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Victory could be marketing boon

‘Because of the . . . intensity of the victory, it’s a great marketing story,’ said Andrew Benett of Arnold Worldwide. ‘Because of the . . . intensity of the victory, it’s a great marketing story,’ said Andrew Benett of Arnold Worldwide.
By Allison Knothe
Globe Correspondent / June 17, 2011

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Everyone wants a piece of the Cup, in one way or another.

Dunkin’ Donuts wants to add Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, the National Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player of the post season, to its roster of sports pitchmen, which already includes teammate Tyler Seguin. Thomas, known for his hardnosed play and determined climb to the NHL, appears perfect to promote a brew aimed at the average Joe.

He already drinks a cup of Dunkin’ between periods.

After 39 years without a championship, the Boston Bruins and its players are likely to score marketing gold after winning the Stanley Cup, advertising executives said. The Bruins —with their grind-it-out style — started as underdogs against the flashier Vancouver Canucks. But the B’s won in a dramatic seven-game series culminating in a 4-0 win in Vancouver Wednesday night.

Not even 24 hours after the game, Thomas’s agent, Bill Zito, said he’d had five calls from prospective sponsors. Zdeno Chara’s agent Matt Keator said the team captain had also received multiple calls.

“Because of the way they won it and the intensity of the victory, it’s a great marketing story and a great story for a brand to attach itself to,’’ said Andrew Benett, global chief executive officer of Arnold Worldwide, a Boston advertising agency.

The players have the potential to earn thousands of dollars for endorsing any number of consumer products, marketing executives said. Endorsement deals can run from $5,000 for a local radio spot to $1 million for national television ad.

“Boston has been living off that ’72 Stanley Cup win for a long time,’’ said Mike Sheehan, chief executive officer at Boston advertising firm Hill Holliday. “The phones will ring. [The players] are all going to do very well.’’

Hockey players, however, might not do as well as athletes from other major professional sports. Hockey is the least television-friendly because the cameras tend to be farther away from the action, Sheehan said. And unlike in football, players generally don’t take off their helmets once they are on the sidelines, so it’s hard for theirs to become familiar faces.

In addition, the NHL tends to attract regional audiences, rather than a national one.

For Dunkin’ Donuts, however, appealing to New England audiences is part of their strategy.

“Pre- and post-game coverage really increases the awareness of the player within the Boston market,’’ said Manchester, the Dunkin’ Donuts vice president.

Dunkin’ Donuts has a long relationship with the Bruins. Seguin, a center, has a contract with Dunkin’ to promote its iced coffee. Left wing Sean Thornton joined Seguin at TD Garden during a Dunkin’ Donuts sponsored charity event last December.

Other Bruins’ sponsors, such as Gillette Co., would not comment on the next step in their marketing campaign with the Bruins.

One thing is certain, however, marketing specialists said: Bruins players will have more sponsors to choose from.

“They’re a rugged, hard hitting, dirty, ‘get in and fight for it’ team,’’ said John Fisher, a lecturer in marketing at Babson College in Wellesley. “The American Fine China Guild may have a problem having the Bruins endorse them, but their success has opened them up to a much wider range of promoters than before.’’

Alli Knothe can be reached at AKnothe@Globe.com

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