Discover Financial Services Become ‘Official Partner’ of NHL in US

November 2, 2011

Discover Financial Services and the National Hockey League (NHL) today announced the renewal of a multi-year sponsorship agreement naming Discover as an Official Partner of the NHL in the U.S.

As part of this agreement, Discover will become title sponsor of the inaugural NHL on NBC broadcast 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)(1:NBC), Discover and the NHL also will introduce a co-branded float titled “Frozen Fall Fun,” which 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 decor.

David Lehanski,NHL  group vice president of integrated sales, said: “Having a new ownership platform on a day that is synonymous with shopping was a natural fit to renew our partnership with Discover, but we wanted to make it even bigger. The idea of incorporating a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade gives us a unique way to not only promote this partnership, but also the 2011 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown in front of an audience that traditionally reaches nearly 50 million viewers.”

Jennifer Murillo, vice president of brand communications for Discover, added: “We’re proud to work with our partners at the NHL to participate in some of America’s favorite holiday traditions, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and watching a great hockey match-up on NBC.”

Throughout the NHL season, Discover will offer opportunities for cardmembers to redeem their Cashback Bonus rewards for tickets to the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Philadelphia. Discover cardmembers also receive discounts to and the NHL Powered by Reebok store in New York City, NHL GameCenter Live subscriptions, and more.

Discover will remain the Official Card of the NHL, NHL All-Star Weekend, NHL Winter Classic, NHL Awards and the NHL Draft.

As a tie-in to its NHL sponsorship, Discover also launched two new national television ads yesterday featuring the popular Peggy character along with Blackhawks center Patrick Kane  and Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.

Both 30-second spots showcase each player’s frustration as they face some of the challenges consumers face when calling their card’s customer service departments. The television ads highlight Discover’s award-winning customer service while positioning Peggy, a likable, but incapable customer service representative of the fictitious U.S.A. Prime Credit Company, as a person who frustrates callers with long hold times, excessive transfers and the inability to solve problems. The new ads are a follow-up to the “Peggy” ad Discover launched earlier this year that featured curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame and Stanley Cup handler Phil Pritchard.