Activative Campaign Of The Week - adidas Launches First Campaign AS New NHL Kit Partner With ‘What If Hockey...’ Spot

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As the puck drops on the new National Hockey League (NHL) season, new kit supplier adidas unveils its first official uniforms and ushers in the start of the season with an integrated campaign aiming to celebrate creativity in hockey and called ‘What If Hockey...’

This multi-platform initiative is spearheaded by a 30-second commercial, called ‘adidas Hockey – Here To Create’ and neatly dovetails with the sportswear giant’s global, umbrella ‘create’ concept.

The new hockey spot stars three of the league’s top young players and adidas hockey ambassadors - Connor McDavid (of the Edmonton Oilers), Brent Burns (of the San Jose Sharks) and Tyler Seguin (of the Dallas Stars) – demonstrating their own creative approach to the game by using lacrosse, street hockey and gymnastics as part of their training.

A voiceover says: “What if inspiration could come from where we least expect it. In our path to the top is the road less travelled. What if we dare to be ourselves? And we never stopped creating. Here to Create. adidas.”

The campaign’s hero spot is airing in the USA and Canada both across broadcast and cable television, as well as online.

A reworked 15-second version of the ad is tagged to include Dick’s Sporting Goods and will run in stores and on the retailer’s own digital and social channels.

The core commercial is being supported with additional creative across web and social platforms, as well as by in-arena work throughout the league.

“Some athletes evoke emotions, some tap into imagination, some challenge the status quo, and with each opportunity to create. These athletes are changing the game,” says the adidas PR pack attached to the new campaign launch.

“adidas is the brand for creators and with my unique style on and off the ice,” said Sharks’ Burns (who only recently signed with the brand and is slate to play a lead role in the brand’s marketing apparel and accessories activation through the season.

“I felt that partnering with the brand was a natural fit. adidas has a ton of momentum and I just knew that I had to be a part of this energy and a member of the adidas family,” added Burns.


This is a campaign three years in the making.

After all, it was as long ago as September 2015 when adidas penned a seven-year deal with the NHL which saw it take over from Reebok and sign on as ‘the official provider of on-ice uniforms’ and ‘supplier of licensed apparel and headwear’. But the partnership only begins with the new 2017-18 season.


As far as the new jerseys and apparel are concerned, adidas solicited feedback from players through the design phase.
 "Our company takes pride in building products to make athletes perform better," said head of adidas hockey Dan Near.

“We were really pleased to hear a general level of excitement about this change that we respected the traditions of hockey. But we brought some new aesthetic and excitement to the sport that's hopefully going to be reflective of the impact adidas is going to have on the game in the seven-year partnership.”


adidas Hockey



This story originally appeared on Activative Source: the intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in sponsorship activation, rights holder marketing and sportsbiz campaigns from around the world. Activative Source helps anyone in the world of partnership marketing understand why and how the landscape is evolving (and with what success).