NEW YORK – The National Hockey League (NHL®), in partnership with NBC Sports Group, enlisted Hollywood director Bobby Farrelly for its multi-platform marketing campaign to promote the 2013 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown game featuring the Original Six match-up of the New York Rangers® and Boston Bruins® on Friday, Nov. 29 at 1 p.m., ET on NBC. The campaign, which includes three 30-second TV commercials and an extended version to run online, will debut during tonight's Wednesday Night Rivalry broadcast featuring the Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins game at 8 p.m., ET on NBCSN.
Farrelly, whose film credits include "There's Something About Mary" and "Dumb and Dumber," directed this year's TV and digital campaign in which family relatives from Boston and New York carry their personal Bruins-Rangers rivalry to Thanksgiving dinner. The TV campaign was shot in Boston and features NHL greats Cam Neely and Mike Richter alongside New York and Boston actors, including Lenny Clarke ("Rescue Me").
"Getting into debates with extended family members during the holidays - especially among passionate sports fans – is an insight about Thanksgiving that everyone can relate to," said Brian Jennings, NHL Chief Marketing Officer. "Inserting the intensity of the Bruins-Rangers rivalry into the spirit of a family Thanksgiving was irresistible. It reinforces the game's positioning as a holiday and family event. And with Bobby Farrelly's ties to Boston, his love of the Bruins and his track record as a director of hit comedies, he brought a lot to developing the concept and comedy."
"The goal is to celebrate the holiday, and the historic rivalry between the Bruins-Rangers," said Bill Bergofin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, NBC Sports Group. "The campaign is a light hearted look at a typical Thanksgiving dinner, in the home of a passionate NHL family. Bobby Farrelly’s sense of humor and his love of the Boston Bruins, made him the perfect director for this project."
"I'm a hockey nut. So when the NHL and NBC approached me to direct the commercial and said it would feature Cam Neely and Mike Richter, I was flattered," said Farrelly. "It was a pleasure to work with two hockey greats to promote a game featuring two legendary teams, including my beloved Bruins."
Three 30-second TV spots, two 15-second commercials and a two-minute extended version will run across the broadcast, digital and social media platforms of the NBC Sports Group and NHL, including NHL Network™, NHL.com, in-arena, digital and social media. NHL.com and NHL Social™ will deliver behind-the-scenes content to fans across social media platforms, including Facebook (facebook.com/NHL), Instagram (instagram.com/NHL) and Twitter (@NHL) with the official hashtag #thanksgivingshowdown.
The creative was developed collaboratively by the NHL and NBC Sports Group, in consultation with Farrelly and production company, Rabbit.
In additional promotion for this game, Neely, Richter and a to-be-announced musical performer will ride aboard the Discover/NHL "Frozen Fall Fun" float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® on Thursday, Nov. 28. The 36 feet long by 20 feet wide float also will feature a synthetic ice rink with kids skating, a 12 foot tall turkey that serves as a hockey goal, plus an assortment of colorful fall décor.