The NHL Stanley Cup Finals kicked off this week, but hockey fans and New Yorkers won’t forget how NBC Sports and the NHL kicked off the 2012 playoffs—at a special event in Times Square that featured a 21-foot replica of the iconic Stanley Cup trophy that doubled as a working water fountain, allowing attendees to take a drink from the Cup.
NBC teamed with Civic Entertainment Group to bring the event to life, and the team really wanted to capitalize on the image of the Stanley Cup, one of the most recognizable trophies in the world.
“We wanted to surprise and delight the fans, and we wanted to put a lot of weight into the New York market to make a big splash. And what better way than a three-story Stanley Cup fountain,” NBC Sports svp-marketing Bill Bergofin.
The three-day event coincided with the start of the NHL playoffs, and played off the tagline “Because of the Cup.” NBC also wanted to publicize that its networks would be airing every NHL playoff game every night—a new offering.
Weighing in at 6,600 pounds, the big Cup featured 12 industrial fountain pop jets in the upper bowl that shot water six feet above the cup.
A partnership with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s Water-on-the-Go program promoted New York City’s high-quality tap water. Consumers could drink from team-specific spouts at the base of the fountain with reusable souvenir cups handed out by a NBC Sports, NHL and NYC Water team. The fountain pumped out 120 gallons of water per minute.
“We came up with the angle of creating a fountain that would tie in with the city and NYC Water about three weeks prior to the event, so to pull off what we pulled off collectively in the time was nothing short of moving mountains,” Bergofin says.
Showman Entertainment created the cup itself, while Delta Fountains (which handled the amazing fountain at the World Trade Center memorial in NYC) took care of the plumbing inside the structure to make it a functioning fountain.
Due to the tight timeline, everything had to come together onsite, meaning that the teams handling the build of the Cup and the internal plumbing met each other in Times Square and put all of the pieces together just before show time.
“It was really a unique, cross your fingers and hope everything works moment. I like taking creative risks, and there are a lot of ways to do that. I think opportunities like this allow us to do something different and engage the fans and media in a unique way can sometimes make the difference,” Bergofin says.