New York, NY and Riverwoods, IL, – Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) and the National Hockey League (NHL) today announced the intention to renew a multi-year sponsorship agreement naming Discover as an Official Partner of the NHL® in the U.S.
As part of this agreement, Discover becomes title sponsor of the inaugural NHL on NBC broadcast on Thanksgiving Friday, now titled the 2011 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown™. This broadcast launches NBC's coverage of the NHL for the season, making it the earliest NHL regular season broadcast on national U.S. television in more than 20 years. In promotion for this game, featuring the Boston Bruins hosting the Detroit Red Wings (1:00 pm ET, NBC), Discover and the NHL also will introduce a co-branded float titled "Frozen Fall Fun" that will make its first-ever appearance in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®.
The float, featuring a live performance of Grammy®-Award winning artist Cee-Lo Green, is 36 feet long by 20 feet wide and is designed to reflect a fall hockey theme. Also created to showcase the Discover and NHL partnership, the float will feature NHL stars from the past, a synthetic ice rink, a 12 foot tall turkey that serves as a hockey goal, plus an assortment of colorful fall décor.
"Having a new ownership platform on a day that is synonymous with shopping was a natural fit to renew our partnership with Discover, but we wanted to make it even bigger," said David Lehanski, Group Vice President of Integrated Sales. "The idea of incorporating a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade gives us a unique way to not only promote this partnership, but also the 2011 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown in front of an audience that traditionally reaches nearly 50 million viewers."
The commitment to the NHL will deepen Discover's investment in hockey, giving the company increased opportunities to engage with U.S. hockey fans nationwide and develop exclusive hockey-themed rewards and experiences across various NHL special events.
"We're proud to work with our partners at the NHL and participate in some of America's favorite holiday traditions, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and watching a great hockey match-up on NBC," said Jennifer Murillo, vice president of brand communications for Discover.
Throughout the NHL season, Discover will offer opportunities for cardmembers to redeem their Cashback® Bonus rewards for tickets to the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® in Philadelphia. Discover cardmembers also receive discounts to Shop.NHL.com and the NHL Powered by Reebok store in New York City, NHL GameCenter Live™ subscriptions and more.
Discover will remain the Official Card of the NHL, NHL All-Star Weekend, NHL Winter Classic, NHL Awards™ and the NHL Draft.™
As a tie-in to its NHL sponsorship, Discover also launched two new national television ads yesterday featuring the popular Peggy character along with Blackhawks center Patrick Kane (click here) andBruins goalieTim Thomas (click here). Both 30-second spots showcase each player's frustration as they face some of the challenges consumers face when calling their card's customer service departments. The television ads highlight Discover's award-winning customer service while positioning Peggy, a likable, but incapable customer service representative of the fictitious U.S.A. Prime Credit Company, as a person who frustrates callers with long hold times, excessive transfers and the inability to solve problems. The new ads are a follow-up to the "Peggy" ad Discover launched earlier this year that featured curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame and Stanley Cup® handler Phil Pritchard.
I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.
— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic