Don’t worry Leafs fans, Visa feels your pain

The credit card company's 'Hockey Love Hurts' program rewards Canadians for their sometimes fruitless NHL team devotion with retail partner prizing.

Visa’s ‘Hockey Love Hurts’ program is offering Canadians rewards for their NHL team devotion with a prize-oriented campaign running the length of the NHL season.

Capitalizing on Canadians’ love for hockey, and building on Visa’s positioning as a supporter of amateur and professional sports, the campaign launched in late December but this week was boosted with a PR push promoting some of the research behind the campaign. According to a release, 20% of Canadians identify themselves as hardcore NHL fans and of those fans, 40% have cancelled plans to watch the game.

Visa’s media plan for ‘Hockey Love Hurts’ was designed to reach those particular fans, with a television buy that runs during hockey programming on CBC, TSN and RDS. The online component of the paid media plan also includes display advertising on,, and

The hub of the campaign is a microsite,, where fans can access special offers via and register their pledge to support a team for the chance to win prizes.

‘This is an opportunity for us to celebrate hockey fans’ passion for the game,’ Gallant Law, head of sponsorship and brand management, Visa Canada, tells MiC.

The campaign runs until the end of the regular NHL season on April 11.