The Chicago Bears and the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks agreed this year to enter into a marketing partnership that would include TV commercials showing pro football and hockey players explaining their sports to each other.
But although the commercials featuring Jay Cutler, Lance Briggs, Devin Hester, Robbie Gould and Greg Olsen have already been shot, the NFL says they can never air.
NFL rules say team images and logos can’t be used to promote other sports, and although the Bears thought they were operating within those rules when the commercials were shot, the league thought otherwise and put the kibosh on the ads.
“We felt it was within the framework of the spirit of what the rule was,” Scott Hagel, the Bears’ senior director of corporate communications, told the Chicago Tribune. “They felt differently, and we have to respect their decision.”
Hockey fans aren’t happy about it, and the Blackhawks are disappointed that they won’t get to air the ads — especially since the Blackhawks already paid for the commercials.
But in a reminder that the NFL is still the top dog in American sports, the Blackhawks have accepted the NFL smacking them down.
“We still continue to have a strong bond with their organization, and we’ll explore other opportunities that are within the parameters of the NFL,” Blackhawks spokesman Brandon Faber said. “We’re certainly big fans of theirs.”