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HBO Gives Viewers In-Depth Look At NHL’s Winter Classic

"Road to the NHL Winter Classic"The NHL’s Winter Classic series has a short, yet storied six year history.  In years past, the event has been worthy of great promotions and marketing efforts.

This year will be no different.

As the rivalry between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings gets a Winter Classic makeover, HBO cameras will be there to capture all of the drama leading up to game-time.

HBO presents ’24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic

Once again, HBO’s reality series 24/7 is teaming up with the NHL to bring fans behind-the-scenes access to the road leading to this year’s Winter Classic.  Camera crews will give fans a great glimpse at the personalities on both teams, as well as all the drama leading up to the game.

This year’s Winter Classic will take place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the University of Michigan football stadium will be turned into a winter wonderland of sorts.  The expected fan turnout is predicted to see around 100,000 fans.  The event will be run alongside the Hockeytown Winter Festival at Comerica Park in Detroit, which comprises two weeks of events on two ice rinks across the baseball field.

The Winter Classic is seen as a great opportunity for advertising partners.  Jennifer Storms, senior vice president of global sports marketing at PepsiCo, exclaimed:

“We view the Winter Classic as one of the best promotional platforms in sports.”

Keith Wachtel, NHL executive vice president of global partnerships, noted that some smaller activations for local sponsors do remain available.  But for the most part, There’s very little opportunity left on the asset side.”

So between a historic NHL matchup between Original Six rivals and an HBO Sports film crew that includes producer Rick Bernstein, the opportunities surrounding the Winter Classic will be even more lucrative.

Once again, the “Road to the NHL Winter Classic” will be captured by HBO Sports’ popular reality franchise “24/7”.  In all, “24/7” has captured 17 Sports Emmy Awards.  These awards certainly give the reality franchise a strong backing.

To give you a better idea of what the 24/7 series is about, take a look at this promotional video below.  More videos can be found here.  Information on the 2014 Winter Classic can be found here.  And make sure to tune into HBO for the “Road to the NHL Winter Classic.”  Each of the four episodes air on consecutive Saturdays, starting December 14th at 10:00PM EST.

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2 Responses to HBO Gives Viewers In-Depth Look At NHL’s Winter Classic

  1. arcondicionadoautomotivo February 3, 2014 at 3:39 am #

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  2. Michael OConnor September 9, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    I think that the Winter Classic is a pretty cool change of pace for the players and fans. However, HBO and other media sources create such hype over one single game that could mean very little come seasons end. If HBO or maybe even Rogers wanted to help the league, they would team up with the NHL to bring fans an in-depth look of what it takes to be a playoff team. Individual sacrifices, players stepping up and late season heroics are what fans really live for. Honestly, how big of an impact is the Winter Classic for the league? It is a measly one game, and most die hard fans treat it as such. What somebody needs to do is spotlight teams who have historically struggled, and show their battle to reach the playoffs. Teams like Columbus, Arizona and Florida are not typical hockey markets. Many of these teams struggle on the ice, but financially as well.

    As we know, Rogers just signed that enormous deal with the NHL for basically all of the broadcasting rights to NHL games for the next few years. It would be in the best interest of both the NHL and Rogers to get into the dressing rooms of these struggling teams and show the fans what these guys do night in and night out. That is the only way we are ever going to get fans flocking to games in struggling markets. From a marketing standpoint, it is a cool annual event for the select few teams who participate. However, it has literally no long term impact on the financial well being of the league or the teams involved.

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