NHL campaign asks


The National Hockey League will open the 2010-11 season with a national campaign designed to build on the hope and anticipation and feed the excitement fans and players have for the season. “Five Questions Will Become Answers”  spots debuted Friday, 10/1 on NHL Network, NHL.com and the official NHL fan page on Facebook. Creative was developed by the NHL and Young & Rubicam.

Each spot features a player performing a rigorous off-ice training routine while two sports talk radio analysts are heard in the background, providing running commentary on team and player performances from last season and the outlook for the upcoming season. The sports talk analysts raise questions shared by fans and players alike – questions that can only be answered on the ice, once the season starts.

“Each season, our fans bring a sense of anticipation and excitement to the start of the season,” said Brian Jennings, NHL EVP/Marketing. “The campaign is intended to not only ask the provocative questions that fans have on their minds about their favorite teams but to also showcase the intense training and preparation the players endure to the answer those questions.”

In one spot, the radio hosts ponder whether “the Penguins rebound and return to the top” as Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby throws a heavy medicine ball while teetering on a balance board supported only by a metal pipe. In another, Washington captain Alex Ovechkin snaps two heavy tabata ropes back and forth with extra vigor when the hosts question whether the Capitals can “be the best team in the regular season and the playoffs.”

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews performs squats as the analysts muse whether the Blackhawks have “what it takes” to “repeat as champs” when “they’ll have a target on their backs every night.” Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller works on his hand-eye coordination by rapidly bouncing tennis balls off a wall outdoors while the commentators ask “will these Sabres be the ones that win the Stanley Cup?” Montreal Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri is seen flipping a huge tire on an outdoor court while the commentators ask “did the Canadiens just get hot at the right time, or are they really that good?”

In addition to the five national spots, 30 team-specific television spots featuring each club’s players were created for in-NHL market use. The campaign also will be supported through online digital banners, in-store POP and social media platforms. NHL Live! host Don La Greca and frequent contributors E.J. Hradek and Billy Jaffe lend their voices to all five national spots and the 30 local commercials.

See the spots here