Cup ratings peak at 3.5 million, and Gatorade was part of the celebration

The numbers for game seven were the highest for an all-American final since last year's game six, when the same teams averaged 2.7 million, and Gatorade took advantage of the eyeball action to roll out a game-specific ad, running as content.

Ratings for the Stanley Cup finals slipped 7% on CBC this year, though the all-American rerun of last year’s series went out on a high note, hitting 3.5 million on Friday as the Pittsburgh Penguins made good on their comeback over the Detroit Red Wings.

To celebrate the victory and capitalize on Canadians’ love of hockey, Gatorade worked with OMD, TBWAToronto and CBC to run this spot as content during the post-game while the winners were celebrating, the awards were being presented and the players were being interviewed following game seven.

The spot was developed to congratulate the Cup-winning Penguins while keeping in line with Gatorade’s overall strategy of celebrating ‘G’ moments – like a team coming together to win hockey’s most coveted prize. To accomplish that, TBWAToronto had to also develop another spot, of course, congratulating the Red Wings had they won.

The extra fuss and Super Bowl-esque bother was worth the effort, as the numbers for game seven were the highest for an all-American final since last year’s game six, when the same teams averaged 2.7 million. (All numbers 2+.) Cup ratings on CBC tend to sag without a Canadian team in the running, and the six-game series this year dropped to 2.1 million, while 2008 averaged 2.3 million.

‘We were thrilled for the audience turnout for game seven…it shows how passionate Canadians are about hockey. We would love to see a game seven every year and hopefully soon it could be a Canadian team in the playoffs. That would really send the ratings through the roof,’ says CBC sports boss Scott Moore. The ratings trended upwards as the series progressed: hovering between 1.6 million and 1.9 million during games one through five, increasing significantly for game six to 2.6 million.

The rarity of a seventh game, coupled with the Pittsburgh’s dramatic revenge against Detroit, no doubt helped attract viewers. This year’s finals also marked the first time in over 20 years that the same teams have fought for the Cup two years in a row.

From Playback Daily