The Cup Changes Everything

NHL players describe how 'The Cup Changes Everything' in new Stanley Cup Playoffs ad campaign

Friday, 28.03.2008 / 4:09 PM / Features
NHL.com

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League (NHL) today unveiled “The Cup Changes Everything,” its biggest advertising campaign of the 2007-08 season, to promote the Stanley Cup Playoffs (commencing April 9).  The player-focused campaign will be widely distributed across a broad base of US and Canadian media, including television, radio, print, Internet, in-arena, and in more than 1,400 Canadian Cineplex theatres. 

The campaign launched today exclusively at NHL.com, and will launch on all other media on March 30.

"The Cup Changes Everything"

“The Cup Changes Everything” is a dramatic campaign developed from the insight that the Stanley Cup Playoffs feature a heightened level of excitement and intensity, and every game situation is magnified.  The campaign features NHL stars Martin Brodeur, Henrik Zetterberg, Jarome Iginla, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Getzlaf, Daniel Alfredsson, Roman Hamrlik and Joe Thornton.

Creative for “The Cup Changes Everything” was developed by the New York and Toronto offices of global advertising agency Young & Rubicam in collaboration with NHL Productions.  

“We felt it was crucial to have the players describe how the Stanley Cup Playoffs are different,” said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of Marketing, NHL.  “It wouldn’t be credible or authentic to have that message delivered by anyone other than players who have actually experienced what it’s like to play in that environment.  This campaign gives fans an authentic, player’s-eye view at how the Cup raises the stakes in every aspect of the game.”

“We wanted to avoid having the players speak directly about the emotion and intensity during the Playoffs because that tends to result in sports clichés about hope, anticipation, determination, etc.,” said Cliff Skeete, Creative Director, Y&R.  “Instead, we wanted to create authenticity by having the players talk about what they know – the pieces of the game – and then use visuals and music to ladder up to the emotional territory in a more believable and own-able way.”

The campaign will run from March 28 until the Playoffs conclude.  It will be featured across all of the NHL’s local and national broadcast partners, including NBC, VERSUS, CBC, TSN, RDS, HDNet, XM Radio, Westwood One and NHL Network.  Print insertions will appear in Sports Illustrated, The Globe & Mail and other publications.  Digital and viral efforts will appear on NHL.com, Yahoo, YouTube, MySpace and others.  The campaign will also run in all 30 NHL team arenas.

The specific ads comprising “The Cup Changes Everything” campaign include:

•    “Shorthanded” - Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators on penalty killing in the playoffs
•    “Tighter” - Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf on the fight for every inch of space
•    “City” - Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo on protecting the hopes of an entire city
•    “Walkout” - Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings on playing in front of a hostile crowd
•    “Faceoff” - Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks on how critical every faceoff becomes
•    “Check” - Roman Hamrik of the Montreal Canadiens on delivering a game-changing bodycheck
•    “Preparation” - New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur on the unique mental preparation required
•    “Shift” - Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames on going all out for 45 seconds.