NEW YORK – Last season's award-winning History Will Be Made™ campaign will return for the 2011 Stanley Cup® Playoffs but with significantly broader distribution. This year, the National Hockey League (NHL) and the NBC Sports Group have joined forces to distribute the national advertising campaign across the TV, online, radio, print, in-arena, in-store point-of-purchase, mobile and social media platforms of the NHL, NBC and VERSUS as well as additional NBC Universal platforms, such as CNBC and MSNBC.
Last season's History Will Be Made campaign was one of the most successful campaigns in NHL history, driving more than 302 million TV viewers for the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the most watched in 36 years. The campaign, which featured prominent Playoffs moments from NHL greats Bobby Orr and others, not only drove interest and television viewership but connected with fans on an emotional level and inspired them to create and post their own versions of the TV spots to YouTube, generating more than 2,400 fan-created commercials and more than 8 million total views. For the second straight year, fans will be able to download the music composed for the History Will Be Made campaign from the NHL's Facebook page for fan-generated spots.
The first pair of TV spots in this season's campaign – "Wish" and "Mess" - will debut on March 13 during the NBC Sports broadcast of the Chicago Blackhawks at Washington Capitals game and more than 20 additional spots will launch by April 13, the first day of the Playoffs. Starting April 14 through the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final, a new spot will be produced each day, highlighting a key moment from the previous night's games.
"The Stanley Cup Playoffs are filled with drama, the emotional highs and lows of crucial wins and
losses, the unbearable tension of sudden death overtime and performances that can define a career forever," said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President of Marketing. "Last season, the History Will Be Made campaign, which celebrated some of the iconic moments that make the Stanley Cup Playoffs so special, elicited an overwhelming emotional reaction from our fans. Fans brought handmade History Will Be Made signs to games and shared their own versions of the campaign on YouTube. Players even referenced the campaign in post-game interviews. This year, by taking a truly collaborative approach on creative, production and media with NBC Sports and VERSUS, we expect the campaign to continue to reach and resonate with even more fans, further helping to drive interest and viewership."
"There is both quality and power in the History Will Be Made campaign," said John Miller, who heads the NBC Sports Agency and the NBCUniversal Marketing Council. "By pooling our creative resources and air time, we believe collectively we can effectively tell the story of the excitement and emotion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs."
Last year's 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs campaign received three Sports Media Marketing Awards, including top prizes for Best Television Promotion and Best Live Sporting Event Spot and a silver in the Best Television Promotion category.
The History Will Be Made creative was developed collaboratively by the NHL, NBC Sports Group and VERSUS, in consultation with global advertising agency, Young & Rubicam.
It's a tribute to him, and everything he's done and deserved is coming to fruition tonight with his jersey in the rafters. He's going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. And I said today, if he's not, take my stuff out. If he doesn't deserve to be in there first ballot, no one does. Except for (Wayne) Gretzky, I guess.
— Hockey Hall of Fame member Brett Hull on former teammate Mike Modano, whose No. 9 was retired by the Dallas Stars on Saturday