Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
Dec. 2, 2013: In an effort to take advantage of a burgeoning category largely untapped by the league, the NHL has signed a three-year deal with L’Oréal Paris Men Expert to reach fans via male grooming products.
The Canada-based grooming and lifestyle brand said this marks its first sports sponsorship. Financial details were not released.
A multi-platform campaign will be anchored by NHL Life presented by L’Oréal Paris Men Expert and "NHL Weekly Pick ‘Em powered by L’Oréal Paris Men Expert."
NHL Life "is an NHL.com exclusive online video series that offers fans a behind the scenes glimpse into the lives of various on-ice and front-office NHL personalities." The series debuted Nov. 28. (Details here.)
"NHL Weekly Pick ‘Em" is a weekly contest for fans to "up their game by choosing all outcomes of Saturday NHL match-ups." The activation, which begins this weekend, also gives visitors the opportunity to win such weekly prizes as Shop.Canada.NHL.com gift cards and L’Oréal Paris Men Expert products. Top performers during the course of the season will be eligible for the opportunity to win a grand prize trip for two to the 2014 NHL Awards.
“The entire program promises to create content not only applied to Men Expert products but to bridge the brand’s identity to the NHL lifestyle,” Hugo Thibault, communications director for L’Oréal Paris, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to develop an intrinsic link between Canada’s most beloved sport and our brand.”
"Men’s grooming tools are among the largest dollar growth drivers in the overall personal care industry and product categories like men’s facial skin care continue to grow at a fast pace," according to a study from research and marketing firm NPD Group, based in New York.
“The entire program promises to create content not only applied to Men Expert products but to bridge the brand’s identity to the NHL lifestyle."
NPD Group's "Men’s Grooming Consumer Report" showed that more than nine in ten men use some type of grooming product. Facial cleansers (excluding bar soap), facial lotions/moisturizers and lip products "are the most commonly used products among male facial skin care users."
In terms of dollars, consumer research firm Packaged Facts, Rockville, Md., estimates that the worldwide male-specific grooming market will hit $28 billion by next year, up from about $19 billion in 2009.
According to Laurel Walzak, director of integrated sales for the NHL, “We’re excited to partner with L’Oréal Paris to bring our fans exclusive lifestyle content. Whether they are on the ice, behind the bench, or in the front office, our NHL personalities embody style and character, confidence, and flare. A collaboration between the Men Expert brand and the NHL brand to reach hockey fans is a natural fit.”