Kraft Hockeyville strengthens bond with communities

Last year's $100,000 arena makeover contest airing on CBC resulted in 330 million media impressions for the brand, says a Kraft rep, which is why they are sponsoring the program again this year - albeit with a few twists to keep up the suspense.

Kraft Canada and the CBC are launching the 2010 Hockeyville competition on Monday, asking communities to prove their hockey pride in order to win a $100,000 makeover for their local arena. Last year the program proved successful garnering more than 7,100 entries, nine million votes and 330 million media impressions, says Jim Kozak, senior manager consumer promotions at Kraft Canada.

‘It’s been performing very well for us and it fits very well into our strategy of focusing on and engaging communities across Canada,’ Kozak tells MiC. Research from Ipsos Reid also shows that the contest is one of the most recognizable in Canada, especially among Kraft’s target mommy demo who appreciate a brand doing something for the community, he adds.

With media and sponsorship arranged by Mediavest and creative by MacLaren Momentum, entry promo spots are currently running throughout the CBC schedule. Kraft will also send e-blasts to their consumer base promoting the microsite and contest as well as a print integration in their What’s Cooking magazine. In-store promotions will end in March after the nomination closes. ‘And also have a little twist at the end of nominations where we’ll be integrating within a popular CBC program,’ says Kozak, although he couldn’t divulge which program that might be.

This year the competition allows an additional entry from each of the four regions (Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario and Western Canada) to make it into the top 12 (two more than last year), which viewers then vote on in March, narrowing the entries down to the top five. Also new this year: CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada crew will visit and broadcast from all five finalist communities on the same night, during a triple header game on April 3, 2010.

‘It adds a litte twist and suspense to the program this year,’ says Kozak.

The winning community also gets to host a pre-season 2010/2011 NHL game in their renovated area, while the four runners up each get $25,000 from Kraft for their own arena upgrades.