The NHL Debuts “Because It’s The Cup” Tonight on NBC Sports Network

NEW YORK (March 15, 2012) – The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs campaign will debut during tonight’s NBC Sports Network presentation of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers at 7 p.m. ET., a game that marks the return of Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. It represents the most strategic and creative campaign collaboration ever among the NHL, NBC Sports Group, CBC, TSN, RDS, teams and sponsors.

The campaign’s tagline, Because It’s The Cup™ leverages the brand equity inherent in the Stanley Cup – the most iconic trophy in sports. The first two TV spots in this season’s campaign – “Two Halftimes” and “Where It’s Been” – emphasize the social aspect of watching the Playoffs with friends, and some of the unique stories about the Cup since it was first awarded in 1893.

In the “Two Halftimes” TV spot, fans are shown gathering at viewing parties in their homes and at their local sports bars to share in the unscripted drama of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The “Where It’s Been” TV spot recounts some of the unique places the Stanley Cup have visited and a myriad of its experiences as the most famous and revered trophy in all of sports.

“This year’s campaign capitalizes on the social connecting force of the Stanley Cup and the Playoffs,” said Brian Jennings, NHL executive vice president of marketing. “From old friends gathering in their living rooms to new friendships forged over a beer at the local pub to the fan connections created by discussions and debates on Facebook and Twitter, the Stanley Cup Playoffs has the power to bring people together to share in the excitement of each team’s quest to hoist the Stanley Cup.”

“We are eager to partner with the NHL on this campaign as our collective distribution assets have a much more powerful reach when we speak together rather than speaking with separate voices,” said John Miller, CMO, NBC Sports Group. “’Because It’s The Cup’ is synonymous with importance and that plays very well with our positioning of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. This year, we’re showing EVERY playoff game nationally, ‘Because It’s The Cup.’”

“For Canadians, watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada is an annual tradition, and the ‘Because It’s The Cup’ campaign completely captures the nostalgia and excitement that our audience feels every year,” said Bridget Hoffer, Executive Director, Communications Marketing Brand, CBC. “This is a perfect extension of CBC’s great partnership with the NHL and we’re looking forward to sharing this campaign with hockey fans across the country as part of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada coverage throughout each round of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.”

Three additional anthemic TV spots, as well as numerous TV spots that emphasize player and team narratives, will be unveiled and distributed in the coming weeks across the broadcast, digital and social media platforms of the NHL, CBC, NBC Sports Group, NBCUniversal networks, Comcast Regional Sportsnets and others. In addition, the Because It’s the Cup™ campaign and Stanley Cup Playoffs branding will include executions within out-of-home, digital banners and content integration. The message will also be extended by the NHL’s corporate partners within their retail POS, product packaging, in-bar materials, TV creative and consumer sweepstakes/promotions. The strategy and creative were developed collaboratively by the NHL, NBC Sports Group, CBC, TSN and RDS, in consultation with the Chicago office of the global advertising agency, Draftfcb.

Past creative collaborations for the 2010 and 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs garnered numerous Sports Media Marketing Award honors, including Best Television Promotion, Best Live Sporting Event Spot, Best TV/Video Campaign and Best Overall Integrated Marketing Campaign awards.

About the NHL

The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other sport. The NHL entertains more than 250 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (NBC Sports Network, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, and NHL Network™) and radio (NHL Radio™ and Sirius XM Radio). Through the NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer™ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to