By Barry Janoff
March 22, 2016: With the event now just six months out, the NHL and NHL Players' Assn. have unveiled a roster of marketing partners that will activate and support the World Cup of Hockey 2016.
The eight-team international hockey tournament is scheduled for Sept. 17 – Oct. 1 in Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
In addition to previously unveiled partners adidas and Rogers Communications, the expanded list includes Air Canada (also naming rights holder for the venue), Canadian Tire, Honda, Molson Coors, PepsiCo, Scotiabank, Tim Hortons and Visa.
Ticketmaster is the official ticket marketplace for the NHL and the World Cup of Hockey.
The NHL and marketing partners said they would launch multi-platform World Cup-themed promotions and campaigns to "engage hockey fans worldwide," including TV, print, Internet, social media, in-arena and on-site presence.
As part of its strategy, Scotiabank will be title sponsor for the World Cup of Hockey Fan Village.
The NHL said that additional corporate partners, including sponsor support outside North America, would be named in upcoming weeks.
The hockey event, which the league intends to be built into a global happening comparable to the FIFA World Cup, features NHL players on teams representing the U.S., Canada, Russia, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Europe and North America (players 23-and-under).
“These iconic brands, and the magnitude of their commitment, further illustrate the anticipation that is building for what we believe will be the best international hockey tournament ever staged,” Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner, said in a statement. “Activation by these corporate partners will elevate energy and enthusiasm across the full range of World Cup fan experiences — including in-arena and at the Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village."
According to Richard Glover, president for PepsiCo Beverages Canada, "At PepsiCo, a global leader across numerous categories and brands, we see the World Cup of Hockey as a perfect fit to reach a broad audience across the world. With more than 200 million fans worldwide, the World Cup of Hockey will provide PepsiCo with significant branding and activation opportunities to target the avid hockey fan, casual sports fan and those who love to celebrate country pride."
Adidas will be the exclusive jersey, headwear and apparel partner of the World Cup of Hockey, its first official activation with the league before replacing its Reebok division as the authentic outfitter for the NHL beginning with the 2017-18 season.
Rogers Communications is a corporate partner in addition to being the exclusive English-language TV, online and mobile rights-holder in Canada for the World Cup of Hockey.
“Activation by these corporate partners will elevate energy and enthusiasm across the full range of World Cup fan experiences."
ESPN signed a deal to broadcast the event in the U.S.
PepsiCo and its brands — including Gatorade, Lay’s, Pepsi, Doritos and Aquafina — will have exclusive rights in the beverage, sports beverage, salty snacks and bottled water categories; marketing and promotional rights in Canada, U.S., European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Russia and China, including in-venue signage in North American and international broadcasts of the entire tournament; and on-site activations at official World Cup fan events.
Among other activations being planned, Honda, the official vehicle of the NHL in Canada and the U.S., will provide a fleet of its vehicles for use by event officials and team personnel throughout the tournament; Air Canada will fly all eight World Cup teams throughout Europe and North America for pre-tournament games and to Toronto for the two-week tournament; and Visa will be the official payment network for the World Cup of Hockey and provide cardholders across Canada with hockey-themed opportunities online and in venue at the Air Canada Centre.
"Similar to the beloved game of hockey, the Honda Civic . . . is a strong thread of our country’s fabric and culture," Dave Gardner, svp-operations for Honda Canada, said in a statement. "Honda is excited to expand our involvement with the NHL and NHLPA to support the World Cup of Hockey by providing quality and reliable transportation on the ground. Like all members of Civic Nation, we can't wait for the games to begin!"
The Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village will be a free fan festival in Toronto incorporating other brands on the marketing roster.
Previous NHL World Cup of Hockey tournaments took place in 1996 and 2004. The World Cup of Hockey 2020 is also being planned, with the NHL saying that it is "committed to multiple tournaments on a regular schedule."
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