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Announced during the NHL Winter Classic in Dallas on New Year’s Day, the competition asks communities around the United States to submit stories regarding the history and character of their local hockey rink. The community ultimately named the winner of the Kraft Hockeyville USA title will receive a total of $150,000 toward upgrades at their rink plus $10,000 in hockey equipment and the chance to host a preseason game next season.
“The incredible response we’ve seen from hockey communities over the years has been an inspiration,” said Magen Hanrahan, Kraft Heinz’s vice president of media and marketing service. “Every year, we’ve seen communities come together to support their local rinks, and we’re proud to be a small part of the passion that ignites hockey communities each year.”
Kraft Heinz’s long-term sponsor relationship with the NHL is one of the longest of its kind in professional sports. The company has worked with the NHL for 29 years, a tenure that dwarfs the league’s other relationships in North America.
Other prominent NHL sponsors in North America include PepsiCo, Bridgestone and Honda. The league derived an estimated $559.5 million in revenue from corporate sponsorships last season, according to The Hockey News.
The Kraft Hockeyville promotion debuted in 2006 and has run on an annual basis in the years since. The competition is divided into three segments: an initial submission phase, a second period in which four finalists are named and a final period in which the winner is announced.
All four finalists will receive the $10,000 in equipment from the NHL Players' Association’s Goals & Dreams program. The winner will receive $150,000 in rink upgrades, while the first-prize rink will earn $30,000 and second-prize rinks will earn $10,000.
The Hockeyville competition has named a U.S.-based and Canada-based winner each year since 2015. Last year’s winners were Tom Donovan Arena in Renous, New Brunswick, and Calumet Colosseum in Calumet, Michigan.