Stan Lee’s NHL superheroes

In partnership with SLG Entertainment, the hockey league introduced an animated superhero for each team, with promising results.

Hockey players are often heroes to their fans, but now the NHL has an animated superhero for each team thanks to the Guardian Project, a partnership with SLG Entertainment (led by comic icon Stan Lee).
Designed to attract young fans, the project was announced at the start of the hockey season, and the Guardians were introduced during the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 30. A business was built around the project, Guardian Media Entertainment, and an interactive social media strategy was devised by RocketXL in Los Angeles.
Leading up to the game, the NHL pitted the superheroes against each other and had fans vote to see which character would be revealed each day. Superheroes included The Flame (above), who shoots napalm blasts from his eyes and has wings made of fire; and The Maple Leaf (below), a walking, talking tree that can grow larger at will.
In January, 72,000 fans registered to vote on Facebook (far exceeding the 10,000 goal), they voted 1.2 million times and bestowed more than 21,000 “likes.” 
“We could’ve run a poll on or, but Facebook was a fun way to allow people to vote in an interactive application and also comment,” says Mark Schultz, senior manager of integrated markets, NHL.
Every time someone shared the link, they multiplied their chances of winning the Guardian Project’s graphic novel.
Now that all the Guardians are revealed, the NHL is pushing people to the main website, where the story continues and fans can learn more about the superheroes. And the next step, Schultz says, is to go bigger: “The hope and the goal…is to have an animated series on a major network in both Canada and the U.S., and those discussions will start shortly.”