January 15, 2022

Digital Marketing Education

Latest news and events

Budweiser Canada’s ad with NHL players, HDA is hit

In a press release announcing the campaign, Aliu said he was “ten years old when an opposing team member’s parent called me a racial slur on-ice for the first time.” 

In 2019, Aliu came forward with allegations that his former coach Bill Peters used a racial slur toward him while Aliu was in the minor leagues in 2010. Peters later admitted to using the racial slur, and resigned from his position as head coach of the Calgary Flames shortly thereafter.

“This month marks 64 years since the first Black professional hockey player—Willie O’Ree—made his NHL debut, and yet, acts of racism towards Black players remain prevalent at all levels of the sport,” Aliu said. 

The NHL, which has its own campaign, titled, “Hockey is for Everyone,” declined multiple offers to partake in the Budweiser Canada-HDA-Anomaly collaboration, a decision that Aliu slammed and characterized as “pettiness,” in an interview with the Canadian sports outlet TSN

In a statement to Ad Age, the NHL said that it “applauds our partner Budweiser and the Hockey Diversity Alliance for their efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity in the sport of hockey,” and promoted the campaign on its digital platforms, but offered no explanation for why it declined to take part in the campaign, which ended up a hit. 

“We respect their decision,” D’Agostini said.