NFL nixes Bears-Blackhawks partnership

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.”

35 responses to “NFL nixes Bears-Blackhawks partnership

  1. I call bulls%$t. I wanna see the commercials. I’m sure they’ll be on YouTube. This is one of the stupid rules of how the NFL is still stuck in old school mode. Time for the NFL to move into the 21st century. Time for some black owners too!

  2. What about those Steel City Champions shirts that had the Steelers & Penguins on them.. they sold those on NHL & NFL Official websites and they were cross promoting two different sports.. and the Eagles & Phillies did it to for a shirt for Breast Cancer Awareness in Philly

  3. The commercial featured someone explaining to Cutler about throwing the ball to guys in different color jerseys than his own?

  4. Akshun – I’m sure the issue is the NFL isn’t getting ENOUGH money for their troubles.
    Because hey, an 8 billion dollar industry that is non-profit and therefore pays no taxes needs a few hundred more bucks.

  5. no sense to this move by the NFL …. there isn’t any advertisement, shirt or hype that will make me watch more or less NFL than I do …
    the only thing that would have me watching more often, would be removal of the rules governing NFL replay (won’t air if another game is being played) and their obsessive shut down of P2P … which doesn’t make me watch the games they force feed us … but delay my enjoyment until the wee hours …
    Dear Roger, some of us do work ….

  6. @ the comment about the shirts selling with cross leagues on them in another City. The NFL rules are bent as they see fit depending on who the owner happens to be.
    I am giving 100-1 that if it had been New England or Dallas in the same spot you would be watching the crap on TV.
    The sad part is that the real football men type owners of which there are few left built this thing into what it is today but protected it and had football first in building it.
    Today with all these CEO type of rich owners they do not care about the league first but what they can get. Same greed that has the country sitting in the shape it is in. These type people will end up destroying the NFL.

  7. Speaking of other sports, did anyone else see that Bloomberg television recently listed the World Cup groups. You never, ever see NFL scores–or MLB, NBA, or NHL scoress–on Bloomberg.
    Clearly, the upper class of America is predictably adopting the sporting taste of European hoi polloi. Mainly soccer or “football.” No wonder Europeans look down their noses at Americans, when our upper class follows their lower class like an obedient child.

  8. What wasn’t mentioned in the article were the three interceptions Cutler threw during the filming of those commercials.

  9. No offense but Hockey sucks.
    They’ve combined soccer and boxing, put the players in skates, give them blunt deadly objects and play it on ice.
    And it’s STILL boring.
    Maybe if they tried adding another puck.

  10. I could of swore I’ve seen one or two of those air earlier in the season locally. Haven’t seen one lately though.

  11. Akshun, I remember there was a Boston shirt…one half had the Pats logo, the other half had the Red Sox logo…back from 04 when they both won.

  12. throw hockey a bone. they need it. there’s plenty of room for both the NFL, and NHL. I haven’t followed hockey in years, but i think it’s a great game. I can see doing this to MLB, because well they deserve crap treatment, but even a sell out is 20,000 people or less. Big deal. Let em have it.

  13. What an idiot rule. The NFL is promoting hte NHL as much as the NHL is promoting the NFL with these commercials.
    Also, what’s so wrong with a city trying to tie some of it’s teams together, I think this is a great idea.
    Cities that have one team in at least 2 of the major sports leagues could really benefit from this. Cities like Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Dallas, the Twin Cities, Oakland, it’d be great to have some city unity.

  14. what’s hilarious about this is that the Blackhawks are easily the most popular team in Chicago right now.
    they’re the only winning team in that city and the NFL is idiotic to not take advantage of that, but alright

  15. The NFL is on it’s way down. The first thing that happens with any large empire about to fall is that they get too greedy and too big for their own good. With the NFL probably moving teams around to LA and to London, both will be failures. LA will be like Jacksonville, so not too big of a deal. But the London move would be catastrophic.
    Nobody will want to play there so they will be very non-competetive. So they will have high draft picks every year and pluck a star player out of the NFL onto the London team. That player will basically be a free agent in waiting until his contract is up so he can move back to the US. Nobody wants to play in London, nobody.

  16. @ GoBrowns19:
    I’ll bet at least three quarters of the Brown’s roster would play in Afghanistan if you told them they’d be on a winning team!
    Couldn’t resist…

  17. Bad turn of events for the Bears.
    As mentioned above, the Hawks are very popular in Chicago right now and, unlike the Bears, they have an exciting offense powered by a core of some of the youngest stars in the league.

  18. Another dumb move by the NFL.
    I did see Dick Butus at the United Center wearing a Hawks jersey.
    He looked like he could still kick everyone’s ass.

  19. As much as I love pro football, this is exactly the kind of thing that makes me hate the No Fun League. More and more I wish Vince McMahon had succeeded.

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