Kraft drops the puck for another Hockeyville

The marketer's signature hockey event's got more money and more broadcast events this time around.

CBC dropped the puck on Kraft Hockeyville 2008 on Saturday, December 1 – putting the call out to Canadians to vie for the most fanatical hockey town. The goal remains the same in that communities will compete for a grand prize that includes a pre-season NHL game played at the winner’s community arena and a visit from Hockey Night in Canada. But this time the sponsor has doubled the purse to $100,000 in arena upgrades as part of the prize.

There are two other new elements of Kraft Hockeyville 2008. First, four runner-up communities will each win $20,000 towards local arena upgrades. Second, each of the top five communities will host Game Two of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada between March 1-29, with CBC’s Scott Oake and Kelly Hrudey reporting live on location.

The submission period runs until Jan. 5., and the top 10 list of communities will be revealed on Feb. 17. Canadians will vote online or by phone for the top five candidates by Feb. 23. In the past, video submissions were encouraged. This year, in a bid to make entry easier, consumers are asked to log on to and submit a short essay and three photos depicting their hometown’s passion for the game.

Pictured: Last year’s Kraft Hockeyville host, Cameron Bancroft.