Dive Brief:

  • Disney Advertising has sold out all available ad time for this year’s NHL All-Star Game and NHL All-Star Skills events, per details shared with Marketing Dive. Together, the events have drawn 12 unique sponsors and 34 unique advertisers.
  • The events are slated to begin Feb. 3 and have attracted advertisers from a variety of categories, including new entrants from electronic entertainment equipment, nutritional supplements, accounting, household cleaners and pet food. Both events air on ESPN and ESPN+.
  • Reporting a full slate of advertisers comes as Disney takes additional steps aimed at bolstering its advertising business.

Dive Insight:

In its second season on Disney networks, the NHL has managed to sell out ad time for two of its major events. Additionally, the organizations are boasting an expanded advertiser slate with new entrants from multiple categories.

The packed slate could instill confidence that the NHL made a sound decision to cut a deal with ESPN and Turner Sports as part of a $1 billion media rights package that began in the 2021-22 season. Since then, NHL ratings have seen significant growth, with viewership for nationally televised games rising approximately 18%. The league has also more than doubled its annual rights revenue

The weekend of events kicks off Feb. 3 with the NHL All-Star Skills match. Sponsors for the game include: Chipotle, Discover, Geico, Goodyear, Great Clips, Honda, Upper Deck and Enterprise. The NHL All-Star Game will take place the following day, with Honda as its title sponsor. Additional sponsors include: Discover, Enterprise, Goodyear, Lexus, Navy Federal Credit Union and SAP.

Advertisements that will appear during the two-day event come from American Express, Apple, AT&T, Wendy’s, Boston Beer Company, Capital One, Chipotle, Discover and Expedia, among others. Coinciding with the Skills event, Enterprise will have a standalone billboard and in-telecast feature to promote its “Hat Trick Challenge” initiative. 

The All-Star Game will also have a social media presence for the first time with “The Drop,” a 30-minute live digital NHL pregame show sponsored by Enterprise. The NHL has taken steps to boost its sponsorships in recent years, notably with Chipotle. The tie-up was the QSR chain’s first major professional sports sponsorship.

Disney in a broad sense has worked to strengthen its advertising business through recent data clean room enhancements and an integration with The Trade Desk.


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