Here is today's lesson in international hockey marketing, courtesy of the KHL and its cheerleaders.
The NHL has both Ice Girls and cheerleaders, but their marketing of these women is usually reserved for calendars and revealing outfits on the ice. The most sensational marketing of ice girls might be the Dallas Stars' annual "Lake Day" featuring girls in bikinis. But the KHL's Metallurg Magnitogorsk went far, far beyond that in a just-released official team video. (NSFW warning for implied nudity and sexual content.)
Again, this was an official team video.
This is the difference between the NHL and the KHL. The NHL is coy in its marketing of ice girls; the KHL not only releases a video of them semi-nude — you can clearly see the girls are covered up under the black bars, however — but doesn't even hide from selling sex.
But what else to expect from a league that partnered with Playboy last season?
Coming up, I sort of broke down the video scene-by-scene for you.
It begins with HOST: "Dear friends, right now we are in the most forbidden part of the Metallurg Arena. And soon we will access its very core where no film photographer has ever set his foot."
"Whereas access to the player locker rooms is open to journalists right after the game end, no member of the "strong" sex [male] has ever set foot in this sacred sanctum.
"This is the locker room of those who makes us happy with their dances during Metallurg home games, those who dance in the stairways between arena sectors. So, this is the changing room of girls from the cheerleading group. So this is also a big question 'Why do men come to home games of our team?' So, let's try to enter. [knocks, girls scream]. Yes, it looks like we will have problems with gaining entry. We're in the intermission between periods and girls are busy with changing clothes."
[Pretty Woman is playing].
HOST: "Girls, I won't look at you and you can even blindfold me. Shall we try? Silence is the sign of consent." [a girl blindfolds the guy].
[Talking to three girls]
HOST: "So, girls, how many costumes do you have?"
"We actually have a lot of costumes and all of them are very colorful and pretty and interesting. And we put on the newest costumes for every period to be the brightest and the most beautiful of the cheerleaders."
HOST: "Is it cold dancing during hockey games?
"It can get cold during the first period. But we have very intense dances, that's why when we warm up, and also from the support of all the fans, we don't get very cold, we get very warm."
HOST: "Do you get recognized on the streets? And if you are then for what?"
"Not long ago there was one situation when a man with a boy came into a store. And I had a very bright makeup on, ponytails, as usual, and the boy came up and said 'Dad, come here, look!' And the man approached and asked me if I just came from a hockey game, and the hockey game had just finished. And I said 'Yes.' And he said 'Nikita [the boy's name], come here and let's take a picture with the girl.' It happens, maybe not very often because we don't have that many people. But it is very nice [when it happens]. Our supporters, our fans, definitely know us. They know our faces. They even bring flowers to our girls. Fans support us, and we're grateful for their support. Because of them we're blooming, growing, dancing."
[switching from three girls to the one in a white T]
HOST: "Do you have a diet to look so good?"
"Yes, of course, we all do try to [look good]. We eat cucumbers, buckwheat, kefir in general. Our coach lets us [eat something] if it deposits in the right places. [the camera zooms in on the girl's boobs]. But as far as me personally, the coach prohibited me from eating cabbage."
[a girl in blue] "We have very intense workouts, there are weight ins every day and for every extra kilogram there are one hundred pushups as a penalty."
HOST: "Well, let's say thank you to our girls for the attention they gave us and let's wish them luck, wish them to stay as beautiful, as happy and as life-loving as they are."
• • •
Metallurg, incidentally, is Sergei Fedorov's KHL team. Lucky guy.
- Metallurg Magnitogorsk