NHL really is super
Pow! Wap! Goal! Here is an example of marketing gone bananas as the National Hockey League in the US is teaming up with Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men and other iconic comic book heroes to create a new series of superheroes representing each of the 30 league cities and incorporating hockey elements as a way to market the sport.
Under the deal, the NHL and SLG Entertainment, led by Lee's Pow! Entertainment, will form Guardian Media Entertainment LLC (GME) to create 30 "Guardian" superheroes. Starting in January, the new heroes will be used on the internet and mobile phones, in novels, comic books and gaming, as well as in arenas and in broadcast, merchandise, promotional and sponsorship materials.
"It really is important for us, for the cultivation of the next generation of fans," said Brian Jennings, NHL executive vice president for marketing.
No word on whether NHL superstars Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals or Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins are being fitted for black spandex.
The idea is apparently to appeal to boys aged nine to 14, as superheroes are where it's at right now. Although, some of the off-field behaviour of certain sporting 'heroes', on both sides of the Atlantic, isn't so heroic -- unless you consider them anti-heroes.