SBJ/June 2-8, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Lucky shot: Stanley Cup contests reward fans

More than 160 hockey fans will attend at least one game of this year’s Stanley Cup Final as prize winners of sweepstakes held by NHL sponsors.

“That’s the most our partners have ever hosted,” said Brian Cull, NHL group vice president of integrated marketing.

This year’s final series begins on Wednesday.

Molson, L’Oreal among NHL sponsors conducting sweepstakes with Stanley Cup Final trip as grand prize.
Molson is leading the way by sending 16 contest winners and one guest each to one game of the final. Since the beginning of this season, Molson has conducted sweepstakes across Canada, giving fans chances to win tickets to the final and a Molson Canadian Stanley Cup Playoffs refrigerator, a branded appliance valued at about $2,500. Molson, which has been running two NHL-specific national television spots throughout this year’s playoffs, also has made 1.6 million Stanley Cup T-shirts available inside cases of Molson Canadian and Coors Light, and at select bars across Canada.

As part of a sweepstakes presented by Molson with select Boston Pizza restaurants (a popular chain across Canada), one winner and a guest are attending every game of the final. Included in that prize is airfare, up to 14 nights of hotel accommodations and a pair of tickets to every game.

Among the other NHL sponsors that have conducted sweepstakes for final tickets are Anco, Bridgestone, Canadian Tire, Diageo,
Hershey (Reese’s), Scotiabank, SiriusXM, Ticketmaster and Visa.

Honda Canada is rewarding 45 dealers across Canada who reached spring sales targets with trips to the final. It is the first time Honda Canada has used trips to the final as incentives for dealers.

In another activation, one fan will have his or her trip to the Stanley Cup Final chronicled as part of the “NHL Life” series of digital mini-documentaries sponsored by L’Oreal.

From Nov. 28 through May 16, fans were asked to submit photos that defined their NHL fandom. The grand prize of a trip to one game of the final would be awarded to one randomly selected contestant. The winner, a 25-year-old fan from Calgary (the rest of his or her identity has not been divulged yet by the NHL), will be featured in the “NHL Life” series on NHL.com.

In addition to attending Game 2 of the final on Saturday, the fan will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the arena and access to team practices.

The first nine episodes of “NHL Life” focused on people in roles throughout the NHL, including a broadcaster (Kevin Weekes), coach (Barry Trotz), agent (Pat Brisson) and former star (Mike Modano). The feature on the fan, which will be the final documentary of the series this season, is expected to run on the league site in late June and is directed by NHL producer Steven Hoffner, who has created all of the segments.

“L’Oreal wanted a documentary series like this because it was a perfect fit for the L’Oreal Men Expert campaign,” said Laurie Kepron, the NHL’s vice president of integrated marketing. “We created the ideation internally, focusing on smart, strong and sophisticated personalities. We believe it’s been a very strong execution of a program that benefits our sponsor, the league and the fans.”

L’Oreal Canada is completing its first season as an NHL sponsor. It signed a one-year deal last summer with an option for the 2014-15 season, and the league and L’Oreal have begun discussions on activations for next season.

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