Green Day Ready To Rock The NHL With New 2-Year Partnership Agreement

Green Day

Green Day performs NBCSN's Wednesday Night Hockey opening theme song, "Fire, Ready, Aim." Photo: ... [+] Greg Schneider, courtesy NHL.Photo: Greg Schneider

Wednesday Night Hockey is getting an assist this season from one of the biggest bands of the last 30 years.

“Green Day is the perfect band for the NHL,” said NHL Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President Steve Mayer. “Their music fits so perfectly with the energy, speed and power that we witness on the ice and each and every night.

“We are so excited to start this partnership with the NBC Sports open. It was so much fun to shoot and we think our fans will love it.”

“Fire, Ready, Aim,” and other songs from Green Day’s forthcoming album Father Of All… will also be featured in other NHL broadcast, digital and in-arena content. In addition, the band will headline the 2020 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis next January, ahead of the scheduled release of Father Of All… in February.

The NHL’s collaboration with Green Day has been years in the making, with the initial seed planted back in 2016.

“When I first got to the league, one of the first bookings was going to be Green Day, for the opening ceremonies for the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto (in 2016),” recalled Mayer. “I have to admit, I impressed my fellow employees with that booking right off the bat.

“But one week before the event, I got a phone call that Green Day was cancelling four or five tour dates and that included our event, because one of the members of the band had fallen ill.

“We were estimating a crowd of about 25,000 to come to this event. It was done in an area that we’d set up as our fan experience in Toronto. We ended up booking Lenny Kravitz and it went great and everybody was thrilled, but the way we handled the bad news, the band could not have been cooler about it. We had this relationship that we’d started, and we continued to talk to them about their music, what’s coming up next.”

Plans picked up steam this year, when it became clear that the band’s release schedule would line up with the NHL’s 2019-20 calendar.

“We started proposing ideas and NBC said, ‘How cool would it be if we did our version of the Sunday Night Football open for Wednesday Night Hockey?’” Mayer continued.

“Then, it was, ‘You had me at yes. Let’s do it!’”

NBC Sports produced the new show-opening video for “Fire, Ready, Aim.” It features footage of Green Day playing live in a hockey rink, interspersed with action shots of more than a dozen NHL stars including Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Vladimir Tarasenko and P.K. Subban.

“One of the things we’re doing is connecting the band and our players, like the Sunday Night Football open,” said Mayer. “It shows the personality of our players.

“It's a lot of fun, lots of smiles, guys playing to the camera. Something that we don't normally do, but I think it’s a really nice tone-setter for the broadcast each week on Wednesday Night Hockey.”

The players shot their parts during the league’s season-opening player media tour in Chicago in September.

“I loved the reaction of the players when they heard it was for a Green Day video,” said Mayer. “The players felt like that was big-time. I also think the players get a kick out of doing that kind of stuff.”

Formed in 1986, Green Day is one of the world’s best-selling bands, with more than 70 million albums sold. Their 1994 album Dookie was a game-changer, reaching diamond status with sales of more than 10 million copies and catapulting punk rock into the mainstream.

Over the years, Green Day has continued to push the limits of its genre and take creative risks, including a Broadway stage adaptation of its 2004 album American Idiot in 2010.

Next summer, Green Day will head out on a global stadium tour with Fall Out Boy and Weezer. The Hella Mega Tour will visit cities in Europe, the U.K. and North America.

On Father Of All…, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have blended new influences into their punk ethos.

“We wanted to create a dance groove with space between the drums and vocals [inspired by] the way Kendrick Lamar does things or old-school Motown music, where it’s leading with the rhythm,” singer Billie Joe Armstrong told Billboard.

“I think they don't want to rest on their laurels,” said Mayer. “It is a different feel but at the end of the day — that underlying guitar and drums, it rocks and it's great. It plays so well with hockey highlights and our attitude. It gets you pumped, there's a great energy to their music when you put it with slapshots and big hits.”

“Fire, Ready, Aim” will debut on Wednesday Night Hockey on October 9, one week after the St. Louis Blues kick off the new season by raising their Stanley Cup banner to the rafters of the Enterprise Center on opening night.

“It's our tradition. We all decided, let’s give that its due, which was super-important to all of us. Then, let’s introduce “Fire, Ready, Aim,” which we think is significant on its own, beginning in Week 2, when you'll first see the branding for Wednesday Night Hockey.

“We're super-excited about how this has all come together seamlessly and we think it'll be really cool,” Mayer continued. “It’s been a collaborative effort, three-part between the NHL, NBC and Green Day. We’re loving each other right now. This has just been a great combination.”

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