Oreo, Tim Hortons Among NHL Sponsors Using Stanley Cup Imagery After League Push
The NHL is "encouraging sponsors to make use of one of its dearest icons" -- the Stanley Cup -- as part of the league's "more active courting of advertisers this year," according to Susan Krashinsky of the GLOBE & MAIL. The league "got started earlier than usual pitching sponsors on dedicating part of their marketing budgets to take advantage of the buzz around playoff season." NHL CMO Brian Jennings said, "We’ve been under-utilizing the Stanley Cup in materials." While NHL sponsors "were always allowed to use the Cup," the league this year "actively suggested it as part of its better-organized pitch to advertisers." The NHL said that brands "doing playoff promotions for the first time" in '14 include Tim Hortons, Oreo, Honda, L’Oreal and Diageo. A Stanley Cup Playoffs doughnut "will be sold at all of Tim Hortons’ roughly 3,400 locations" across Canada. Meanwhile, Oreo has "carved the cup into the chocolatey surface of its cookies." The "limited-edition cookies have an image of the Cup on each biscuit, as well as on the packaging, which uses the NHL slogan 'Because it’s the Cup'" (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/11).
TV TIMEOUT: NHL VP/Integrated Marketing Brian Cull said that several "new hockey-themed ads are expected" for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In next week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton reports Enterprise Rent-A-Car is using Blues RW T.J. Oshie in a spot, while Verizon is "expected to have new creative" with Capitals RW Alex Ovechkin. NBC Sports Exec VP/Sales & Marketing Seth Winter said ad sales for this year's playoffs are "light years ahead" of last season. He added that 85-90% of the net's playoff inventory "has been sold" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/14 issue).