Steven Stamkos doesn’t have many national commercials in the United States. Heck, few NHLers do, but that doesn’t mean a major equipment company didn’t lock him up to an endorsement deal and feature him in an ad campaign before he even scored a goal in the NHL.
Case in point:
Please never, ever underestimate my love for this video. Released the year he was drafted, Nike Hockey was introducing the young star to the NHL public, well, at least the ones that buy hockey equipment in Canada.
I love that it is shot almost entirely with home video and the commercial (along with the Oasis documentary Supersonic) makes me realize how much home video is out there these days. Every kid that grew up in the late 80s and 90s and played sports probably has a videotape of at least one of their games. I know there are some of me giving up home runs all across baseball fields in the greater Baltimore area.
If this is a good thing or not, I’m not sure. In the aforementioned documentary it is really, really cool to see personal footage of a band as it is blowing up on the national and international scene. It’s cool to see little Stevie Stamkos doing hockey things, but at the same point, is it too much? How much videotape (and now digital space) has been wasted on the exploits of kids who never made it? But I digress.
In this case, the home video, the emotional music, the overly dramatic writing and Stammer’s somber tone are perfect. This should have won an award. This should have won ALL of the awards.
For me it remains the best commercial he’s ever done. There are some that are funnier (well, a lot that are funnier for intentional and unintentional reasons), but this one was the best. I remember thinking after the first time I saw it, “Oh hell yeah, it’s on! Bring us all of the new memories!”
Why do I like it so much? Well, let’s break down this 45 second ad for Nike Hockey line-by-line.
It opens with a dramatic bass drop. Serious Steven Stamkos voiceover comes in:
“They remember an undersized kid out of Markham.”
The kid in the video falls to the ice with no one around him. He must be learning at the Nikita Nesterov School of Skating.
“A seven-year-old who played with nine-year-olds.”
The video shows what we have to assume is a young Stamkos wearing number 71, stickhandling around a retreating defender who wants no part of him. Cut to another video of Boy Stamkos absolutely lighting a kid up along the boards. That’s two for interference at least, maybe a call from the league office for a hit to the head.
“They remember the game winner in Sarnia.”
Gonna need more specifics on that one, Stevie, you scored a lot of those among your 100 goals in a Sarnia Sting uniform. The music is picking up as we see Stamkos in his Sarnia yellow and white (and sporting the more familiar 91) beat a helpless goalie on a breakaway.
“And the heartbreak in Quebec City.”
I love the internet. You can find anything you want, and I mean anything. For the life of me I could not confirm which tournament he is referring to. Which is a shame, because it is my favorite line in the entire commercial.
I am 90% sure that he is referring to the 2003 Quebec Invitational Pee Wee Tournament which Stamkos was invited to and led to this wonderful, if creepy bit of memorabilia. If I ever get a chance to interview Stamkos, I promise you the first question I ask him will be what tournament he is referring to.
“They remember the championships, the trophies…”
Championship celebrations never really change for hockey teams do they? Compare the scene in this commercial of minor-midget hockey players throwing their gloves and sticks in the air and hugging it out with the US team doing the same thing after beating the Canadians in the World Juniors on Thursday.
Then we see the famous Stamkos smile as he is skating off with what I believe is the MVP trophy for winning the 2005-06 OHL Cup with the Markham Waxers. Stamkos scored 105 goals in 66 games for the Waxers playing alongside future NHLers Michael Del Zotto and and Cody Hodgson. That was a pretty good team. Not only were all three drafted in the first round of the NHL draft in 2008, Stamkos and Del Zotto were drafted first and second overall in the 2006 OHL draft. Speaking of drafts….
Hey look, the last public appearance of Jay Feaster as Lightning GM before he resigned *cough*forced out*cough* from the organization. It’s also the only public appearance of Len Barrie where he’s not wearing something out of the Ed Hardy or Affliction catalogs.
“And years from now...if they’ve forgotten all of these moments...”
Hey, now is years from now, well then. And no I haven’t forgotten those moments because I watch this video at least once every two months.
“...it’s because I’ve replaced them”
Pan up from a lone stick tapping on a darkened locker room floor to the young, serious face of 18-year-old Steven Stamkos (without the broken, crooked nose) [I adore that broken, crooked nose because it speaks of all the hockey Stamkos has played for the Bolts. - Acha]. Fade in a game clock counting down to 0.0 while a buzzer goes off. Cut to black screen and pop up the “Just Do It” logo as the crowd cheers in the background. Perfection.
So Lightning fans, what memories has Stamkos replaced these with? The 60 goals? The face shield in the 7th game of the conference finals against Boston as he played with a busted nose? The blistering one-timers from the face-off circle?
I wanna know. Add your favorite Stamkos moment in the comments down below!