CBC snags HD, KIA with new HNIC opps

Beefing up its buddy system with sponsors is paying off big-time.

CBC will inject 60 Think Hockey segments, sponsored by Home Depot, and an interactive Fantasy Online Pool, presented by KIA Motors, into its broadcast package for Hockey Night in Canada this season. Other major sponsors for 2006-07 include Ford, Labatt’s, Mastercard, Subway and Moores Clothing. Each one of these sponsors will have ‘ownership’ of its own segments, says CBC director of customer marketing Jamie Michaels.

Home Depot’s Think Hockey, set to debut during the pre-game show, Saturday Night on Oct. 7, includes a three to four minute feature giving former NHL players and experts the chance to get on-screen with Ron MacLean and give viewers insight on how to play the game more effectively. The on-ice feature is expected to appeal to young players, parents and coaches. After each Saturday night broadcast, the tips will be posted at cbc.ca/thinkhockey. The KIA Fantasy Online Pool encourages users to rack up points (and they can keep track of their scores by mobile) for a chance to win three KIA vehicles and autographed jerseys.

Having supported HNIC for about three decades, Ford is returning as a charter sponsor with multiple segments, including Up to the Minute, Satellite Hot Stove, Behind the Mask and Headliner. Mastercard grabbed the 3 Stars feature, while Moores is backing this year’s Coach’s Corner spot.