SBD/February 10, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Keeping The Faith: Catholic Church Runs Ad Urging Fans To Pray For Canadiens

The ad reads "Let us pray" in the eighth spot, which is the cut off for the playoffs
The Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal Thursday placed an ad in the city’s French-language newspapers listing the current top teams in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, and at “spot number eight -- the cut-off for the playoffs -- it reads: ‘Let us pray,’” according to Andrew Chung of the TORONTO STAR. The Canadiens currently are 11th in the conference, and Catholic Church of Montreal Communications Dir Lucie Martineau said, “It was a lighthearted wink, to ally with people who love sports.” Martineau said that the Archbishop of Montreal, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, is “a Habs fan and quickly approved the idea proposed by the church’s outside ad firm, Bos.” Bos VP/Creative Hugo Leger said that the company “has searched for a long time to ‘link the two religions’ but had to wait for the right moment” (TORONTO STAR, 2/10). A church spokesperson said, "Cardinal Turcotte loved it right away. We know it takes unshakable faith to believe the Canadiens will make the playoffs” (Montreal GAZETTE, 2/10). Leger said that when people "get past the joke, they will find a simple message that encourages prayer.” Thursday's ad was “described as a one-shot deal; the spots were scheduled to appear in two French-language daily newspapers, for one day only” (TSN.com, 2/9).
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