NHL HITS THE ICE WITH OVER $200M IN MARKETING/MEDIA SPENDING
The NHL is preparing an ad campaign that promotes its
tie to the '98 Winter Olympics, while league sponsors "gear
up to spend" $200M in NHL-themed marketing and media
programs, according to Jeff Jensen of AD AGE. NHLE VP/
Corporate Marketing Ed Horne said that overall sponsorship
support is up 30% over last season. NHL sponsors Anheuser-
Busch; IBM; Nike; Norelco; Quaker State; Wendy's and Coca-
Cola's Coke, PowerAde and Surge brands will begin "touting
the new season" in a USA TODAY special section October 3.
Jensen notes a TV campaign "is also expected to air by mid-
October," with a second-wave breaking "closer" to the NHL's
All-Star Game in January. The league has signed Russell
Athletic and Sears, Roebuck & Co. to distribute 18 million
All-Star Game ballots. For the NHL's opening weekend in
Japan, Coca-Cola, IBM and Nike are sponsors and ESPN and
ESPN2 will broadcast the games (AD AGE, 9/29 issue).
COOL STUFF: Jensen adds that the NHL will launch "NHL
Cool Shots," a weekly, half-hour sports lifestyle show,
"akin to NBC's 'NBA Inside Stuff,' aimed at the 12-24
demographic" (AD AGE, 9/29). "NHL Cool Shots" debuts today
on Fox Sports Net and RSNs in the U.S. and will be seen on
TSN in Canada during the first week of the season. The NHL
Productions show will be presented by PowerAde (NHL).