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How we won the pitch by uniting Arizonans with a bold rally cry for their underdog hockey team

Client:  Arizona Coyotes, NHL Team

The Ask:  Pitch to be the AOR by creating a playoff campaign that excited fans and brought in “fans in waiting.”

Key Research: Consumer quantitative survey, social listening, Arizona market understanding for authenticity 

The Problem: Arizonans generally have low interest in sports, so to engage them solely with hockey would be a challenge. 

My “Aha” Moment: Arizonans are extremely passionate about their state. What they were missing was a way to reignite their sense of belonging and uniting. Sports bring people together – so instead of hyping hockey, I thought to hype unity “through” hockey. 

Strategy: Create a rally cry that unites Arizona through the bond of hockey bringing us together.

Creative: The creatives developed the line “Howl Yes” – but it didn’t seem right. I noted that hockey fans are more down-to-earth and recommended “Howl Yeah.” It stuck and the rally cry came to life through a hype film, logo treatment, digital campaign and merchandise. 

Results: “Howl Yeah” is an enormous success. Coyotes players took to social media to rep the line, Arizonans adopted it, elevating it to the #19 trending hashtag on Twitter, and sportscasters started using it while announcing the game. Our campaign had more engagement than any in Coyotes history.

Team Credits: Marcus Wesson – CD; Merritt Martin – Copy; Cory Kilduff – Design; Heath Miller & Simonne Serrano – Account; Katherine Kilmer – Research Assistance