Honda Shows Support of Hockey By Actually Making Commercials Centered on It

The NHL has numerous sponsors who support their efforts with advertisements in the arena, on TV, on concourses, and anywhere else the NHL holds an event.  The problem is, they don’t quite support the game enough with integration of the hockey brand within their commercials.  We spent a lot of time Christmas Day watching basketball, and noticed just how many “basketball-themed” commercials from their sponsors there were (Not counting that weird Chris Paul/Right Guard commercial.  Yuck.).  

Anyway, Honda – recently named official automocar of the NHL – has decided to reverse that trend with five new hockey-themed spots:

“We shot in Winnipeg, featuring real kids who play hockey, shown in their real houses with their real parents. The spots feature the Pilot, Ridgeline and Odyssey and lets NHL fans know that Honda truly understands the game of hockey,” said Joe Baratelli, SVP, creative director at RPA, in a release. “We set out to capture the commitment of the parents and the harsh conditions families endure all over North America to communicate Honda’s reliability and trustworthiness.”

This is a step in the right direction for the NHL, and certainly an improvement over NHL2K8 being featured in those Dodge commercials.  They need to encourage more brands to present hockey within their spots.  That’s why the McDonald’s deal is kind of blunt and disappointing.  But apparently, Honda is one of the sponsors who get it.

From the Sock Drawer: McDonalds, Dowd and More

“In the Sock Drawer”, a tribute to our old SportsFanMagazine.com column,  is a new feature we plan to do on most days, whenever there’s some TV/media news to report that, quite frankly, isn’t worth making a full post about.

  • Good work on the NHL’s part, landing an advertising deal with McDonald’s which includes the Winter Classic, All-Star Game, and Team USA Hockey.  Does anyone else think that sappy Blackhawks-go-to-a-funeral-then-to-McDonalds helped make that happen?  Really, this is more of an excuse to post that awesome video Wyshynski made on his site.  Kudos, sir.
  • One more piece of news on the NHL-McDonald’s front. Don’t expect to see too much NHL presence at the Golden Arches for now.  As one Mickey D’s exec., via Sports Business Journal report, so bluntly puts it: McDonald’s has done some impressive nationwide NHL premium programs in Canada, including mini-jerseys, mini-trophies and trading cards, but, at least initially, those elements will not migrate south. “It will be media focused for now,” said John Lewicki, McDonald’s senior director of alliance marketing. “We’ll use the Winter Classic to push Premium Roast coffee, because that’s a good match.”  Well then, sir.
  • We’ve written about Jimmy Dowd’s potential as a broadcaster before.  Mike Morreale of NHL.com follows up, though Jimmy’s still looking to get back into the game before time is up.  Stay on the TV side Jimmy!
  • Finally, Sports Media Watch predicts the NHL Winter Classic ratings will keep on the uptick this season.  We agree, but we’re still cautious about it.