SBD/March 12, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

NHL Rolling Out "Because It's The Cup" Campaign Aimed At Casual, Non-Hockey Fans

New campaign was done by lead MillerCoors agency DraftFCB, and includes bar scenes
The NHL this week is debuting a new postseason marketing campaign with the tagline, "Because It’s The Cup," according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The new effort replaces the two-year-old "History Will Be Made" campaign and "showcases a new and unprecedented degree of cooperation between the league and MolsonCoors, which signed an NHL-record" $375M North American sponsorship deal last February. The new campaign "was done by lead MillerCoors agency DraftFCB, and it includes some bar scenes." In addition, 4,000 bars across the U.S. and 2,500 in Canada will be "drawing Molson Canadian and Coors Light draft with Stanley Cup tap handles." NHL marketers are "trying to turn the Stanley Cup playoffs into their own version of March Madness." NHL Exec VP/Marketing Brian Jennings said that an objective is to "attract non-hockey fans by 'socializing the Stanley Cup playoffs.'" The shift from “History Will Be Made,” directed at avid fans, to “Because It’s The Cup,” aimed at casual and non-fans, "was based on research among casual and non-hockey fans showing that even those who could barely name a player on a team other than their local NHL club still had a knowledge of and appreciation for the Stanley Cup’s heritage." Jennings said that "nearly every league sponsor will do some sort of 'Because It’s The Cup' branding, via packaging, digital or social media." NHL licensees Old Time Hockey, Reebok and VF are producing “Because It’s The Cup” apparel, and the NHL and NBC stores in N.Y., along with those of league partners Bob’s Stores, Canadian Tire, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lids, Modell’s and Sports Chalet, "will feature playoff point-of-sale advertising" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/12 issue).
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