Intersport, the agency responsible for bringing college hockey to Chicago’s Soldier Field earlier this month, already is looking into a sequel for 2014.
The college hockey doubleheader inside the Chicago Bears’ home — the first of its kind at Soldier Field — drew 52,000 people on Feb. 17, and sponsorship sales were brisk enough to encourage Intersport to start thinking about next year.
OfficeMax title-sponsored the Hockey City Classic, with Geico, Mercedes-Benz, La Quinta Hotels, Athletico and the Illinois Tourism Bureau playing supporting roles.
“One of our major initiatives is to do more for the city of Chicago,” said Drew Russell, vice president of sports properties at Intersport, which has called Chicago home for 25 years. “We tried to create a bowl-game atmosphere for the teams, and based on the success of this one, we’ll look to do it again.”
The college hockey doubleheader featuring four top-20 teams in Notre Dame vs. Miami (Ohio) and Minnesota vs. Wisconsin culminated a two-week skating festival at Soldier Field.
Tickets for the doubleheader ranged from $15 to $85 for club seats with access to heated areas. The games were televised on Fox and Comcast regional networks, as well as the Big Ten Network. Intersport produced the broadcasts for each of the networks.
Tickets to the free skating sessions for the two weeks prior to the hockey matches could be obtained only at 10 OfficeMax locations around Chicago, which drove traffic into the company’s retail locations.
“All of the tickets were gone within half an hour of the store opening,” Russell said.
The sponsorship fit well with OfficeMax’s current marketing campaign: “OfficeMax loves Chicago.”
“Growing our owned-and-operated events like this one is a major priority for Intersport,” Russell said.