The NHL All-Star Weekend Was a Success

NEW YORK (February 2, 2012) – The 2012 NHL® All-Star Weekend broke

records in viewership, digital consumption and partner activation, once

again demonstrating the popularity of the National Hockey League’s

midwinter celebration among fans and corporate partners.

 

Over four event-filled days in Canada’s capital region, the NHL

fully engaged the city of Ottawa. A total of 29,289 people attended the

Scotiabank NHL Fan Fair™ inside the Ottawa Convention Center and, adding to

the celebratory atmosphere, fans gathered on the Rideau Canal to see all

the NHL trophies as part of a procession and watch youth hockey players

strut their skills in the Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills™ National

Championship.

 

A weekend that began with the top players in the world choosing up

sides at the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft™ at the

Hilton Lac Leamy Hotel and Casino in Gatineau, Quebec, continued with two

sellout crowds at Scotiabank Place for Saturday night’s 2012 Molson

Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and Sunday’s 2012 Tim Hortons NHL

All-Star Game.

 

NHL Network™ delivered 16.5 hours of live on-site coverage from the

festivities and featured interviews with more than 35 All-Stars over the

course of the weekend.

 

NORTH AMERICAN VIEWERSHIP UP

Overall, 17.7 million North American viewers watched all or part of

an NHL All-Star Weekend event (Fantasy Draft, Media Day, All-Star Skills,

All-Star Game) this year on CBC, NBC Sports Network, RDS or TSN (original

airings only).

 

Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft delivered an

average audience of 1.6 million viewers in Canada (TSN: 1.34 million; RDS:

254,000). Overall, 3.7 million unique viewers tuned in to watch some or

all of the Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on TSN and

RDS.

 

CBC earned the highest rating for an NHL All-Star Game and Skills

Competition since metered audience measurement began in 1989-90. Overall,

10.2 million Canadians — representing roughly 30 percent of the population

— tuned in to some part of CBC’s coverage of the NHL All-Star Weekend.

 

The 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All Star Game on CBC drew an average

audience of 2.461 million viewers, besting the previous record of 2.389

million viewers set last year. In total, more than 7.3 million people –

representing 22 percent of the population – took in some or all of the

game. CBC’s broadcast of the Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills

Competition™ on Saturday, January 28 also set a record, drawing an audience

of 2.468 million. More than 6.9 million people, or one in five Canadians,

saw at least part of the competition.

 

NBC Sports Network’s broadcast of the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star

Game delivered more than 1.3 million average viewers and the 2012 Molson

Canadian NHL Skills Competition delivered 1.1 million average viewers,

making each the second most-watched All-Star Game and Skills Competition in

the U.S. since 2004.

 

NHL.COM SETS ALL-TIME RECORD FOR DAILY VIDEO STARTS

Fueled by the creativity and charisma of Blackhawks All-Star Patrick

“Superman” Kane, who donned a cape and Clark Kent glasses during the

Allstate Insurance NHL Breakaway Challenge™ event in the 2012 Molson

Canadian NHL Skills Competition Saturday, NHL.com shattered it’s all-time

day record for Video Starts on Sunday, eclipsing the previous record by

600,000 Video Starts and last year’s All-Star Sunday by 1 million video

starts. Total Video Starts for the 3 All-Star event days (Fantasy Draft,

Skills, Game) were up 22 percent year-over-year.

 

Daily Unique Visitors on All-Star Sunday were up 24 percent

year-over-year and Average Daily Unique Visitors for the three All-Star

event days (Fantasy Draft, Skills, Game) were up 15 percent year-over-year.

 

Top 10 Videos on NHL.com for All-Star Weekend

1. skills competition: Kane superman breakaway

2. skills competition: Kane shatters puck

3. skills competition: Perry uses mini-stick

4. skills competition: Chara hardest shot

5. skills competition: Perry breakaway

6. super Stamkos

7. goalie race

8. Price gets picked

9. accurate shot

10. skills competition: Timonen vs. Quick

 

MOBILE CONTINUES TO GROW AT AN IMPRESSIVE PACE

Mobile Page Views (PVs) on All-Star Sunday were up 48 percent

year-over-year and total PVs for the three All-Star event days (Fantasy

Draft, Skills, Game) were up 46 percent year-over-year.

 

NHL’s The Hardest Shot™ app was the No. 1 paid app in the iTunes

store in Canada over the weekend. The NHL also represented five of the top

five sports apps in the top grossing category in iTunes Canada over the

weekend.

 

Top 5 Grossing Apps on iTunes Canada (Jan.27-29)

1. NHL GameCenter LIVE™ 2011-12

2. Leafs TV Mobile

3. NHL GameCenter™ 2011-12 Premium

4. Canucks Live 2011-12

5. NHL Hardest Shot™

 

SOCIAL MEDIA HISTORY WAS MADE

Sixteen All-Star players and rookies who competed in the 2012 Molson

Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ spoke directly to fans throughout

the event via Twitter, marking a first for NHL players to communicate via

social media during a competition. Throughout the live-tweeting time span,

the 16 players reached a combined audience of more than 1.2 million

followers.

 

@NHL on Twitter gained 304 percent more followers compared over last

year’s growth.

 

#NHLAllStar, the official hashtag for the weekend, grew more than 500

percent in impressions over last year.

 

Out of all NHL Facebook fans, 1 out of 4 were reached with an

All-Star related post on the NHL page at least once and 16.5 percent of the

total Facebook fans had seen an All-Star related post 21 times or more over

the weekend.

 

RECORD NUMBER OF CORPORATE PARTNER ACTIVATED

A total of 25 corporate sponsors activated during 2012 NHL All-Star

Weekend, more than any previous year. New to the fold was Molson Coors/

MillerCoors, which activated against its first All-Star Weekend via the

Molson Canadian brand since signing landmark sponsorship deal in February

2011. Also in firsts, the NHL secured a title sponsor for the All-Star Game

(Tim Hortons) and Media Day (Allstate Insurance).

 

SCOTIABANK NHL ALL-STAR FAN FAIR DRIVES MERCHANDISE SALES

All-Star event product posted a 3 percent increase in overall

concession sales and a 28 percent boost in sales at the Scotiabank NHL

All-Star Fan Fair, despite inclement weather deterring attendance during

parts of the weekend. These upticks were buoyed by sales of All-Star

Jerseys and a 25 percent increase in sales of headwear featuring the Reebok

“second season” watercolor ballcap and a broad assortment of winter knit

hats. Overall retail sales saw a 1 percent increase with over $2.4M in

retail sales.

 

Top Selling All-Star Items

1 Jerseys

2 Name and Number Tees

3 Ticket lanyards

4 Game Pucks, Pennants, Pins, mini sticks

5 All-Star and team Knit Hats

6 All-Star and team ball caps

7 Glassware

8 Tees

9 Programs

 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

“I grew up on this sport that we are here celebrating this evening and this

is one of the greatest honors I’ve ever received – NHL All-Star 2012” –

multi-platinum recording artist Drake during 2nd intermission performance

 

“NHL All-Star weekend is terrific. You really should go. The embroidery

around the big-ticket events is superb. The mood is festive. A city, even a

staid national capital like Ottawa, takes off its rep tie and kicks back

for a few days, wallowing in the culture of the sport and the proximity of

the best players the NHL can muster.” – Sports Illustrated

 

“’All access all the time’ might have been the theme. To an unprecedented

degree, players were available to fans and media off the ice and via

miked-up situations during the fantasy pool draft, skills competition and

Sunday’s game . . . The week was a success from all perspectives.” – Ottawa

Citizen

 

 

“The sellout crowd loved every moment of it.” – Globe and Mail

 

“The All-Star draft is a terrific addition to the festivities… (it) has now

become the signature event of the whole proceedings.” – ESPN.com

 

“The players really do embrace the skills competition now. They’re getting

it. Entertain the fans with the crafty moves they practice in practice.

This is really what all-star weekend is about.” – The Hockey News

 

About Steve Lepore
Contact me at stevemlepore@gmail.com

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