Debuting today on NHL.com, the #1 sports site in Canada, the NHL asks fans “Is This The Year?” through four national TV spots that feature some of the game’s brightest young stars. Using green-screen technology, iconic Getty Images photographs of current NHL stars come to life so the players themselves can share their personal feelings about the game they play. These spots also will run on VERSUS, CBC, TSN, NHL Network and regional broadcast carriers, along with corresponding print ads, store point-of-sale and web assets.
"This campaign speaks directly to our fans' anticipation and hopes at the start of the NHL season," said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of Marketing, NHL. "We're communicating this idea of possibilities in a very compelling and creative way - by capturing a single moment from last season and having our players use that moment to express their thoughts and hopes for the upcoming year."
In one spot, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins emerges from a photo taken after the clinching game of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final against the Detroit Red Wings. He then explains: “This is a tough one. Getting this close and not winning the Cup. But I know it’ll make our team even stronger…I never want to be in this photograph again.” Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf explains: “I forget about a hit as soon as it’s over. Others won’t be so lucky.” Chicago forward Patrick Kane informs viewers that the last time the Blackhawks made the Stanley Cup Playoffs he was only 13. New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist shares that leading the League in shutouts doesn’t matter; it’s the pucks that got past him that do.
The League is also leveraging “Is This The Year?” as a marketing platform at the local level. For the first time ever, each team will utilize the national campaign with two of its own “Is This The Year?” spots that consist of still photographs telling team-specific storylines. These customized ads will be utilized on NHL Network, regional broadcasts, in-arena and online. Corresponding print ads and web banners also accompany these spots.
“We continue to celebrate the game and elevate the NHL brand by leveraging the attributes that all hockey fans can emotionally connect with ?? great players, anticipation, expectations and the pursuit of the Stanley Cup,” said Jennings. “At the same time, each team has its own story, so it’s critical to inspire fans in each team’s market. Utilizing a common national and local platform will enable us to connect with fans on both levels.”