NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League® (NHL) today announced that McDonald's USA has renewed as League partner in the United States. As part of this agreement, McDonald's has secured the position of title sponsor for Hockey Day In America -- a six-hour celebration of the sport of hockey on NBC, and will serve as sponsor of the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, NC amongst other unique brand extensions.
McDonald's Re-Ups with the NHL
As the relationship between the NHL® and the world's leading food service provider is extended, McDonald's USA will continue to create meaningful integrations at the League's major events through the conclusion of the 2010-11 NHL season. As part of the agreement, McDonald's USA will support NHL media (NHL Network™ and NHL.com) and League rights-holders (NBC and VERSUS). A charitable component will also be included. The NHL's monetary and in-kind contributions in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), McDonald's "Charity of Choice," and the Ronald McDonald House® Program will help improve the health and well being of children and their families.
"The quick service restaurant category is an important one to reach a broad audience, and as McDonald's major sports League partner, the possibilities of what we are able to achieve together are limitless," said Keith Wachtel, NHL Senior Vice President of Integrated Sales. "It's a marriage between two great brands that will provide unique activations as well as community support."
"The National Hockey League is a strong and relevant partner and offers our brand unique ways to connect with our customers," said John Lewicki, Director of Sports Marketing, McDonald's Corporation. "At McDonald's, we strive to bring our customers some of the best sports properties around, and through this continued relationship, we're excited to bring fun, new extensions to hockey fans."
As part of its activation at the 2011 NHL® All-Star Game in Raleigh, McDonald's will sponsor the "Kid Zone" at NHL Fan Fair™ and bring back its popular "In the Lineup" program where 12 lucky youth hockey players get the opportunity to meet and stand along side the NHL All-Stars on the ice before the game begins. McDonald's also will be the presenting sponsor of the Accuracy Shooting contest at this year's Honda NHL SuperSkills® Competition.
Hockey Day In America Presented By McDonald's
The NHL and NBC Sports will celebrate America's passion for hockey with the inaugural Hockey Day in America presented by McDonald's on Sunday, February 20.
With six hours of coverage (Noon-6 p.m. ET) -- which will include four NHL games -- hosted from Millennium Park's outdoor ice rink in Chicago, NBC Sports will tell the stories that demonstrate this country's affinity for hockey -- from hockey parents who chauffeur pee wees to practice before sunrise to the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships in Minnesota, played by amateurs amidst arctic temperatures, to ‘celebrity' hockey played by actors and producers in Los Angeles to inner-city hockey in Washington, D.C. that has made a difference in the lives of countless children and young adults.
NBC Sports will broadcast four NHL games featuring eight teams from some of the most avid U.S. hockey markets. The first three games will be broadcast regionally with staggered starts. All viewers will begin the day with the same game before some viewers are taken to their regional game. The staggered starts allow for live look-ins of the other regionalized games during intermissions. The fourth game, Pittsburgh at Chicago, will be broadcast nationally. All games will be streamed live on NBCSports.com.
"Hockey Day in America" is part of "Hockey Weekend Across America." Launched by USA Hockey in 2008, "Hockey Weekend Across America" is a nationwide initiative to celebrate the game and those involved at all levels and to expose hockey to new audiences.
Previously this NHL season, McDonald's activated around the 2010 NHL Compuware Premiere games in Helsinki, Prague and Stockholm, and the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.