Nike’s ‘Hockey Is Ours’ Anti NHL Lock-Out Fan Campaign


Now that the National Hockey League’s lock out is finally over and the pucks are sliding around North America’s professional rinks again, it seems appropriate to revisit Nike’s ‘Hockey Is Ours’ campaign that rolled out in late December 2012.


While the league itself chose to run a simple, old fashioned NHL apology letter in newspapers across Canada and the US to say sorry and bid for fan loyalty, Nike took an altogether more creatively engaging approach to consolidate its relationship with ice hockey lovers.


The campaign was led by Wieden + Kennedy New York’s TV ad, and also included traditional and non traditional executions across multiple platforms, to spearhead a campaign that aims to both consolidate loyalty between bereft hockey fans and the Nike brand as well as egging the league and players to put fans first and cut a deal.


The underlying narrative focuses on the idea that hockey fans were fed up with the lockout and salary cap dispute and that it is important for all those involved in the dispute to be aware that the sport itself and its fans don’t actually need the NHL to survive. After all, the game will be played on rinks and lakes around the world regardless of whether the top league’s professionals ever lace up their NGHL skates again.


The creative film shows faces and voices of frustrated fans, amateur players and old pros reclaiming the heart and soul of he sport from the owners and players. Nike trying to be the platform that facilitates the fans in their attempt to remind the league, the owners and players who is really in charge of the sport’s future. There is even the ultimate threat of die-hard hockey loving players going to play in Russia.




Of course, between the lines most hockey fans understand that Nike has a vested interest in getting the players back on the ice. After all, it has several big money endorsement deals with star players and no hockey action means far, far less player promotion for the Nike brand.


For a brand that is almost as famous for its big name athlete endorsement deals as it is for the actual equipment it makes, Nike’s more fan-focused affinity has ramped up in the recent months – not least through its more grass roots and populist ‘Find Your Greatness’ London 2012 ambush Olympic work.


This initiative sees Nike attempt to leverage the resentment of fans at yet another delayed season. A plea to both the powers of the NHL to resolve the dispute and an attempt to stir the hockey die-hards.


Nike (also with Wieden + Kennedy) also produced a similar campaign during the laast 2011 NBA basketball stoppage called ‘Basketball Never Stops’.


See https://www.activative.co.uk/sport/nike-never-stops—even-if-the-nba-does-3169




TV Ad:



Nike Hockey Twitter



Nike Hockey Facebook



Nike Website




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