SBD/March 31, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

NBCU Creates Faux-Newscast Spots For NHL Playoffs, Includes CNBC Personalities

NBCUniversal to "get the word out" about this season's NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs broadcasts has "enlisted a bevy of its TV journalists to take part in a fictional newscast about tracking a missing version of the popular sports trophy," according to Brian Steinberg of VARIETY. The "centerpiece of the campaign is a spot featuring comedian Nick Kroll and a gang of 'Cupnappers' stealing the prize." The spot is "slated to debut on April Fool’s Day." The news team, which "consists of David Gregory from 'Meet the Press' as well as Jim Cramer, Carl Quintanilla, and Kayla Tausche from CNBC," also will be seen in a 90-second trailer "slated to run on more than 19,000 screens in 48 states -- enough so that more than 60% of all moviegoers should get a glimpse if they aren’t lined up at the concession stand." The campaign’s producers "took pains to make certain the newscasters were taking part in a fictional event." NBC Sports Group Senior VP/Marketing Bill Bergofin said, “We always are hypersensitive to making it clear it’s something of a farce and not real." NHL CMO Brian Jennings said that the overall idea is to "mix a traditional TV-based tune-in campaign featuring Kroll with a non-traditional effort that offers 'a light-hearted and playful perspective on our holy grail, the Stanley Cup with the intention to create buzz for the Playoffs'" (, 3/28).
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