During the "Burger Wars" of the 1980s, Wendy's International poked fun at its competitors with advertising likening other chains' frozen hamburger patties to hockey pucks.
Wendy's still does not freeze its burgers, but it has warmed to the popularity of hockey. The Dublin, Ohio-based chain has signed its first national sports sponsorship and, beginning with the 1997-1998 season, will be the "Official Hamburger of the National Hockey League."
Wendy's gets four TV spots during each NHL game on Fox Television. Bates USA, New York, is its agency.
"Hockey, like Wendy's, is a hot property on the leading edge of growth," said Charles Rath, Wendy's executive vice president of marketing.
Wendy's also scored points with its hockey-happy home town, since Columbus, Ohio, last week was celebrating being awarded an NHL team franchise, beginning with the 2000-2001 season.