The Atlanta Thrashers Cometh

Under the gun to start lining up season ticket subscribers, the Atlanta Thrashers break their first advertising this month aimed at whetting Atlantans’ appetites for National Hockey League action.
The TV, print, outdoor and radio campaign was created by Fletcher Martin Associates in Atlanta.
The creative challenge is that while Atlanta has been awarded a franchise, sports team colors (blue and gold) and a logo, it will not begin play until next year.
“What we needed to do was to drive home the excitement of NHL hockey,” said agency executive vice president and executive creative director Michael Ewing. “We’ve taken the attitude that hockey brings to the table and tried to bring it to life. We wanted to give the Thrashers a bit of an image.”
Lacking any personalities, the agency relied on stock game footage of other NHL teams, showing players flying up and down the ice, crashing into each other and slamming into the boards. Those visuals are interspersed with shots of fanatic fans along with special effects from Atlanta’s Click 3X. The end product does not obscure the fact viewers are seeing non-Thrasher action so much as it tries to generate interest in the intensity of the play.
“The typical hockey fan is attracted by the fact that it’s a contact sport,” said Ewing. “They like the action and excitement.”
Superimposed over the images are messages such as “Patience is a virtue. In the NHL it’s a sin.”
Ads will run in spot buys on cable channels like ESPN and on network sports programs like college football. Outdoor, print and a heavy schedule of radio will complement the TV.
Credits go to creative director Ewing, copywriter Pete Heid, art director Gus Pitsikoulis and assistant art director Gary Spano. Music was by AcousTech and post-production was done at Outback, both Atlanta.