SBD/Issue 27/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

I Want To Play A Game: Lightning Cross Promote “Saw” Movie

Lightning Print Ad Uses Images, Slogan 
From "Saw V" Movie
It has not taken Oren Koules long to combine his two passions. The Hollywood producer and new Lightning co-Owner offered passes to Thursday’s premier of his “Saw V” movie and a free T-shirt to the first 230 fans to purchase lower-level seats to last night’s game against the Thrashers. The offer was so successful, the team made about 100 passes available for an additional screening for fans purchasing lower-level tickets to Saturday's game against the Sharks. “You have the movie fans that wanted to see (the film) that may not have seen a hockey game otherwise,” said Lightning VP/Marketing Mark Gullett. “Plus, with the Rays in the World Series and everything going on in the market, it was a really unique promotion that got us share of mind for a couple of days that we probably wouldn’t have had.” Gullett said the team decided to offer the "Saw" ticket deal because of the interest among fans in the horror film series, which has grossed more than $550M worldwide. Koules will host the movie's premier at the Muvico Centro Ybor theater in Tampa. “Oren thought this would be a cool give back for the fans to actually do the premier here,” said Gullett.

BUZZ SAW: The team earlier this week ran a full-page print ad promoting the game in both the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Bay Times. The effort integrates aspects of the team’s ad campaign with images from the horror film, with C Vincent Lecavalier striking the same pose from previous team ads and wearing a mask from the movie. The ad borrows the movie’s famous tagline, “I want to play a game.” “There’s synergy between the 'Saw V’ ads and our campaign,” explained Gullett. “And there’s synergy between ‘I want to play a game’ and Vinny and the game of hockey.”

JIGSAW PUZZLE: While the ad conjures the creepy image of one of the characters in the R-rated horror film, Gullett said he has not heard any negative feedback. “If you don’t want to see the movie, you don’t have to take the movie tickets,” said Gullett. “We’re getting an incredible response from ‘Saw’ fans.” In addition to the print ad, G Mike Smith donned a “Saw V” paint scheme on his mask during Saturday’s game against the Wild and again last night. Backup G Olaf Kolzig will sport a different “Saw V” paint scheme for one game. Both masks will be auctioned off for charity on the movie's official Web site, with the proceeds from Smith's mask going to the Lightning Foundation and Kolzig's benefiting Athlete’s Against Autism. While Gullett said the campaign has been a success with fans of the horror films, he doesn’t foresee additional cross promotions in the near future. “I think this was a one time thing,” said Gullett. “We thought it would help spur ticket sales with the screening being two nights later. The timing was just right.”

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