NHL, ‘N.Y. Post’ Tap Y&R

NEW YORK The NHL and the New York Post have hired the New York office of Young & Rubicam to handle creative assignments on their respective brands, the agency said today. For the NHL, the WPP shop, with its Toronto office, is producing a campaign that will include TV spots, print, digital marketing and cinema ads.

The bulk of the work will break around the start of the league’s season on Oct. 3.

Y&R’s Post assignment is tied to a new Page Six Sunday magazine, which will launch in this Sunday’s edition of the paper. That effort, which broke this week, includes TV spots as well as radio, print, outdoor and Web banner ads.

The Post task is a project, while the NHL has hired Y&R to serve as lead agency, said Y&R New York managing partner Shelley Diamond. Each assignment came without a review.

Y&R first connected with the Post via the agency’s relationship with the newspaper’s parent company News Corp. in Australia and London. The NHL assignment came after the shop’s Brand Asset Valuator unit conducted a stategy audit, according to Diamond. Diamond described the NHL and Post as “contemporary, fun, cool brands” that will energize the office and provide diverse creative opportunities.

Y&R did not disclose billings on the accounts. Last year, the NHL, which previously used outside agencies on a project basis, spent nearly $3 million in major measured media, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Post spending in 2006 approached $4 million, per Nielsen.

The NHL campaign will seek to leverage the passion that hockey fans have for their local teams and elevate the brand’s image in Canada, said John Collins, the league’s svp, business and media.

Collins, who joined the NHL in November 2006, previously worked with Y&R here when he was an svp, sales and marketing at the NFL.