Report: Companies Pull Back Marketing And Advertising Featuring Alex Ovechkin, Russian Players

CCM Hockey announced on Monday they will stop using Alex Ovechkin and other Russian NHL players in its global marketing initiatives in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We are very sad to witness, like the rest of the world, what is happening in Ukraine,” CCM chief executive Marrouane Nabih wrote in an email to TSN’s Rick Westhead. “Although Mr. Ovechkin is not responsible for the Russian government’s actions, we took the decision to not use him (or any Russian player) on any global CCM communication at this point.”

Westhead is also reporting that insurance company MassMutual has pulled their commercial featuring Ovechkin, his wife and teammate Nicklas Backstrom, which debuted at the beginning of the season.

The report does not state that any contracts have been cancelled or are planned to be cancelled. According to Westhead, Nabih did not respond to subsequent questions about CCM’s contracts with Ovechkin and other Russian players, including Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin and Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov.

Ovechkin has been among CCM’s most high-profile spokespersons. The Montreal-based company pays Ovechkin more than $500,000 per year plus a percentage of its sales within Russia, said an industry source who is familiar with the matter.

NHL Responds To Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

The NHL announced Monday that they are suspending relationships with its business partners in Russia effective immediately. In addition, the NHL will be “discontinuing any consideration” of Russia as a potential location for future league events.

The league noted in their statement that they are “concerned about the well-being of the players from Russia.”

“The National Hockey League condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and urges a peaceful resolution as quickly as possible,” the league announced in a statement. “Effective immediately, we are suspending our relationships with our business partners in Russia and we are pausing our Russian language social and digital media sites. In addition, we are discontinuing any consideration of Russia as a location for any future competitions involving the NHL.

“We also remain concerned about the well-being of the players from Russia, who play in the NHL on behalf of their NHL clubs, and not on behalf of Russia. We understand they and their families are being placed in an extremely difficult position.”

International Hockey Responds

In related news, on Monday the IIHF banned Russia and Belarus from all international hockey indefinitely. The federation also removed Russia as host of the 2023 world juniors.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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6 Responses to Report: Companies Pull Back Marketing And Advertising Featuring Alex Ovechkin, Russian Players

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is just ridiculous.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Next stop will be cutting every Russian player. Good news is Caps roster reset will happen much sooner now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, that’s one way to stop him from breaking Gretzky’s record, which I am sure Canadians are now dreading.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is showing prejudice. He has nothing to do with what that loon is doing. What’s next rounding up Russians like we did with the Japanese. I’m with Ukraine but I do t believe in making Russians that live here, feel singled out.

    • Anonymous says:

      I Just said the samething… folks looked at me like I had two heads.

      Do not forget the, ‘Lets pour out all the Russian Vodka we already paid for, that will show them!’

  4. Scottlew73 says:

    Gee,guess if Ovie would’ve just said “ I’am not supporting this little man with big ego”,he could’ve saved himself a lot of money!!
    Didn’t I say couple days ago this was going bite him in the ass! If NHL goes they way of FIFA & bans Russians from playing in all events might be final clue to those players to stand up to their government.
    How many Germans in WW II claimed they didn’t know what happened at “work/prisoner” camps?

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