CCM goes ‘all out’ for new global brand platform

The hockey brand aims to drive differentiation and find the emotional relevance of making high performance gear.

 

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Hockey brand CCM has committed to more brand-building and changing the way it approaches marketing in a global platform aimed at connecting with athletes who want to reach the next level of performance.

Caroline Losson, who joined CCM as CMO just over a year ago, says the company’s marketing has mostly supported new product launches, as well as some ongoing social content (though much of it came in the form of reposts from hockey leagues and players). CCM will continue to market new products, but the new platform is about addressing the need to communicate what the brand actually stands for.

Based on research with players of all ages, parents, retailers and other stakeholders, Losson says one key mindset about their approach to hockey came through “loud and clear,” and it’s one that is applicable to CCM as well: the road to “the next level” never ends.

“We were looking for brand truth,” she says. “We do more testing, more collaborations and more research – we have this long history of doing more. What we want to convey to the players is that we live by the same code as they do. They’ve got their skin in the game, we’ve got ours. For both of us, it’s hard work, but it doesn’t feel like work because it’s done with passion and love.”

That’s why it’s launching “All Out,” a new global platform that’s led by a pair of 60-second anthem spots.

The first, “All For This,” is a high-performance spot that shows the work players at all different competitive levels (from youth to pros) put in on- and off-the-ice to be their best. The second, “All For You,” looks behind the scenes at the work CCM puts into design, testing and player partnerships to make its products the best they can be.

The two videos also feature two different soundtracks and moments that sync up with each other, meaning someone can get the “full experience” by watching both videos simultaneously. That happens on a new landing page on CCM’s website, where users have to hold down their cursor in order to play both videos and measure their commitment.

While CCM has a 120-year legacy and is among the most popular brands for NHL players, Losson says the campaign is looking to drive differentiation in the hockey equipment category more broadly. CCM is operating in a category where it competes with the likes of Bauer, Reebok, Easton and Warrior, and while there was good brand and product recognition among players, Losson says they could not speak to differentiating factors or a brand promise. The goal of the platform is to layer that emotional connection on top of the performance its gear provides.

“Every company that makes good equipment is going to talk about performance,” Losson says. “The newness is going back to the roots. We feel ownership of the hockey culture and a responsibility to move this forward in a proposition that is inclusive as well, which is a part of the CCM promise and values. We want to be the preferred brand that will be able to grow this amazing game.”

Losson adds that, on top of increasing marketing spend to support the global launch, the company is also rethinking other aspects of its marketing approach, including player partnerships.

“A lot of sports brands say, here’s the script, you show up for four hours, we produce the video and you support the product, and off we go,” she says. “We’re going to ask the players how they want to participate. We both stand for something, so how do we collaborate beyond showing off the product? How do we bring the love of the game forward and make it more inclusive for anybody who wants to play? It’s more engaging to work for a brand that has a vision versus just showing up for a shoot.”

ccmalloutdisplayThe global campaign launched earlier this month in Sweden, followed by a Canadian launch at the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament last week, one of the largest minor hockey tournaments in the world. Losson says launching the platform in late winter will help the brand “prime the pump” with its new approach and messaging, before releasing more creative in support of new launches during the spring and summer, when most equipment purchases tend to happen.

The platform is fully integrated and also includes out-of-home, experiential, social and a branded video series called “CCM Stories.” CCM worked with Lg2 Montreal on creative and Vermont-based agency Solidarity of Unbridled Labour on strategy for the campaign, with Carat handling media.