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Volume 25 No. 29

Marketing and Sponsorship

Ovechkin, one of three Russian players on the Capitals, has helped drive merch sales in his native country
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Capitals merchandise sales in Russia since winning the Stanley Cup last week "are up 276%" over the same post-Final period last year, led by Russia-natives LW Alex Ovechkin, C Evgeny Kuznetsov and D Dmitry Orlov, according to Matthew Gutierrez of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Meanwhile, sales of Caps merchandise to Sweden through Monday "were up 60% over last year, largely because" Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom is from Valbo, Sweden. The NHL’s "spike in merchandise sales also extends" to the Golden Knights, and the rise can "largely be attributed one factor: A pair of teams not accustomed to success in the months of May and June won games." The Capitals "captured their first championship in their 44-year history, while the Golden Knights became the first NHL expansion team since 1980 to make the playoffs in their debut season." As a result, the Golden Knights "set NHL records for single-game per capita sales in all four rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with triple-digit growth compared to the league’s historical average" (WSJ.com, 6/13).

CAPITAL GAINS: Fanatics said that the Capitals are "on pace to set a record for Stanley Cup championship gear sold online" since the retailer "began tracking such data" in the mid-00s. In DC, Scott Allen notes in the week since winning the Stanley Cup, the Capitals have "set a record for e-commerce sales of Fanatics-branded Stanley Cup championship gear, breaking the previous post-clinch sales mark set by the Penguins" in '16. Fanatics also reported that the Caps "set a record for in-venue sales by an NHL team" during the Stanley Cup Final. Fanatics on Friday offered fans in the DC area the "opportunity to purchase Stanley Cup championship gear via the Uber Eats app." The company "sold out of several items and filled orders for more than six hours during the promotion" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 6/14).

A DIFFERENT KIND OF BLADE: Ovechkin has partnered with Gillette to shave his playoff beard following the team’s Stanley Cup win. Ovechkin, who had previously been sponsored by Gillette and appeared in several commercial campaigns, was filmed by the brand shaving at home with its razor, which it will promote. In addition, Ovechkin will be auctioning razors used during the shave, donating the proceeds to the American Special Hockey Association (Ian Thomas, Staff Writer).

WHITE HOUSE DECISION: In DC, Andy Kostka notes most Capitals players have "expressed an openness toward the prospect of a White House visit" to celebrate their Stanley Cup win, should President Trump invite them. Players were "agreeable toward the opportunity," except RW Devante Smith-Pelly, who had "previously implied he would not want to go." Backstrom said of a potential visit, “The building is pretty cool and everything. I’m not going to get into this discussion that a lot of the other athletes have been talking about. I think the building is pretty cool and I think it’s an honor if the President invites you.” LW Jakub Vrana, 22, and in his "first full year with the Capitals, is leaving the choice to more veteran players." He said, “Honestly, there’s other guys who decide this. I was just kind of rolling with the group. Wherever we go, we go, I go” (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/14).

Raisman also said that Eastern Bank has supported her efforts recently with a Charleston-based nonprofit
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Massachusetts-based Eastern Bank in celebrating its 200th anniversary announced that Gold Medal-winning U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman would be the "newest member of the company's philanthropic organizations 'Partners For Good,'" according to Kristin LaFratta of the Springfield REPUBLICAN. Raisman joined former MLBer David Ortiz and former NFLer Doug Flutie at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Tuesday night to "greet the nearly 2,000 Eastern employees who came out for the nighttime celebration that ended with fireworks over Boston Harbor." Eastern announced its newest "Advancing Women" campaign, which the bank says will provide $1.8M in "donations to organizations focused on issues facing women and girls." Raisman said that Eastern Bank has "supported her efforts with 'Darkness to Light,' a Charleston-based nonprofit that works to prevent child sex abuse." Raisman was "one of hundreds of young girls" who accused Larry Nassar of sexual abuse (MASSLIVE.com, 6/13).

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