Bridgestone’s NHL Winter Classic ‘Conquer The Cold’ & ‘Fan Freeze’ Activations

Bridgestone, the title sponsor of the NHL Winter Classic, ran two special digital initiatives to activate its rights to the New Year’s Day outdoor game – ‘Conquer The Cold’ and ‘Fan Freeze’.


The 2015 Winter Classic, which saw the Chicago Blackhawks play the Washington Capitals at Nationals Park in Washington DC, saw the tyre giant partner with the NHL on both campaigns to promote its Winter tyre range.


‘Conquer The Cold’ includes a 10-Day Temperature Countdown as NHL Social and Bridgestone counted down to puck drop with images of the outdoor rink being built at Nationals Park and the corresponding temperature updates.


The pictures and temperatures were posted on NHL Social and Bridgestone brand channels, as well as on the League’s www.nhl.com/WinterClassic microsite.


Those who correctly guessed the on-ice temperature when the puck dropped for the start of the game won a set of Blizzak winter tyres or even Stanley Cup tickets.


The eventual official puck drop temperature was 42°F.


The contest is part of a wider Conquor The Cold campaign that includes nationaal and local TV work,



and brand/retailer sweepstake and giveaway strands saw Bridgestone partner with fellow Winter Classic sponsor Reebok and offer customers buying Blizzak tyres a complimentary Reebok Performance Jacket and it also linked with fellow sponsor Visa to offer Blizzak tyre buyers a $70 prepaid Visa card.


Bridgestone’s #WinterClassic Fan Freeze offers hockey fans a chance to attend the game by submitting and sharing photos of how they themselves are ‘conquering the cold’ in preparation to experience the much-anticipated outdoor game.


The best fan photos using the hashtag #WinterClassic were featured online at www.nhl.com/FanFreeze and on both the NHL and Bridgstone’s Facebook pages.




Title sponsor Bridgestone has been a key part in ensuring that the NHL Winter Classic has become very successful, very fast.


But has the event hit its first wall?


The overnight ratings story for the 2015 Winter Classic sees the first drop in viewing numbers after what has been a remarkably quick rise that has seen the Winter Classic establish itself as a major sporting event in just a few years.


NBC is reporting a 2.3 overnight rating for the game was the lowest overnight number among all the seven Winter Classics played to date.


The previous low was the 2.4 overnight for the Philadelphia Flyers versus New York Rangers game at Citizens Bank Park in Philly in 2012 (in a game played on a Monday afternoon on 2 January rather than on the national New Year’s Day holiday).


But the very fact that the event is being held in the US capital shows how far the Winter Classic has come – after all, Washington DC is strictly known to be hockey heartland.


Perhaps this year’s drop is partly due to the fact that this year the classic had to compete with several significant college football games.


Other activations at the 2015 Winter Classic included Geico’s sponsorship of the NHL Network’s live coverage which included a special culinary creation from Food Network star and lifelong hockey fan Duff Goldman at Spectator Plaza during the free NHL game day fan festival held at the Fairgrounds.


The Winter Classic also saw the official launch of the new US arm of Kraft’s aaward winning Hockeyville programme – which is the start of a brand-led search for America’s most passionate hockey community that unites an all-star roster of partners including the NHLPA, the NHL, NBC, USA Hockey and Kraft itself.




NHL Winter Classic Microsite



NHL Winter Classic Twitter




NHL Website



Bridgestone Winter Driving Website




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