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During the last NHL lockout, Nike approached us to help them own the conversation around hockey, at a time when attitude, sentiment and emotion for the game was at it’s lowest. We turned a seemingly impossible task, into the most successful campaign ever launched by Nike Canada.

Working alongside Nike’s global agency, Wieden+Kennedy, we redeveloped a plan originally focused on mass media channels and gave it authenticity through a long-term social media movement. Rooted in the truth that hockey is more than professionals and leagues – we put it in the hands of all players. Lockout or not, we looked to celebrate every pond, street and arena, while knowing hockey is always Canada’s game. Hockey Is Ours became a players’ rally and a nation’s roar.

With the highly anticipated World Junior Hockey Championship approaching we launched the Hockey Is Ours manifesto. As the voice of the players, we released it where young players could own it as theirs; in arena locker rooms and across social media. The initial groundswell was then amplified by launching an anthemic spot.

The creative platform took on a new meaning as we cheered on Team Canada, rallying the nation around real-time content before and after Canada’s tournament games.

With the tournament in Europe, games were broadcast early in the morning for Canadians. We wanted to ensure no Canadian missed the chance to watch hockey for the first time in nearly six months. Using a Facebook application they could sign-up to receive wake-up calls from Nike athletes P.K. Subban, Alex Ovechkin, Jordan Eberle and Steven Stamkos. Awareness was generated through online video and media, with over 3,000 sign-ups.

With over 12,000 uses of #HockeyIsOurs on Twitter, active community management fueled further conversation. The best consumer generated content was collected, treated in the campaign style and then republished to the Nike Hockey social communities.

During the month-long campaign we amassed over 1 million total YouTube video views, over 28 million social media impressions and nearly 17 million earned media impressions as blogs and sites picked up the discussion. The television spot later won a 2013 Webby Award for best copy writing.

True campaign success can further be measured in how it lived on. A few weeks after the final Team Canada game, the NHL announced that the lockout had ended. In real-time, we celebrated the return of professional hockey, becoming Nike Hockey’s most engaged piece of social media content.

In addition, we developed rink boards for NHL arenas and at the Women’s World Hockey Championship. The messaged extended and became a talking point for rival teams, countries and cities.

As the conversation continued through the shortened NHL season, we took the opportunity to refresh the creative look and position the message as a rally for every Canadian Team and key Nike athlete chasing the Stanley Cup.

Today, the campaign continues to live on on with more than 1,600 Instagram posts tagged using #hockeyisours.

What We Did:
  • content
  • creative
  • strategy