Sunday, 13 December 2015

NWHL secures first corporate sponsorship with Dunkin Donuts

As momentum continues to build for the NWHL, the announcement of its first corporate sponsor sends a strong message that the future continues to be a bright one. Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin Donuts gains such a unique distinction, adding to its proud support of sport in New England, which has also seen its logo at Boston Red Sox home games and press conferences.

With Dunkin Donuts becoming the official iced, hot and frozen coffee of the NWHL, there is no question that many of its players must feel an emotional connection to the brand. For many members of Boston Pride and players in other markets that were raised in Massachusetts, their parents likely sipped Dunkin Donuts coffee while sitting in the stands at their junior hockey games.

In a press conference held at the TD Garden, home to the NHL’s Boston Bruins and NBA’s Boston Celtics, league commissioner and founder Dani Rylan flashed a proud smile, while garbed in a Connecticut Whale jersey. Joining her were a jubilant Brianna Decker and Gigi Marvin from the Boston Pride, who would later take to the Garden Ice for a youth clinic with three Boston-area teams.

Also on hand was one of the most famous women’s hockey players from Massachusetts. Having served as Team USA’s captain at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Danvers-raised Meghan Duggan was donned in her Buffalo Beauts jersey. Coincidentally, she was holding a cup of coffee at the press conference, having signed a personal services contract with Dunkin Donuts.

One of the most unique aspects of the press conference was the fact that all jerseys now have Dunkin Donuts patches on them, signifying the importance of their sponsorship. Tom Manchester, the VP of Field Marketing was photographed in a New York Riveters jersey, ensuring that all four of the league’s jerseys were featured at the press conference.

Considering that Rylan also serves as the general manager for the Riveters, it may have come to a surprise as some fans to see her wearing the Whale jersey. Perhaps Manchester should have donned the Whale jersey instead, although there is no question that the Whale colors complement Rylan.  

The presence of such a leading national brand as Dunkin Donuts is an important one for the league, representing more than just a key milestone. Quite possibly, Dunkin can also serve as a vehicle for merchandising and/or promotion. Taking into account that Tim Horton’s issued NHL hockey cards in 2015, it would be a remarkable feat if Dunkin could distribute NWHL women’s hockey cards, helping contribute to a strong connection for NWHL fans.

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