Ad of the Day: NHL Pros Surprise Sled Hockey Players for Gatorade

It's back to school for the stars

For anyone who thinks playing ice hockey strapped into a sled is easier than playing it standing up, Gatorade would like to set the record straight.

Last August, the sports brand (with help from TBWA Toronto) enlisted NHL players like Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers to surprise the Cruisers, a team of sled hockey players, with some fresh—and, a new video shows, relatively amateur—competition.

The concept is something like a cross between Guinness's 2013 "Basketball" ad, which saw able-bodied men strap themselves into wheelchairs for a game of hoops with a disabled friend, and a 2012 Budweiser reality-style spot in which the brand treated recreational ice hockey players to the pro treatment, like stands full of screaming fans.

Scott Hartnell of the Columbus Blue Jackets add some extra credibility—and a little comedy—to the proceedings, when he nearly eats the ice. But mostly it's nice to see the sledge hockey players get a chance to face off and trash talk with some of their icons—and ultimately, get their own moment in the spotlight.

Perspectives from the players:

Perspectives from the sledge athletes:

Highlights of the game itself:


Client: Gatorade

Agency: TBWA Toronto

Executive Creative Director – Allen Oke

Creative Director – Gerald Kugler

Creative Director – Rodger Eyre

Writer – Robbie Percy

Art Director – Caitlin Gauthier

Producer – Lauren Sloan

Account Supervisor – Andrew Harris

Account Director – Patrick Lemoine

Director – Lionel Coleman

Line Producer – Adam McCloy

Production House – Wilfrid Park

Exec Producer – Tuula Hopp

Editor – Ross Birchall @ Saints

Post Producer @ Saints – Stephanie Hickman

Transfer – Tricia Hagoriles @ Alter Ego

Audio/Music – Adam Damelin @ The Eggplant

Producer @ Eggplant – Nicola Treadgold

Online Editor – Sean Cochrane @ The Vanity

Exec Producer @ The Vanity – Stephanie Pennington

Shirley Mukerjea – Director of Marketing – Gatorade

Sean Cauterman – Associate Marketing Manager – Gatorade


Devin Smith – Director, Marketing and Community Relations

Paul Drake


Dave Adams – Account Manager

Theresa Martel – Client Services Director

@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.