Blackhawks

CSN to unveil latest evolution of its Emmy-winning 'Fan's Best Friend' marketing campaign

CSN to unveil latest evolution of its Emmy-winning 'Fan's Best Friend' marketing campaign

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO UNVEIL LATEST EVOLUTION OF ITS EMMY-WINNING FANS BEST FRIEND MARKETING CAMPAIGN

Network takes grittier approach in New Fall Campaign via on-air spots set to debut on Blackhawks Opening Night (Friday, October 7) on Comcast SportsNet & CSNChicago.com

Chicago, IL (October 5, 2011) To support the launch of its 2011-12 fall sports seasons, along with further promoting its standing as the on-air and online leader in local sports coverage, Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, has announced the latest evolution of its Emmy-winning Fans Best Friend marketing campaign.

Debuting Friday, October 7 on Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com, Comcast SportsNet will unveil several new on-air spots to coincide with the networks coverage of the Blackhawks 2011-12 regular season opener at Dallas.

This years Fans Best Friend spots will take a grittier approach to previous incarnations of the popular campaign as the new spots will feature some of Chicagos most beloved professional sports stars discussing their determined approach to their game, with the end focus of driving viewers to Comcast SportsNets Emmy-winning nightly sports news desk, SportsNet Central. Fans will initially see Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews in the first player-featured spot with future spots to include even more playerscoachesteam announcers from all of Comcast SportsNets pro team partners.

As an example of the new campaign, the Toews spot features the NHL All-Star in a strong, confident, black & white close-up shot with his voice-over stating: I started skating before I could crawl. Did suicide sprints until my blisters had blisters. Because my whole life, Ive had one dreamto make itto The Show. The spot is interspersed with action shots of Toews working his magic on the ice, along with shots of various SportsNet Central on-air talent members doing their job of delivering the latest sports news to Chicago fans. The end board is a shot of the iconic city of Chicago flag with team logos replacing the four red stars, along with a Comcast SportsNetCSNChicago.com flag and the Fans Best Friend tagline.

Additional first-run spots debuting October 7 include: Tooth (if we brought you any closer, you might lose a tooth.), plus Mask (showcasing a welder donning a Blackhawks goalie mask as his protective head gear) and Buzzer (a Blackhawks fan waking up in bed to an ear-piercing, flashing red goal scored lamp on his nightstand).

When we introduced the Fans Best Friend campaign back in the spring of 2007, our goal was, and continues to be, to let our viewers know that we are here for them 247 by providing the most complete local coverage of games and sports news available anywhere, said Jaclene Tetzlaff, Vice President of Marketing for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. This latest evolution of our campaign once again delivers that message as we are connecting the hard-edged approach that these Chicago sports icons bring to their gameto the dedicated responsibility we have in bringing our viewers the most comprehensive local sports news coverage theyve come to expect from us.

Following the October 7 on-air and online debut of the latest edition of Comcast SportsNets Fans Best Friend campaign (created in conjunction with the Chicago-based office of JacobsonRost), fans will also begin to see and hear campaign-themed print ads, radio spots, online advertising, outdoortransit signage, in-stadium advertising, along with premium items to be given away at Comcast SportsNet-sponsored events throughout the city and suburbs.

Last year, Comcast SportsNets Fans Best Friend campaign earned a ChicagoMidwest Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Achievement for AnnouncementsCampaigns.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: After 20 games, do we know the identity of this Blackhawks team?

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: After 20 games, do we know the identity of this Blackhawks team?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast Tracey Myers and Jamal Mayers join Pat Boyle to discuss the teams wins over the Rangers and Penguins.  Have they figured some things out and what is the identity of this team after 20 games?

Jammer weighs in on Artem Anisimov’s big week and are there enough Hawks committed to net front presence?  They also discuss the surging play of the blue liners and did the Hawks fail to send a message to Evgeni Malkin, after he kneed Corey Crawford in the head?

Lauri Markkanen, Lonzo Ball making rookie history as they prepare to face each other

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USA TODAY

Lauri Markkanen, Lonzo Ball making rookie history as they prepare to face each other

It'd be a stretch to say that any rookie is having a better or more impactful season than Philadelphia's Ben Simmons. The Sixers are 9-7, and Simmons looks like a 10-year veteran with his decision making, athleticism and all-around feel for the game. He's the frontrunner for MVP, but there are two other rookies vying to catch Simmons and win that title. And they'll face each other tomorrow night in Los Angeles.

Lonzo Ball was the second pick in June's NBA Draft, and fellow Pac-12 freshman standout Lauri Markkanen went five picks later to the Bulls, who had traded up as part of the Jimmy Butler trade. Both players were drafted to rebuilding franchises - the Lakers still working out the kinks in the post-Kobe era, and the Bulls beginning their rebuild after dealing Butler - and were expected to make immediate impacts on their franchises.

Ball's was more pronounced, as the Lakers dealt D'Angelo Russell to the Nets on draft night to free up space at the point for their prized No. 2 pick. Markkanen's came more abruptly, as the 20-year-old was thrust into the starting lineup after Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic's fight put Mirotic in the hospital and Portis on paid leave. However they got there, both players have been impressive in their early NBA careers.

Starting with Markkanen, the Bulls knew the 7-foot stretch forward was a perfect build for the modern NBA. He set freshman 3-point and rebounding records that, since 1992, only some guy named Kevin Durant had reached. After a successful summer in Eurobasket he was set for a large role with the Bulls, and he's succeeded in just about every aspect. His 15.6 points per game are third only to Simmons and the other Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma, and his 8.1 rebounds are second to Simmons. And his 2.6 made 3-pointers per game are most among rookies, and well past No. 2 on the list (Utah's Donovan Mitchell, 1.9 per game).

In fact, Markkanen would become the only rookie in NBA history to average at least 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 3-pointers per game. The 2.5 3-pointers would break a rookie record currently held by Damian Lillard (2.3 per game). The closest a rookie has ever come to reaching those marks was Stephen Curry, who averaged 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 3-pointers per game as a rookie. Allen Iverson also met the 4/2 threshold, but that's a far cry from Markkanen's 8/2.5 mark. Paul Pierce's rookie season saw him average 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 3-pointers.

But that's not all. If he kept those averages up he would be just the fifth player EVER to accomplish those thresholds. The others are James Harden, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Antonie Walker, who naturally did it twice.

So, yeah, Markkanen is having quite a rookie year.

So, too, is Ball. While he's had some real issues with efficiency, slashing .313/.228/.462 and has committed 2.6 turnovers per game, his counting stats have been outstanding. Ball is averaging 8.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists, and that puts him in equally impressive company.

Simmons has reached those numbers this season, too, averaging 18.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists. You may have heard of the other two players, named Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson.

The two future Hall of Famers averaged these numbers:

Robertson: 30.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, 9.7 assists (missing averaging a triple-double for the season by 20 assists)

Johnson: 18.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists

Ball is also averaging 0.9 blocks, and no other rookie guard has ever accomplished that. It might not always look pretty for Markkanen and Ball as they feel their way out in the NBA, but just remember watching these two that they're in the midst of making history in the new era of the NBA.