NHL launches Heritage Classic campaign

The Tim Hortons-sponsored event will be promoted with a multimedia campaign featuring a classic Canadian theme.

The NHL and Tim Hortons are getting Canadians ready to enjoy an authentic hockey experience with a national media campaign to promote the Feb. 6 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.

The game will see the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames face off outdoors at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Feb. 20. It is the first professional hockey game to be played outdoors in Canada since 2003.

Launched this week, the campaign includes TV, print, radio, online banners and in-store POS, with creative by the NHL and Y&R global and media buying in Canada handled internally.

The 30-second spots will air on CBC, TSN and RDS in Canada, and NBC, Versus and the NHL Network in the US. The spots will air throughout the month until the Feb. 20 broadcast, which airs on CBC and RDS in Canada at 6 p.m. ET.

The theme of the campaign is classic Canadiana. The television spots feature a scenic frozen lake in Canada across which there is evidence of a game of shinny played: footprints, skate marks, sticks and nets. Over the scene, actor Gordon Pinsent recites the poem ‘Alive in all we are,’ by Heinz Ross.

The Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic follows the successful broadcast of the NHL Winter Classic in Pittsburgh. Despite a rain delay, the American broadcast nabbed 4.56 million viewers in the US for the 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. game, prompting league commissioner Gary Bettman to mull the idea of moving the broadcast to prime time in the future.

CBC, on the other hand, will be looking for redemption with the Heritage Classic, as the Winter Classic rain delay wreaked havoc with the Ceeb’s schedule here.

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