NHL and NBC Bring Back Winter Classic Campaign, Featuring Will Arnett and Luc Robitaille
December 5, 2011 Leave a comment
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:
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.