Guardian Media Entertainment -- the partnership created between the National Hockey League, SLG Entertainment LLC and Stan Lee (Chairman, POW! Entertainment) -- on Tuesday launched Guardian 30 Match-Up (www.guardianproject30.com).
With the highly anticipated unveiling of the 30 individual Guardians within the Guardian Project, the Guardian 30 Match-Up is a Facebook application that will enable fans to determine the order in which each team’s Guardian will be unveiled. Voting at www.guardianproject30.com will continue throughout January, with fans determining which team will win each match-up. The winners will be revealed daily, beginning with a faceoff between the "Penguin" vs. the "Capital" to celebrate the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic matchup on Jan.1, 2011.
The last winner will be unveiled on Jan. 30, when all 30 Guardians will come to life during a special presentation within the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover in Raleigh, N.C. 4 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live on Versus in the U.S. and on CBC and RDS in Canada.
Created and developed by Stan Lee, Tony Chargin, Executive Vice President of GME Creative Affairs, and Jake Shapiro, each Guardian has been derived from its corresponding hockey team, complete with special powers representative of each team and city. Every day for the first 30 days in January, the winning Guardians will be revealed at 8 p.m. ET with an exclusive image designed by legendary comic book artist Neal Adams along with their bio.
With an initial plan to reach an all-family audience and narrower target demo of tween boys, GME hopes to bring a new audience to the NHL, while engaging the existing, established hockey fan base through a compelling tale of good vs. evil.
"Guardian 30 Match-Up is the latest strategic marketing tactic for reaching our core youth demographic of Guardian Project fans and building excitement around the unveiling of Guardians throughout January," explained Brian Jennings, Executive VP, Marketing for the National Hockey League. "Introducing the Guardians to fans through Facebook, a proven social media platform for engaging NHL fans, is an ideal way to set the stage for the exciting unveiling we have planned during the All-Star Game."
"Our entire business model is focused on creating content for the ways in which entertainment is consumed today," added Adam Baratta, GME's Chief Creative Officer. "Social media is a very important medium for reaching and engaging our core demographic which is why this was such an organic initiative for the launch of the Guardian Project brand."
Fans will be able to vote for their favorite teams and learn about the Guardians at www.guardianproject30.com and by going to the "GP Vote Now" tab of www.facebook.com/NHL.
In addition to heavy social media outreach, Guardian Media Entertainment (GME) will drive awareness and exposure for the Guardian 30 Match-Up through the airing of promos in NHL arenas, on the NHL Network, on Versus and on NHL.com.