LG joins Hockey Wives lineup

hockey wives - keshia chante
Details on the brand integration, plus Julie Bristow on moving past the concern of Wives being another "show about flinging chardonnay at somebody's face." (Cast member Keshia Chante pictured.)

Corus and Bristow Global Media have secured Korean electronics brand LG for the starting lineup of Hockey Wives season two.

The two-pronged partnership will include in-show and “real life” elements. On one hand, cast members, the wives and girlfriends (or “WAGs”) of NHL hockey players, will act as “brand ambassadors” for various LG products, making appearances at LG Canada events, promoting the brand via social media and writing blog posts for LG’s channel. On the other, LG products will be integrated into the show and used to create co-branded TV spots featuring the cast members.

Production on the series, which airs on Corus’ W Network, is currently underway and scheduled to air in two parts: fall and mid-season.

Promotion for the second season will include a draft picks-style activation where the new and existing wives will announce new cast members. The activation will go on-air in July and August and coincide with the launch of some of LG products.

“The whole notion of branded entertainment is very much part of our business model and plan at BGM,” said Julie Bristow, president and CEO, Bristow Global Media (BGM). Bristow, a former CBC exec, launched BGM in 2013 with a view to creating multi-platform branded content.

Bristow said the strategy behind this season’s casting was to diversify and give viewers new perspectives on Canada’s national sport.

“Our job was to identify who were the participants that the audience really related to, and whose on-going stories the audience wanted to be a part of,” said Bristow.

Kodette LaBarbera, Tiffany Parros, Noureen DeWulf, Maripier Morin and Martine Forget return for the second season, and are joined by newcomers Keshia Chanté (television personality, musician and girlfriend of Ray Emery of the Philadelphia Flyers), and Rhianna Weaver (philanthropist and wife of the Montreal Canadiens’ Mike Weaver).

The target remains a 25- to 54-year old female audience, though Bristow says the show’s producers have been surprised by the co-viewing attraction garnered by the series. This is also true of the hockey players themselves, who Bristow says were far more eager to be involved in the show once they had seen it.

“The big concern from the [hockey] community was that it was going to be a show about flinging chardonnay at somebody’s face. The concern was, ‘what is this going to look like?’ But once the first season went to air, there was less nervousness about the intent of the series,” added Bristow.

With LG Canada signed up as the main sponsor for Hockey Wives season two, Corus is still seeking secondary sponsors.

Executive producing the show alongside Bristow is Claire Adams, Carli Posner and Megan Sanchez-Warner.