Highdive scores with NHL campaign


According to the NHL, the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs proved historic for ESPN and Turner Sports, with ratings for TNT and TBS the highest since the advent of cable television.

Games covered on ESPN, ESPN2, TNT and TBS averaged 768,000 viewers, an increase of 58 percent from last season on NBCSN, CNBC and USA Network. 

In fact, opening night on ESPN delivered the most-viewed Game 1 of a first-round series since 2002 with the Bruins and Hurricanes matchup.

As fans continue to crave more hockey, the NHL and our friends at Highdive are giving them what they want.

On the heels of the broadcast partnership between the NHL, Turner Sports and Disney/ESPN, the NHL and Highdive debuted their first campaign together in November 2021 at the Thanksgiving Showdown, titled “Nothing Regular.”

The “Nothing Regular” campaign resulted in a 61% increase in ad awareness since seasons prior.

Now, the NHL and Highdive are back again with the launch of “The Handoff”, the third leg of a series of postseason campaigns that aim to rally fans around the Stanley Cup Final. Separate, but related, all three campaigns shine a dramatic light on the most coveted and unique trophy in all of sports — the Stanley Cup — and a league postseason like no other. 

And it’s our Reel Ad of the Week.

“The Handoff,” which will launch on May 31 and is live through the Stanley Cup Final is a bone-chilling flashback compilation of the NHL’s greatest and most memorable team captains proudly holding up the Stanley Cup as they pass it off to today’s captains. Watch below:

This great piece of creative is preceded by two other post-season campaigns, “If There Was No Cup” and “Who Wants It” which show an evolutionary story. What if there was no Cup, to who wants The Cup the most, and the handoff to the 2022 Stanley Cup winners.

ALSO READ: Native Content’s Stewart Hendler directs Highdive’s latest Jeep spot

“Unlike other trophies, there is only one Stanley Cup. For 130 years, it has been passed down from one year’s champion to the next – a tradition binding hockey’s past, present and future. So while each player earns his time with it and even gets his name engraved on it, the Cup is not his to keep – it belongs to the game. It’s one of many special things about the greatest trophy in sports,” says Casey Hall, NHL Senior Vice President of Marketing & Consumer Insights

All three postseason campaigns are created to tell the story around the most coveted trophy in sports history — the Stanley Cup, hockey’s most cherished prize— and drive fan viewership and have been a success so far.

“The entire Highdive team is extremely proud of the work we’ve produced with our partners at the NHL over the past year. And now with our Stanley Cup Playoffs work — from “If There Was No Cup” to “The Handoff” — we highlight the uniqueness of the Stanley Cup, what it means to the players and fans, and why we believe it’s the best trophy in all of sports. There really is nothing like it,” shares Brian Culp, Creative Director at Highdive.

The spots have aired during the playoffs, beginning on April 16 and running through the Stanley Cup Final, in the U.S. and Canada, as well as bumper programming before or after games on cable and broadcast networks. The Spots will also air across social media channels.


BRAND: National Hockey League

  • Brian Jennings – Exec VP, Marketing
  • Casey Hall – SVP, Marketing & Consumer Insights
  • Josh Dubin –  Sr. Director, Marketing
  • Glenn Hyams – Manager, Marketing
  • Allison Hellman – Sr. Manager, Consumer Research & Insights

AGENCY: Highdive 

  • Chad Broude, Co-founder/ CCO
  • Mark Gross, Co-founder/ CCO
  • Megan Lally, Managing Partner, Operations, Account and Strategy
  • Jen Passaniti, Head of Production, Executive Producer
  • Alan Snitow, Lead Strategist
  • Kristin Woodke, Group Account Director
  • Jamie Lazaroff, Sr. Account Executive
  • Brian Culp, Creative Director
  • Katie Bero, Creative Director
  • Pat Seidel, Creative Director
  • Chris Rose, Creative Director 
  • Will St. Clair, Executive Producer
  • Johannah Scarlet, Producer
  • Kamerin McAllister, Producer
  • Kelley Beaman, Director of Business Affairs

DESIGN STUDIO: Feed Me Light x Elastic

  • Executive Creative Director: Denis Bodart
  • Creative Director: Mark Mullan
  • CG Lead: David Calvet
  • CG Generalists: Pierre Clenet, Amelia Tzemis, Ricardo David, and Florent Rousseau
  • Compositor: John Wilkinson
  • Editor: Mark Mullan
  • Online Editor: John Valle
  • Creative Producers: David Botchey and Dai Davison
  • Producer: Kevin Daly
  • Executive Producers: Ryan Goodwin-Smith and Ben Leyland 
  • Executive Producer: Luke Colson
  • Executive Producer / Head of Production: Kate Berry
  • Managing Director: Jennifer Sofio Hall


  • Zac Fisher -Audio Mixer
  • Michael Baran -Audio Assistant 
  • Susie Boyajan -Executive Producer 

MUSIC: Comma Music

  • Bonny Dolan, Executive Producer
  • Lily Shallow, Producer
  • Pete Schmidt, Creative Director / Arranger

Who Wants It?

EDIT: Cutters

  • Billy Montross, Editor
  • Christian Leontios, Assistant Editor
  • Heather Richardson, EP
  • Patrick Casey, Head of Production

MIX: Another Country

  • Jordan Stalling, Sound Design + Mix
  • Erik Widmark, Sound Design + Mix

POST: Flavor

  • Brian Higgins, Color
  • Chris Elliott, Color, Finish and VFX
  • Colby Capes, Graphics

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Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at colin@reel360.com or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1