When the NHL returned to ESPN after 17 years, hockey fans rejoiced. They’re not the only ones happy to see the league back for its second season on the Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN and ABC channels.
Corporate sponsors are welcoming the return of NHL All-Star Weekend to ABC and ESPN with their advertising dollars.
Disney has sold out commercial inventory for the upcoming 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend from Feb. 3-4 in South Florida.
Coverage will include: the Skills Competition on Friday, Feb. 3 (7 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+); and the All-Star Game on Saturday, Feb. 4 (3 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN.)
Disney declined to specify ad revenue. But the entertainment giant said booked cash had risen 115% since last year.
According to research company EDO, Disney rang up $2.5 million in ad revenue for last year’s NHL All-Star Weekend. So the Mouse House could be looking at an estimated ad haul of $5.4 million for this year’s NHL All-Star Weekend.
“It’s a nice marriage of a great sport with a tremendous brand and great distribution. Advertisers have been excited about being with us,” said Sean Hanrahan, senior vice president of sports brand solutions for Disney Advertising, told Front Office Sports in an interview.
“We’re sold out for the All-Star Game and the Skills Competition. We have 12 unique sponsors with various positions throughout both events. We feel great about having the NHL.”
Details on Disney’s NHL All-Star Weekend ad sales:
- Disney has scored 12 unique sponsors and 34 unique advertisers for its coverage. They come from various business categories, including automotive, entertainment, financial services, and fast food.
- Skills sponsors include title sponsor Honda, Upper Deck, Geico, Discover, Enterprise, Great Clips, and Chipotle.
- All-Star Game sponsors include title sponsor Honda, Lexus, Goodyear, Enterprise, Discover, and Navy Federal Credit Union.
- Some advertisers are buying time in both events, including: Apple, American Express, Mercedes-Benz, Taco Bell, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, Walmart, and Wendy’s.
- Lexus will sponsor the first intermission report during the All-Star game; Discover will sponsor the second intermission.
- On the digital front, Enterprise will sponsor “The Drop,” a live digital pregame show streaming on the ESPN app and ESPN’s YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook platforms.
John Buccigross will call Friday’s Skills event on ESPN, with analyst Brian Boucher and reporters AJ Mleczko and Emily Kaplan.
On Saturday, Sean McDonough will call the All-Star Game on ABC, with analyst Ray Ferraro and Kaplan reporting from rinkside.
Anchor Steve Levy will host studio coverage of All-Star Weekend with NHL legends Chris Chelios and Mark Messier as analysts.