Spring is time for playoff hockey and that means hockey hair and playoff beards. Great Clips, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League’s Players Association are extending their partnership during the most exciting part of the hockey schedule to celebrate the leagues hirsute heroes.

Neither side would confirm the length or dollar value of the deal other than to say it is a multiyear deal.

 But it is an extension of the partnership they signed for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Last year Great Clips and the NHL launched the LegendHairy Greats of the NHL Campaign and are bringing it back for the 2019 playoffs.  Fans can visit https://www.nhl.com/fans/nhl-players-hockey-hair during the playoffs and vote weekly on their favorite NHL hairstyles and players.

poster courtesy of Great Clips

Bloomington-based Great Clips is the largest salon franchise company in the world with 4,400 salons in the United States and Canada including salons are in nearly every NHL market.

“What we did last year was test the waters to understand if this was really something that resonated with our audience and fit with our brand,” said Lisa Hake, vice president of marketing and communications for Great Clips. “We found great success with that last year. A lot of excitement with customers, the fans, players and our franchisees as well… It was something that we decided we wanted to commit to longer term.”

Great Clips has previous agreements with a half dozen individual clubs, but the new deal is league wide and is on top of individual team sponsorship deals. The new deal also extends the relationship beyond the playoffs and throughout the year.

Now Great Clips becomes the official hair salon of the NHL and the brand will be visible at the NHL’s other signature events including the All-Star Game and weekend, and at the league’s annual outdoor games the NHL Winter Classic and NHL Stadium Series.

The partnership will be promoted through the salons, online and be featured prominently through this year’s playoffs on the league’s NHL Network.

Some of the players and their hair to be featured include Brent Burns from the San Jose Sharks, Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes and Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild   (which unfortunately missed the playoffs this year).

Evin Dobson, group vice president of partnership marketing at the NHL, says the partnership displays the players personalities front and center and that they enjoy playing off their hockey hair reputation. “It showcases their creativity in a fun way with some self-deprecating humor.”

Great Clips does other sport marketing and sport media ad purchasing because it fits well with Great Clips main demographic of 18 to 34-year-old men. Great Clips can also be seen at the X-Games, and college basketball and football playoffs but the NHL deal is the biggest and most involved partnership.

“This NHL partnership is part of our new system wide media portfolio,” Hake said. “We are partnering with key sporting events and sports partners and other partners throughout the entire year to drive breadth and depth throughout our whole system and drive that brand awareness and consideration for our brand.”

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