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Volume 27 No. 35
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Many NHL Sponsors Activating Around Tonight's Start Of The Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL sponsors are readying activation as the Stanley Cup Playoffs open tonight in Montreal, Nashville, Vancouver and DC. As the league continues its effort to make the playoffs an “April/May/June Madness” similar to the NCAA hoops festivities in March, Samsung is sponsoring a playoff bracket challenge again, and the NHL hopes to double last year’s 530,000 entries. Fellow sponsor SAP ties in this year with supporting analytics. “As we look to develop more fans, a bracket contest is something casual fans will weigh in on,” said NHL Exec VP & CMO Brian Jennings. Honda has its second TV spot with Hockey HOF Curator and keeper of the Stanley Cup custodian Phil Pritchard, which will support its Pilot SUV. The white-gloved “Cup Keeper” has previously appeared in ads for MasterCard and Discover. On the beverage side of the house, Pepsi’s AMP energy drink is backing “No Bull Moments” playoff video vignettes on NHL Network and NHL.com. In Canada, Molson has a Stanley Cup commemorative rings premium tie in and will continue its “Anything for Hockey” creative. In the U.S., support from the Molson Canadian brand includes packaging and “I Love the Cup” labeling on bottles. Diageo’s Captain Morgan brand has a “Salute to Captains” campaign. Kraft has 11 brands supporting the NHL postseason. The U.S. town that will host an exhibition game as part of its long-running “Hockeyville” program will be revealed in May; around 1,400 of the 2,300 rinks in America have been nominated. The winner gets to host the game and gets a $150,000 rink refurbishment. Discover continues its “Day With the Cup” platform, with various NHLers reminiscing. Among the food brands, Oreos in Canada has a “Dunk In Your Cup’’ thematic and Tim Hortons has a chain-wide POS campaign, along with Stanley Cup donuts.