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Volume 25 No. 194
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Starwood Hotels Using NHL Partnership To Spread Brand Awareness

As Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide continues renovating its properties, the company is looking to boost brand awareness through engagement with NHL fans. Starwood inked a three-year sponsorship renewal with the league last July, and the NHL said one of the campaigns being rolled out is based around the concept of hard-earned points through the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program. Similar to NHL teams earning points with victories, members get their points from hotel stays and can redeem them in order to attend league events including the NHL Draft, All-Star Game, Winter Classic, Stadium Series outdoor games or the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The campaign will be promoted by the NHL primarily through social and digital platforms, including NHL.com, the league’s Facebook page and the NHL Twitter handle. There is no date set for the campaign's launch.

CLOSER TO THE GAME: NHL VP/Integrated Marketing Brian Cull said these are the types of access pieces that companies are now looking for in sponsorships. He said, “It is exciting for us because we are really starting to see (Starwood) activate on-site at events, which we really haven’t seen in the past. They are definitely becoming a much more active sponsor from a participation and activation standpoint.” In May, former NHLer Mike Richter made an appearance at the private Club Lounge of the newly renovated Sheraton Times Square Hotel as part of a meet-and-greet with nine Moments winners and their guests, as well as 20 Sheraton VIP members. The evening included a Q&A with Richter, a cocktail hour, dinner and a photo opportunity with the Stanley Cup. SPG also works with the Rangers. In celebration of the opening week of the season, both the “Rangerstown” sign and team shield will be featured at the Times Square location. Meanwhile, members can redeem 45,000-50,000 points for two VIP seats in the SPG Luxury Suite at a selected regular-season game at MSG this season.