The world may have a vision of what a hockey player is. But, as is often the case, perception is a far cry from reality.
With a new video, Adidas is looking to shift the idea of hockey players as bruisers reliant on brute strength into one that shows off their creativity and athleticism. (Not coincidentally, the video is launching at the same time that brand’s Adizero jersey makes its debut as the official on-ice jersey for the league this season.)
“Looking at how brands have spoken to the sport of hockey, a great deal of historical creative and discussion has focused around the history of the sport, the great teams and dynasties, and at times the sport has been vulnerable to stereotypes of who hockey players and fans are,” Dan Near, head of Adidas Hockey, tells Marketing Daily. “We believe it’s time to defy the norm and some of these misconceptions and to shine a light on the new NHL, the new hockey player, and speak to young athletes and creators who are looking for inspiration from the fastest, most talented and most creative players in the game.”
Featuring players such as Edmonton Oiler Connor McDavid, San Jose Shark Brent Burns and Dallas Star Tyler Sequin, the “What if hockey…” video depicts the inspiration players get from other areas of their lives, and how that translates onto the ice. Vignettes show the players watching video of street hockey spin moves, emulating lacrosse players bouncing balls on their sticks and acting like kid skateboarding in a half pipe and shooting pucks across a pool into a net.
“Adidas is the brand for creators and this new spot showcases how some of the most dynamic players in the game are changing the sport by embracing their imagination, challenging the status quo and looking at each drop of the puck as an opportunity to create,” Near says. “Everyone knows lifting weights, watching video, and practicing hard will make you a better hockey player. However, the idea of how creativity in sport takes it to the next level is a story that needs to be told.”
The spot will be running in the U.S. and Canada on digital channels (such as sportsnet.ca and espn.com) in concert with the start of the 2017-18 NHL season. (A 15-second version tagged to include Dicks Sporting Goods will run in stores and on the retailer’s digital and social channels.) The video will run through the end of the month.