The NHL's No Words and History Will Be Made ad campaigns won awards at the inaugural PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards. More than 25 awards were presented to honor outstanding sports marketing and promotion work from cable and broadcast to video games, leagues and teams. Selecting winners was a panel of recognizable names including Turner Broadcasting Systems President of Sales David Levy, Owner of HDNet and the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban, Founder and Creative Chairman of Droga5 David Droga, Advertising Age columnist and on-air host of NPR Bob Garfield, President of HBO Sports Ross Greenburg, CMO of Fox Sports Media Group Eric Markgraf, Senior writer and columnist for ESPN.com Bill Simmons, and other industry influencers.
According to the press release, the NHL beat out other finalists including MLB, ESPN and Fox Sports. In accepting the awards, Brian Jennings, NHL executive vice president of marketing said, “We are so proud to be honored for these prestigious awards among some of the most influential players in the industry. It’s been rewarding to see how the fans have reacted to these campaigns and how they continue to inspire our future projects.”
The NHL had it's best season since the lockout last season, and while compelling play was probably the biggest draw, we've seen how the NBA's popularity can be boosted by a successful marketing campaign, 2009-10 for the NHL was no different. Following the NBA's marketing lead, the NHL will have to continue where it left off, especially in the last year of the league's current TV deal with Versus/NBC. Marketing campaigns' success such as the No Words and History Will Be Made are the type that the NHL is likely hoping catch more than just the fans' eyes, but also those of sports monsters ESPN and FOX.
Here is the rest of the press release:
"No Words debuted during the 2010 Stanley Cup Final and was created to showcase the raw emotions players feel upon winning the Stanley Cup –hockey’s ultimate prize and the most prestigious trophy in all of sports. No words can express how the winner is feeling in that moment. The League tapped into its decades of footage and created a spot that struck a chord in the heart of not only hockey fans, but sports fans everywhere. The significant distribution of “No Words” through TV and Internet delivered in just about every measurable metric: Game 6 on NBC was the highest-rated NHL game in the U.S. in 36 years. Four of the series’ six games on NBC averaged 6.1 million viewers, the best on network TV in 13 years. Game 3 on VERSUS was the highest-rated telecast ever in network history. The Stanley Cup ranked as the number one trending topic worldwide on Twitter throughout the Stanley Cup Final and was the most watched series ever.
During the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs the History Will Be Made campaign debuted TV spots featuring prominent playoff moments made by NHL greats, including Bobby Orr. History Will Be Made “Orr” featured Bobby Orr and his iconic, Cup-winning, overtime goal in 1970. Inspired fans created their own versions of a History Will Be Made commercial and posting on YouTube, which generated more than 2,400 spots — something no one could’ve predicted. The NHL and fan generated spots resulted in over 8 million views and an incremental media value of $4.08 million. Compelling content combined with significant distribution through traditional and new media, it became one of the most successful campaigns in NHL history driving over 302 million TV viewers for the 2009-10 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the most watched in 36 years.
Additional League recognitions included the Toronto Maple Leafs, who took home the gold for their 2010 season ticket package in the Best Team Promotion (Print, Poster, Outdoor and Out of Home) category.
Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, and is a freelance writer. He can be followed on Twitter
Follow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook