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Ice hockey - 21 Oct 2021
Citing Disney’s president of advertising sales Rita Ferro, the Front Office Sports website also indicated that ESPN has nearly sold out of commercial time for the season.
Ferro is quoted as saying: “We are very, very well sold. We have a couple of positions left, mostly in the playoffs and finals.”
Twelve official league partners are said to have been brought on board as advertisers by Disney, while in-game and studio sponsors include Lexus, Fidelity and Subway.
Expedia will present 25 games across the ESPN and ABC networks, with New Amsterdam Vodka presenting 75 games on Disney’s streaming platforms.
ESPN acquired the rights for the NHL earlier this year in a seven-year deal worth $2.8 billion – or $400 million a year, meaning ad revenue would make up for more than a quarter of that – putting an end to NBC’s 16-year stint as the home of the league in the US.
It will show games in 109 territories globally, including in Australia, New Zealand, South America, the Caribbean, parts of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Coverage will be on Walt Disney’s linear channels and streaming platforms, including Star+, ESPN Play and the ESPN App, depending on the region and will feature more than 1,400 games from across the regular season and playoffs, the Stanley Cup finals, the All-Star weekend, the Winter Classic and the Stadium Series.
In Spanish-speaking South America and Brazil, Disney and ESPN coverage of the NHL will be available on the recently launched Star+ streaming service and on ESPN channels.
Turner Sports has a $225-million-a-year deal for a B package of rights.
Meanwhile, the NHL yesterday announced a multi-year extension of its partnership with Navy Federal Credit Union, which began in 2018, that sees the financial services firm continue as the league’s official military appreciation partner.
The tie-up is focused on “recognising and supporting veterans, active-duty service members and their families at NHL tentpole events, in broadcast and across the NHL's digital and social platforms.”
It will see Navy Federal hosts its Veterans Showcase tournament of military veteran hockey teams as it has done previously and also continue its Stick Tap for Service initiative that recognises community service among hockey fans and military members.
Navy Federal branding will also feature on league assets, including dasherboards, tentpole event materials and digital media.
In addition, as part of the renewal, Navy Federal will be the presenting sponsor of the TNT broadcast of the NHL Veterans Appreciation Night game between the Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild on 10 November.
Elsewhere, Hyundai Motor America, the US arm of the Korean carmaker, has become a founding partner of the UBS Arena, the newly built, $1.1 billion home of the NHL’s New York Islanders.
Through the partnership, Hyundai Motor America is designated the official non-luxury import vehicle of both the venue and the Islanders and will have two vehicles displayed within the arena.
In addition, the brand will put its name to one of the venue’s “premier premium spaces”, which will be known as the Hyundai Club.
The other partners to the arena are UBS, of course, which has a 20-year arena naming rights agreement, Northwell Health, Verizon, Heineken and Dime Community Bank.