SBD/June 11, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

NHL Corporate Sponsors Preparing Activation Plans For Anticipated Blackhawks-Bruins Final

Hershey's is offering a sweet
version of the Stanley Cup
NHL corporate sponsors are completing activation plans for the Stanley Cup Final, which begins tomorrow night in Chicago. The lockout that resulted in the cancellation of 34% of the regular-season reduced all sponsor activation, especially in the U.S. However, NHL Senior VP/Integrated Marketing Susan Cohig said that Discover, Verizon and MillerCoors will be the most active NHL corporate sponsors during the Final. Discover marks the NHL Playoffs by issuing a commemorative Stanley Cup credit card from late March through June. A "Day With The Cup" program, in which fans got to take the Stanley Cup home similar to the tradition given to winning players, coaches and team execs, shifted this year from a consumer sweepstakes prize to the fulfillment of a cancer survivor's wish through Make-A-Wish Foundation. Discover supports with vignettes on NHL.com, in-game broadcast plugs, and social media, including 10 segments with legendary "Cup Keeper" Phil Pritchard, a Hockey HOF curator. MillerCoors has been doing various on-pack and on-premise promos throughout the playoffs. Verizon title sponsors a hockey version of the NCAA hoops tourney's bracket challenge on NHL.com.

ADVERTISING DURING GAMES: Many NHL corporate sponsors have airtime during NBC and NBC Sports Network games, with MillerCoors, Geico, Discover, Verizon and Enterprise Rent-A-Car leading the way. Movie studio ads abound with Warner Bros. pushing “Man of Steel,” Paramount advertising “World War Z,” Disney touting “The Lone Ranger” and Sony Pictures promoting “This Is The End.” As for larger broadcast positions, Geico is presenting sponsor of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including the Final; Lexus has the first intermission; Discover has the second intermission; Subway has overtime period and intermission; and Coors Light sponsors a recurring “Cold Hard Facts” feature. Non-league sponsors advertising in the Final on NBC include Lexus, Samsung, Microsoft and a variety of movie studios. Canadian NHL corporate sponsor activation includes PepsiCo promoting its Power of One retail displays at grocery and convenience stores; Bell Canada promoting the Sony Xperia ZL phone with NHL imagery; Scotiabank's "High Five Your Way to the Stanley Cup Final" promo; and Hershey's Stanley Cup-shaped chocolate confection.
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