Minneapolis, MN – October 3, 2011 – This week, the Phoenix Coyotes will unveil their new advertising campaign, “Hockey the Hard Way.” Rather than shying away from the uncertainty surrounding the franchise, the new campaign leans into it. “It’s part of our story,” said Coyotes COO Mike Nealy, “From playing hockey in the middle of the desert to the uncertainty with team ownership, it defines us.”
Despite a volatile past that includes bankruptcy, rumors of relocation to Canada, and eventually the NHL stepping in to buy the team, the Coyotes’ off-ice challenges have somehow not hindered on-ice performance. “The Coyotes are an amazing story. It’s like that old philosopher said, ‘What doesn’t kill them, makes them stronger’,“ said Fallon’s Chief Communications Officer John King; “the team has really embraced an us-against-the-world mentality where everyone buys in.” Under the steady leadership of Head Coach Dave Tippett, the Coyotes have made the playoffs the last two seasons.
The Hockey the Hard Way campaign was created by Fallon Minneapolis’ newly minted sports division, The Room. “As our team talked to the players and people in the organization, we found a simple truth−that it takes the whole pack to make hockey work in the desert,” added John King, “this isn’t Toronto or even Minnesota, there’s a real against-all-odds spirit to this hockey team.” This “one pack” approach helped the Coyotes finish 6th in the Western Conference last year, with 43 wins and 99 points.
The Hockey the Hard Way campaign launches this weekend with a TV spot titled “We Can’t Hear You.” The commercial begins with negative sound bites about the team that are eventually drowned out by a goal horn and a TV commentator defiantly shouting, “This team just won’t go away!” The campaign will roll out in October with outdoor, digital and print blanketing the Phoenix area, along with TV and Radio spots as part of a significant marketing increase from the Coyotes this year.
“It’s like that old line, ‘No one said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it’ ” added Nealy. “For us as an organization, we know we need to do all the little things to earn it every night.” The Coyotes are taking this to heart this season, using a more grassroots approach to marketing with the goal of bringing more hockey fans into their pack. 2011-12 marketing initiatives in the works range from a Pack Sticks Together program asking season ticket holders to put a Coyotes logo on their cars to a Hockey 101 Web series aimed at raising the Hockey IQ in the Valley of the Sun starring Professor Paul Bissonnette.
Fallon Minneapolis is a division of Fallon Worldwide, a part of Publicis Groupe S.A., based in Paris. Fallon Minneapolis’ clients include: Travelers, Nestlé Purina, Nestlé Beverages, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Cadillac, Cruzan Rum, Charter Communications, NBC Universal, H&R Block, Phoenix Coyotes, General Mills, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Luxury Resort and TheLadders.com. Fallon Worldwide is one of the world’s most critically acclaimed creativity companies, delivering inventive business solutions for some of the world’s leading brands. Additional information can be found at www.fallon.com.