To activate its NHL sponsorship rights at the 2017 Bridgestone Winter Classic, Reebok Hockey and retail partner Lids ran a ‘Born In The Cold’ campaign – a multi-faceted social media contest offering prizes ranging from game tickets and pre-game event invites to sportswear and memorabilia.
Reebok Hockey, a division of global sportswear behemoth Adidas since 2005, and Lids encouraged hockey fans to participate by submitting their own photos and/or videos show ‘How proud they are to be “Born in the Cold” by illustrating ways they play and celebrate hockey amid freezing and sub-freezing temperatures’.
The campaign, which was promoted by both brands primarily across Twitter
— Reebok Hockey (@ReebokHockey) December 16, 2016
— LIDS (@lids) December 13, 2016
hockey lovers were also asked to show off their team colours and Reebok hockey gear (available at Lids or Lids Locker Room).
Entrants must tag @Lids or @Lids4Hats and use the campaign #BorninTheColdContest hashtag when they upload their images and films to either Twitterhttps://twitter.com/hashtag/borninthecoldcontest or Instagram.
— MLP (@Pappy_Hour) December 12, 2016
— Ben Pfeiffer (@OtherWhiteTweet) December 12, 2016
Alternatively, hockey lovers could manually upload photos and videos to a dedicated, mobile-optimised campaign web site.
The grand-prize winner receives two tickets to the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, while the second-placed entry scoops a pair of tickets to the Winter Classic Alumni Game (played on 31 December and featuring NHL legends like Wayne Gretzky, Bernie Federko, Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, Adam Oates, Peter Stastny and Chris Pronger), while other prizes include an NHL Winter Classic prize pack, Reebok gear and a $100 Lids gift card.
The contest, which primarily targets younger hockey fans, ran from 9 December, entries must be uploaded by 18 December and the winners were selected and announced on 19 December.
In fact its timing and platform suggests it was primarily aimed at high school hockey lovers as it dovetails with the opening of the high school hockey season (rather than the NHL which began its 2016/17 season in October).
‘We have done collaborations with Lids on the adidas side with the MLS, and they have been successful,’ comments Kathleen Donohue, associate marketing manager, NHL at Adidas Group.
‘This is our first time launching a contest like this with Reebok Hockey, the NHL and Lids. The Winter Classic is such a great story and is complimented by great product made by the Reebok Hockey team. We wanted to leverage this contest to get fans excited about the game coming up on 2 January 2.
‘Reaching our consumers and fans through social and mobile is very important to us. We are always looking for new ways to engage our consumers through our products.’
‘We know that hockey fans are passionate and love to be a part of iconic NHL events,’ adds Keith Leach, director for NHL Licensed Apparel at adidas Group.
‘The NHL Winter Classic is an extraordinary experience and Lids and Reebok would love to treat lucky fans to enjoy it.’
This title of this initiative, which is relatively short in terms of timelines for a sports property focused social media contest, unfortunately didn’t quite fit the property it was promoting in weather terms.
As the 2017 iteration of the league’s annual showpiece outdoor game, which this year saw the Chicago Blackhawks play the St Louis Blues, too place in Busch Stadium (home of MLB’s St Louis Cardinals) in unseasonably warm and wet weather.
The 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, part of the NHL’s Centennial Celebration, aired live on NBC in the USA and on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.
It was back in September 2015 that the NHL announced a seven-year deal with Adidas/Reebok Hockey to produce its uniforms beginning with the 2017/18 season and this hockey property social media contest is the latest in a spate of recent Reebok campaigns that aim to showcase Reebok’s ‘commitment to courting the enthusiast market’.
An approach that sees Reebok Hockey differentiate itself from the approach of parent company Adidas: while the former focuses more on the performance-driven enthusiast sector, while the latter is increasingly adding fashion partners like Kanye West to its approach.
For example, October saw Reebok work with female focused Finish Line on the #WeAreMore social media campaign featuring images and online video content in collaboration with Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman.
While previously Reebok urged Instagram users to complete in its ‘Fit to Attack’ challenges in an initiative leveraging viral social media tactics and pushes from big-names in fitness .