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NHL, NBC, CBC and RDS unveil 'NHL Winter Classic 2009' tune-in campaign

TV spot features legendary broadcaster Harry Caray's iconic version of 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame'

Monday, 12.01.2008 / 10:01 AM / News

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League (NHL), in collaboration with NBC, CBC and RDS, has released a new tune-in marketing campaign to promote the upcoming NHL Winter Classic™ 2009 game on New Year's Day at Wrigley Field.  The TV spot, backed by the singing of the late, legendary baseball broadcaster Harry Caray and his iconic version of "Take Me Out To the Ball Game," debuted Sunday in the U.S. on the "NBC Sunday Night Football Game" between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. NBC's Bob Costas narrates the U.S. version. This marks the first time that the League and its rights-holders have worked together to create a universal campaign for a single event.

The creative begins with images of various Blackhawks and Red Wings as they prepare for NHL Winter Classic 2009 and pays tribute to the once-in-a-lifetime meshing of NHL hockey and Wrigley Field while featuring pre-game routine and rituals of players from the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, the teams competing in this season's NHL Winter Classic 2009. Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, James Wisniewski and coach Joel Quenneville and Detroit Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Marian Hossa, Pavel Datsyuk and Chris Osgood are highlighted, with a final cut to the exterior of Wrigley Field on a snowy day. 

The campaign is now running on NBC, RDS, VERSUS, NHL Network, regional broadcast carriers, and other digital sites.  CBC will begin airing the spot on Dec. 15th.  This campaign also will live through digital banners and outdoor billboards in the Chicago market.

"The NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day is a unique event for hockey fans everywhere.  This ad speaks to the excitement and magnitude of this game.  It's the sport returning to its roots, featuring two 'Original Six' teams playing under the elements in Wrigley Field -- one of the most historic venues in the world," said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of Marketing, NHL.  "We are especially proud to have created this spot with NBC, CBC and RDS to produce one unified voice for this event which, for one day, brings together hockey fans of every team to celebrate the game."

The game will be the 701st all-time meeting of the clubs – no NHL opponents have played more regular-season games against each other.  Face-off is at 1 p.m. ET/Noon CT.  NBC will provide live broadcast coverage of the game in the U.S. In Canada, CBC and RDS will televise the event live. NHL Network and will provide extensive coverage and NHL Radio will provide coverage for radio stations across North America. NHL Winter Classic 2009 will be the second regular-season outdoor NHL game played in the United States and the third regular-season outdoor game in League history. 
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