting sponsor. For "Breakout," the NHL has signed Bauer, Nike, Coke, Sports Illustrated For Kids, and Hyperwheels as sponsors of its nine- city grassroots tour. NHL Enterprises Senior VP & COO Rick Dudley said the program is "all about lowering the barriers of entry to ice hockey." Dudley noted the NHL has discussed with "potential partners" the possibility of developing official ice/roller hockey rinks with complete with food courts, merchandise stores, and a virtual reality arcades (BRANDWEEK, 5/1 issue).