Over the last few years, we’ve seen Bleacher Report integrated in various ways with Turner Sports’ broadcasting productions, from The Match to ELEAGUE to the NBA All-Star Game. Now, with Turner gaining NHL rights this year, B/R’s NHL vertical Open Ice will be doing a bar takeover of Florida-Georgia Line House on Broadway in Nashville ahead of the NHL on TNT Stadium Series broadcast of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stadium Series game against the hometown Predators at the Titans’ home of Nissan Stadium. TNT coverage of that game will begin at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Saturday, with puck drop at 7:30 p.m. ET, but there will be plenty of pre-game content throughout the day at the bar for fans in the area. Here’s more from a release:
Open Ice, Bleacher Report’s leading hockey vertical, will take over the iconic Florida Georgia Line House, a landmark on Nashville’s famed Broadway Street, for a pregame where fans can enjoy live music, giveaways, have a drink at the Open Ice Bar or try to hit an ice puck through the mouth of a catfish ice sculpture. Special guests will join throughout the afternoon, including the Nashville Predators Energy Team.
Further details provided by WarnerMedia include that this will be open to the public, that fans who follow Open Ice on social media will get a free drink ticket, that this will include a bar made of ice, that there will be a rooftop catfish toss with members of the Titans’ offensive line (there’s some history there), and that boxer Caleb Plant will be there along with other special guests. So that could definitely lead to some fun social content for B/R’s brands. And it’s interesting to see this one particularly branded with Open Ice, which they’ve been doing a lot to promote this year. This also comes around a NHL/NHLPA/TikTok partnership involving outdoor games, so there’s certainly a wider NHL push here to try and embrace social media platforms.
Beyond that, these kinds of bar takeover events alongside major sports events have seemed to work well for Bleacher Report and House of Highlights in the past, even at events like the Super Bowl where Turner doesn’t have the broadcast rights. But there’s maybe even more appeal to them at things like the NBA All-Star Game, as the content they’re putting out there helps remind people of the upcoming TNT broadcast. They’re now bringing that playbook to hockey as well, and there seems to be some logic to that. We’ll see how this works out for them.