Remember the NHL?!?

NHL launches new campaign ahead of new season
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) – Stung by a yearlong lockout that was resolved in July, the National Hockey League, its players and media partners presented a united front Wednesday night in advance of the game’s return early next month.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, a handful of players, along with representatives from NHL, Comcast and OLN (Outdoor Life Network), XM Satellite Radio and others attended an event at the Museum of Television & Radio to show off the league’s new campaign and to talk up how hockey had changed. In the past several months, the NHL settled its labor dispute, embarked on a new contract with the players union, made some key rules changes and left its longtime cable home ESPN for a new start on Comcast’s OLN.
The NHL’s message: It’s a whole new game.
“This is about our fans. This is about renewal,” Bettman said. “This is about moving forward, about making the game the best it’s ever been.”
To help draw the fans back and highlight hockey’s message, the NHL chose movie marketing company Conductor, a Los Angeles-based firm that has been responsible for a number of movie ad campaigns like “Spider-Man.” The ads, known collectively as “My NHL,” highlight the cinematic and dramatic qualities of hockey as well as the players, the battle on the ice and the fans who are passionate about the sport.
The campaign, which begins running this month, includes 30-second spots that are league- and team-specific, as well as in both French and English. The tell the story of hockey through five vignettes, including the first shown to press and business partners Wednesday night. It shows a goalie suiting up for a game with the help of a woman who tells him it’s time to go on the ice and ends with the player heading off to the rink.
Horne said that hockey had talked to fans in its one-year layoff and they found out a number of things that were incorporated into the campaign.
“They wanted to get closer to the game. … They said, ‘Make it my NHL,”‘ Horne said.
The campaign is directed by Samuel Bayer, who won an MTV Video Music Award this month for Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”
OLN’s cable rights deal includes 58 regular-season games on Mondays and Tuesdays along with the All-Star Game beginning in 2007 and a number of playoff games. The first telecast will be the New York Rangers-Philadelphia Flyers game October 5, the first day of the new season. NBC, another new hockey partner that wasn’t able to start its rights deal on time last year because of the cancellation of the season, begins its hockey telecasts January 14.