By Barry Janoff
January 24, 2017: As they sing in the 1937 warbler, "Hooray for Hollywood," "Any office boy or young mechanic can be a panic . . . where you’re terrific if you’re even good . . ."
The Honda NHL All-Star Game and related events this week are covering Los Angeles like stars in the sky, and NBC Sports is upping the ante to shine a national spotlight on its Hollywood showcase.
In what it called its "biggest NHL All-Star Game engagement plan ever," NBC Sports has launched "Hockey Goes Hollywood," a multi-level campaign that "weaves together this year’s NHL All-Stars with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood movie-making, and many of Los Angeles' iconic famous landmarks."
"Hockey Goes Hollywood" will be featured on NBC and NBCSN and across NBCU digital and social platforms.
Content is also being shared with the NHL and its teams for distribution on their respective outlets.
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Noon ET, all NBC Sports and NHL social media accounts "will conduct a social media roadblock to promote the game in a coordinated effort, including using the hashtag #HockeyGoesHollywood."
The All-Star Game, originally set to air on NBCSN, was moved to NBC (3:30 PM ET) and will be the first network television broadcast of the NHL All-Star Game since 2004, due in part to the Los Angeles location and due in part to the league adding star power for its season-long Centennial Celebration.
"This is a very special year because of the Centennial and the Top 100 players, and (NHL commissioner) Gary Bettman and the league asked us if we'd consider putting it on NBC, and as good partners, we have," Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC Sports, said during a media conference call on Tuesday. "The long‑term decision will be made down the road, but we think it's a wonderful opportunity to showcase the game to the broader broadcast network of NBC."
The campaign will feature a dozen of the league’s leading men.
They include Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks), Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins), Evgeni Malkin (Penguins), Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers), Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia Flyers), Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens), D K. Subban ( Nashville Predators) and Drew Doughty (of the host team Kings).
"This campaign is about bringing the stars and the sport to life authentically through the lens of Hollywood, including the movie life that L.A. is known for, and the movies that people know and love," Jenny Storms, CMO for the NBC Sports Group, said in a statement.
"With the NHL’s Centennial celebration, the game moving to NBC, and spectacle of L.A., we felt this was a special opportunity to bring out the players’ personalities in a unique way, and to give fans even more reason to watch All-Star Weekend," said Storms.
Creative reflects the attitude, style and traditions of Hollywood.
In "Audition," NHL players appear before two Hollywood casting agents for the opportunity to earn a place on the All-Star roster. After an endless array of non-hockey requests, Wayne Simmonds deadpans, "This is not even close to how NHL All-Stars are chosen."
"Movie Trailer" recreates the over-the-top preview pieces seen in theaters, with Crosby, Kane, Ovechkin, and Rask reciting famous movie lines while a narrator offers such clichés as, "From the creators of the Winter Classic comes the blockbuster event of the season."
"L.A. Landmarks" intersperses the NHL with some of L.A.’s iconic landmarks as pucks, sticks and equipment play strategic roles in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood sign, Capital Records building, the Santa Monica Pier and elsewhere.
In addition, NBC Sports has created four hockey versions of popular films, which it said "would be used extensively across its digital and social platforms."
They include "Rask," a take on the iconic Jaws poster, showing an intimidating goalie mask-wearing Tuukka Rask under the tagline, "Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the ice"; "Rink of Dreams" with Ovechkin in his Capitals uniform replacing Kevin Costner, with the tag, "If you freeze it, we will skate"; Crosby, McDavid, Price and Subban on a Zamboni reimagining Fast & Furious with the tag, "Ice is thicker than water"; and "Sidney," with Crosby channeling Al Pacino’s Scarface with the invitation to "Skate hello to my little friends."
The league’s mid-season showcase begins with a red carpet event when the 100 Greatest Players in NHL History, presented by Geico, will be revealed during a ceremony on Jan. 28 in the Microsoft Theater, hosted by Jon Hamm with performers including John Legend and Robin Thicke (NBCSN, 9:30 PM ET).
The NHL All-Stars Skills Competition is scheduled for Staples Center on Jan. 28 (NBCSN, 7 PM ET).
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