Ever wonder what’s it like to be Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks streaking in on a breakaway? Or New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist blocking a 100 mph shot? The NHL has struck a content-sharing deal with GoPro cameras to offer TV viewers exactly that kind of player point of view this season.
The NHL will use GoPro’s POV footage in promo campaigns for the new season starting Oct. 8. The league’s two national TV partners—NBC Sports in the U.S. and Rogers in Canada—will also weave clips into game telecasts to illustrate the shooting, stickhandling and skating skills of NHL stars, said Bob Chesterman, NHL’s svp of programming.
During the recent NHL/NHLPA Player Media Tour, GoPro techs outfitted nearly a dozen top stars with mini-cameras on their helmets, masks and jerseys at Newark’s Prudential Center.
If a player filmed by GoPro scores this season, NBC or Rogers can illustrate what they saw on the play by cutting to taped footage from the commercial shoot, said Brian Jennings, NHL’s CMO. The league will also feature the POV content on NHL Network and NHL.com, while GoPro will use it on its YouTube channel.
The GoPro mini-cameras capture images that were “unimaginable” before, said Jennings. “The [technology] demystifies our game—and truly shows what skill our players have,” he said.
GoPro cut its teeth on action sports such as surfing. But it’s expanding with pro sports leagues such as the NHL and NFL, said Wil Tidman, GoPro’s head of production.
Lundqvist, who led the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals, can’t wait to see the footage himself. “It can definitely help the game become even more interesting for the viewer, no question.”