NHL and NBC Bring Back Winter Classic Campaign, Featuring Will Arnett and Luc Robitaille

NEW YORK (Dec. 5, 2011) — For the fourth straight year, the National

Hockey League (NHL®) and NBC Sports have partnered to produce the national

advertising campaign for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the Jan.

2 outdoor game between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers.

The TV commercials at the center of the campaign showcase the

historical competitiveness and long-standing rivalry between the two teams

and cities, and celebrate the NHL Winter Classic as the new holiday

tradition and appointment television for sports fans.

The “Rivalry” TV spot features iconic landmarks in Philadelphia

(Liberty Bell, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the LOVE Park) and New York

City (Times Square and the Empire State Building). Flyers players Sean

Couturier, Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds, Max Talbot and

James van Riemsdyk and Rangers players Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle, Marian

Gaborik, Ryan McDonagh, Brandon Prust and Derek Stepan are also featured in

the spot. Adding a unique touch to the spot is an original arrangement of

the New Year’s classic, Auld Lang Syne, performed by Alex Skolnick, lead

guitarist of Testament and Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

The “Song” TV spot focuses on fans and the social aspect of the NHL

Winter Classic by featuring hockey fans performing the Stompin’ Tom

Connors’ classic, “The Hockey Song,” while assembled in bars, hosting home

viewing parties and tailgating. Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille and

actor Will Arnett are among the fans singing an NHL Winter Classic modified

version of the iconic song.

“Storytelling always has been a key element of the NHL Winter Classic

campaign, with an emphasis on the players, the teams and the host city,”

said Brian Jennings, NHL executive vice president of marketing. “This

year’s campaign shines the spotlight on our fans and the NHL Winter Classic

as our newest national holiday sports tradition.”

“We are extremely proud of the award-winning heritage we have built

with our partners at the NHL in making the NHL Winter Classic campaign part

of the exciting preamble to the game itself,” said John Miller, Chief

Marketing Officer, NBC Sports Group. “This year’s matchup provided us the

opportunity to exploit the legendary rivalry that exists between these two

teams and cities. I think fans will enjoy the new spots that celebrate a

rivalry that is as big as all outdoors…which happens to be where the game

will be played!”

In addition to the TV spots, the national advertising campaign for

the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will be distributed across online,

radio, print, in-arena, retail/in-store point-of-purchase, mobile and

social media platforms of the NHL, NBC and VERSUS as well as additional

NBCUniversal networks and digital platforms.

The NHL and NBC Sports Agency, along with global advertising agency,

Young & Rubicam, developed the creative for this year’s campaign. In 2009,

a previous NHL, NBC and Young & Rubicam creative collaboration won a Sports

Emmy in the category of “Outstanding Sports Promotional Announcement:

Episodic.”

The spots debuted this past weekend within several sports telecasts,

including NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcast between the Detroit Lions

and New Orleans Saints.

The NHL and NBC Sports’ joint campaign for last year’s event

delivered record viewership, making the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

® broadcast the most-watched regular season game in the U.S. in 36 years.

The 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® continues the tradition the

NHL has established of hosting a regular-season game outdoors at the onset

of the new year to celebrate the origin and traditions of hockey. The

Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers will face-off at 1 p.m. ET on

Monday, January 2, 2012. The game will be broadcast on NBC in the U.S. and

on CBC and RDS in Canada.

About Steve Lepore
Contact me at stevemlepore@gmail.com

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