A new project that has been in the works for over a year now has been announced. The new venture sees god of comic book and superhero creationism, Stan Lee, joining forces with an unlikely ally, the National Hockey League.
Since the NHL had a lockout a while back, they’re been fighting to slowly regain the loyalty of their fans while also finding ways to lure new fans to their sport. Some things have worked, some have not. Hockey has a faithful fanbase, but their numbers are still far below fellow top sports like football, baseball, and basketball. So why not call the man, the myth himself, Stan Lee?
And what have they been working on, you might ask? It’s called The Guardian Project, and its aim is to create 30 brand new superheros in conjunction with the 30 different hockey teams and cities in the NHL. While each new superhero will be made to uniquely represent the hockey team and city they stand for, including with their special powers, they won’t be specifically set in just the world of hockey alone.
Here’s what Mr. Lee had to say about the new project.
I’ve always believed that every great plan starts with a great story. In the creation of GME and its unique and unprecedented relationship with the NHL, I truly believe we have the perfect combination from which to launch 30 new superheroes and excite young fans around the globe.
The goal of The Guardian Project is to help to excite young fans. What better way to get kids more interested in hockey than to create a group of comic book superheros that represent your local team?
The big unveil will come on January 30, 2011, during the NHL All-Star game. The project will first debut online before going on to really make its mark in publishing and promotional campaigns, gaming, mobile, broadcasting, sponsorships, merchandising, and in-arena appearances. Lee is meeting with NHL representatives at the upcoming New York Comic-Con to discuss things further.
As a geek and someone who has loved hockey with a passion their entire life, this news is really exciting. This is a sport that doesn’t have the amount of fans it deserves because few give it the chance it really requires. Hockey is a high-speed, adrenaline-fueled sport, and one of the most exciting you can watch, once you get used to the pace and learn the ropes a bit. Yet sports like basketball with its 304 fouls called and teams scoring 50 times a game each is still dominating in viewers and fans. Yes, I went there. Snap.
Obviously this is aimed at younger audiences and won’t be all that appealing to older hockey fans, but still, you can’t help thinking about the man who created some of the greatest superheros of all time thinking up a brand new hero with abilities relating to your favorite team and your city without grinning just a little bit. OK, a lot. Fine, just tell me who my team’s hero is so I can start working on my Halloween costume for next year!