One new aspects of the NHL's 10-year television deal with NBC was the addition of a national game on the day after U.S. Thanksgiving. While many were using "Black Friday" to get a jump on their holiday shopping, U.S. hockey fans will get their fix with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks nationally, along with a slate of games the rest of the afternoon into the night.
With this first for the NHL and NBC brings the opportunity for sponsorship; and just days after Tim Hortons was named the title sponsor of the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa, the League has secured Discover (home of Peggy) as the title sponsor for what they're calling the "2011 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown".
But the fun doesn't stop there. Along with Snoopy, Shrek, Kermit the Frog and others, the NHL will be getting in the act with a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
From the NHL:
As part of this agreement, Discover becomes title sponsor of the inaugural NHL on NBCbroadcast on Thanksgiving Friday, now titled the 2011 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown™. This broadcast launches NBC's coverage of the NHL for the season, making it the earliest NHL regular season broadcast on national U.S. television in more than 20 years. In promotion for this game, featuring the Boston Bruins hosting the Detroit Red Wings (1:00 pm ET, NBC), Discover and the NHL also will introduce a co-branded float titled "Frozen Fall Fun" that will make its first-ever appearance in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®.
The float, featuring a live performance of Grammy®-Award winning artist Cee-Lo Green, is 36 feet long by 20 feet wide and is designed to reflect a fall hockey theme. Also created to showcase the Discover and NHL partnership, the float will feature NHL stars from the past, a synthetic ice rink, a 12 foot tall turkey that serves as a hockey goal, plus an assortment of colorful fall décor.
If you're reading "12 foot tall turkey that serves as a hockey goal" and Roberto Luongo pops in your head, someone has already beat you to that joke.
This is what the NHL has in mind for their concept:
And as has happened in the past, a Twitter hashtag of #NHLParadeFloats has already been created. You can follow along with the fun here; and please, suggest your own in the comments. The NHL can use the help. (BTW: a little NSFW warning on the language here, as we're not editing the entries.)