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NHL and McDonald's Renew Partnership

The NHL and McDonald’s announced they are continuing their relationship through the 2010-2011 season. In 2008, the the fast food chain became the league’s official quick service restaurant in the United States. It had already held that position in Canada.

As part of the deal, McDonald’s will be the title sponsor for Hockey Day In America, the six-hour broadcast on NBC, and sponsor the 2011 NHL All-Star Game.

“The quick service restaurant category is an important one to reach a broad audience, and as McDonald’s major sports League partner, the possibilities of what we are able to achieve together are limitless,” Keith Wachtel, NHL senior vice president of integrated sales, said in a release. “It’s a marriage between two great brands that will provide unique activations as well as community support.”

The full release is after the jump.EW YORK (JANUARY 19, 2011) ─ The National Hockey League® (NHL) today announced that McDonald’s USA has renewed as League partner in the United States. As part of this agreement, McDonald’s has secured the position of title sponsor for Hockey Day In America – a six-hour celebration of the sport of hockey on NBC, and will serve as sponsor of the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, NC amongst other unique brand extensions.

McDonald’s Re-Ups with the NHL
As the relationship between the NHL® and the world’s leading food service provider is extended, McDonald’s USA will continue to create meaningful integrations at the League’s major events through the conclusion of the 2010-11 NHL season. As part of the agreement, McDonald’s USA will support NHL media (NHL Networkâ„¢ and NHL.com) and League rights-holders (NBC and VERSUS). A charitable component will also be included. The NHL’s monetary and in-kind contributions in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), McDonald’s “Charity of Choice,” and the Ronald McDonald House® Program will help improve the health and well being of children and their families.

“The quick service restaurant category is an important one to reach a broad audience, and as McDonald’s major sports League partner, the possibilities of what we are able to achieve together are limitless,” said Keith Wachtel, NHL Senior Vice President of Integrated Sales. “It’s a marriage between two great brands that will provide unique activations as well as community support.”

“The National Hockey League is a strong and relevant partner and offers our brand unique ways to connect with our customers,” said John Lewicki, Director of Sports Marketing, McDonald’s Corporation. “At McDonald’s, we strive to bring our customers some of the best sports properties around, and through this continued relationship, we’re excited to bring fun, new extensions to hockey fans.”

As part of its activation at the 2011 NHL® All-Star Game in Raleigh, McDonald’s will sponsor the “Kid Zone” at NHL Fan Fairâ„¢ and bring back its popular “In the Lineup” program where 12 lucky youth hockey players get the opportunity to meet and stand along side the NHL All-Stars on the ice before the game begins. McDonald’s also will be the presenting sponsor of the Accuracy Shooting contest at this year’s Honda NHL SuperSkills® Competition.

Hockey Day In America Presented By McDonald’s
The NHL and NBC Sports will celebrate America’s passion for hockey with the inaugural Hockey Day in America presented by McDonald’s on Sunday, February 20.

With six hours of coverage (Noon-6 p.m. ET) – which will include four NHL games – hosted from Millennium Park’s outdoor ice rink in Chicago, NBC Sports will tell the stories that demonstrate this country’s affinity for hockey – from hockey parents who chauffeur pee wees to practice before sunrise to the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships in Minnesota, played by amateurs amidst arctic temperatures, to ‘celebrity’ hockey played by actors and producers in Los Angeles to inner-city hockey in Washington, D.C. that has made a difference in the lives of countless children and young adults.

NBC Sports will broadcast four NHL games featuring eight teams from some of the most avid U.S. hockey markets. The first three games will be broadcast regionally with staggered starts. All viewers will begin the day with the same game before some viewers are taken to their regional game. The staggered starts allow for live look-ins of the other regionalized games during intermissions. The fourth game, Pittsburgh at Chicago, will be broadcast nationally. All games will be streamed live on NBCSports.com.

“Hockey Day in America” is part of “Hockey Weekend Across America.” Launched by USA Hockey in 2008, “Hockey Weekend Across America” is a nationwide initiative to celebrate the game and those involved at all levels and to expose hockey to new audiences.

Previously this NHL season, McDonald’s activated around the 2010 NHL Compuware Premiere games in Helsinki, Prague and Stockholm, and the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.

About McDonald’s
McDonald’s USA, LLC is the leading foodservice provider in the United States serving a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to millions of customers every day. More than 80 percent of McDonald’s 13,700 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local franchisees. For more information about McDonald’s visit www.mcdonalds.com

About Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Through its global network of local Chapters in 52 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children’s programs worldwide, RMHC provides stability and resources to families so they can get and keep their children healthy and happy. All RMHC-supported programs provide a bridge to quality health care and give children and families the time they need together to heal faster and cope better. For more information, visit www.rmhc.org, follow us on Twitter (@RMHC), or like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/RMHC Global).

About the NHL
The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other sport. The NHL entertains more than 250 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, NASN, ASN and NHL Networkâ„¢) and radio (NHL Radioâ„¢, Sirius XM Radio and XM Canada). Through the NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancerâ„¢ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to NHL.com.

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