SBD/November 6, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Bauer Hockey Forced To Alter New Ad Campaign As NHL Lockout Drags On

Bauer says the hashtag "#ownthemoment" has gained popularity among amateurs
Bauer Hockey last month was "on the verge of launching its first brand campaign in 17 years," using footage of NHLers shot over the summer, but in the wake of the NHL lockout the company "replaced the pro footage with shots of amateurs, which were originally intended to appear along with the pro shots," according to E.J. Schultz of AD AGE. Bauer has "withheld digital ad buys on NHL.com and NBCSports.com." A regional TV ad buy "originally slated to air during the Winter Classic in several big hockey markets" such as Toronto, Chicago and Boston is "also in doubt." But Bauer has "plowed ahead with other elements of the campaign, called 'Own the moment.'" The company is "sticking with plans" to air a TV spot on TSN during the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship at the end of December. Bauer also is "running print and digital ads in hockey publications and making out-of-home buys in amateur arenas." On Twitter, the company is "plugging the hashtag '#ownthemoment,' which it says has gained popularity among amateurs." Bauer Dir of Global Marketing Steve Jones "went so far as to downplay the NHL's importance for the campaign, suggesting that NHL content was always meant to be a smaller part of the media mix." He said that Bauer "actually grew market share during the last lockout." IEG Senior VP/Content Strategy Jim Andrews said that for "big NHL official corporate sponsors, which include Molson, Coors Light, Gatorade, Verizon and Geico, the damage so far has probably been minimal." Andrews: "The early part of the season is not typically where they concentrate their promotional and their activation activities." Molson Coors Canada Senior Dir of Public Affairs Gavin Thompson in an e-mail wrote that Molson in Canada "has shifted its sponsorship attention to 'other levels of hockey,' such as the American Hockey League" (ADAGE.com, 11/5).
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