Molson Canadian NHL 14/15 ‘Anything For Hockey’ Love

Molson Canadian’s campaign leveraging the new 2014/15 NHL season, #AnythingForHockey, aims to connect with consumers through their irrational love for hockey


The NHL official beer partner in Canada aims to use the initiative to engage with avid hockey fans in the 24 to 34-year-old range and this is the demographic the brand hopes will share their stories about the lengths they have been to for a hockey game with the #Anythingforhockey hashtag across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (See http://molsoncanadian.ca/en/anythingforhockey/index.aspx)


Sharing is incentivised by offering uploading participants the chance to win unique experiences – two of which are linked to other aspects of its hockey activation: such as tickets to see iconic local band The Tragically Hip at the brand’s own season opening live event from the Molson Canadian 20-foot high viewing platform, or a trip to a massive ice rink constructed in the middle of a mountain.


The idea behind this latter initiative is that ‘an epic Canadian game deserves an epic Canadian setting’ and the mountain rink is also the star of the first #AnythingForHockey TV spot for the 2014/14 season.


This TV commercial, developed with agency Rethink, debuted during the opening Toronto Maple Leafs vs Montreal Canadians game.



This rink, one of the brand’s own grand hockey gestures and a way for the beer itself to show that it will do anything for hockey, is alsos et to feature in the two follow-up spots that will roll out as the season evolves.


As well as digital, social and TV work, #AnythingForHockey includes events, outdoor, print, a PR push (by Harbinger), media (by MEC) and an interesting integration with NHL broadcast and communications partner Rogers.


To welcome in the start of the new season, the Molson Coors beer brand kicked off with the title sponsorship of an event also backed by the NHL istelf – taking over Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square for the day for.


The centrepiece of the event saw the beer erect a 20-foot viewing platform for its competition winners to watch the event’s headline act ‘The Tragically Hip’.


It also installed a ’can-mera’ (a beer-themed photo booth connected to social media channels), as well as its increasingly well-known interactive roving ‘beer fridge’ – which opens when consumers sing it the national anthem ‘Oh Canada’.



The 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off event was essentially a sponsor/league jointly run party (produced by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment): a free hockey and music extravaganza, with festivities including live music, hockey prizes and giveaways; NHL Alumni and special guest appearances, merchandise and sponsored hockey activities.


This was followed by the Canadians/Maple Leafs game being screened on giant outdoor video screens (which also marks the official debut of the NHL’s new 12-year Canadian broadcast partnership with Rogers Communications).


‘The celebration of the game itself is really what it comes down to,’ comments Brian Jennings, the NHL’s Chief Marketing Officer.


‘We view it as a great opportunity to give back to the fans.’


In addition to Molson Canadian’s title event sponsorship, the party’s interactive activities and giveaways also come from other League partners such as Bridgestone, Canadian Tire, Crest, Honda, Mondelez, NHL Auctions, Oh Henry!, OLG, Real Sports Apparel, Reebok-CCM, Rogers, Scotiabank, SiriusXM and Tim Hortons.


The NHL’s first season-opening ‘Face-Off Event’ was held in Toronto in 2010 and it moved to Winnipeg and then Montreal before returning to Toronto in 2014.


It makes you wonder why other leagues and sponsors don’t join forces for live season-opening events and parties.




One aim behind the dramatic mountainous rink is the link back to hockey’s roots as an outdoor game played on natural frozen pond and lakes.


Linking this authentic, grass roots, game heritage connection to its insights around the target demographic’s irrational love for the game clearly lie at the heart of this campaign.


‘When we sat down 18 months ago [to plan], we knew that connecting with avid fans was paramount,’ explains Molson Canadian brand manager Andy Gervais.


‘We wanted to put forward a grand gesture that celebrated the game in its most pure form to be the launching pad for consumers to come out and share all the amazing things they’re already doing for the game they love.’


The #AnythingForHockey idea is an ongoing hockey umbrella idea for the beer brand and these new season initiatives continue where last year’s activation left off.


Last season’s activation used consumer-created online video as the core platform for Canadians to express and share with one another just how far they are prepared to go and what they are willing to do for hockey.





It was in early 2011 that the NHL first announced its new seven-year, $400m beer deal with MillerCoors in the USA and Molson Coors in Canada –  the biggest corporate sponsorship in NHL history.




Molson Canadian #AnythingForHockey Website



Molson Canadian YouTube



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Molson Canadian Twitter



Molson Canadian Instagram



NHL Website



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