The Stanley Cup, hockey’s ultimate prize, is a trophy given each year to the National Hockey League (NHL) champion. Unlike other trophies in professional sports, the iconic silver cup is engraved with the names of every player and coach to ever earn it. Standing at three feet tall, the 126-year-old trophy features more than 3,000 names from 24 different teams. Until last night, however, it has been entirely devoid of Washington Capitals.
With last night’s 4-3 victory over the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the Caps became NHL champions for the first time in the franchise’s 44-year history. The win completed an historic run marking the first time a professional team from D.C. has won a championship since D.C. United’s MLS Cup victory in 2004.
If you’ve been following the Caps, you might have noticed the Leidos logo featured throughout Capital One Arena, including on the ice itself, and prominently displayed on its outdoor signage. As official legacy sponsors since 2014, Leidos has believed in the potential of this franchise, and we couldn’t be more proud of its accomplishments.
Last month, as the Stanley Cup Finals began, the Washington Business Journal published an article titled “How Leidos basks in the halo effect of the Capitals’ Stanley Cup run.” In the article, Senior Staff Writer Robert J. Terry explains how Leidos has pursued a wide range of sports marketing sponsorships to help make our name better known. Terry describes how the Caps’ Stanley Cup appearance would “only brighten the halo effect Leidos experiences by having strong consumer correlation with a beloved sports franchise and its long-suffering fan base.”
Devante Smith-Pelly scores to put the Capitals up 3-0 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
As most Leidos employees in the national capital region will tell you, we have certainly experienced this halo effect. According to Google Trends data, we’ve seen web searches trending upwards as the playoffs have progressed. Many of my colleagues have received text messages from friends who noticed the Leidos logo while watching Games 3 and 4, which were played in D.C. and broadcast in primetime on NBC. A good number of these conversations inevitably lead to the question, “What does Leidos do?”
In case you’re here with this question, let me take a minute to answer it. Leidos, previously called SAIC, is a Fortune 500 technology company. We are one of the largest information technology (IT) providers to the federal government. Most of the customers we support are in the defense, intelligence, civil, and health markets. You may not realize it, but we do some incredible work: We operate the world’s longest supply chain, patent molecules and seek to end cancer, help defend the most heavily attacked networks on the planet, modernize healthcare for 9.6 million active military and their families, develop technology to help protect our borders and ports of entry, and write millions of lines of code to support the International Space Station. If you’re interested in learning more, we explore the answer in more detail in this interview series.
For Leidos, our partnership with Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the company which owns and operates the Washington Capitals, has been highly rewarding. Roughly half of all Leidos employees live in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia. This makes the Caps a hometown team for a considerable number of our employees, our customers, and their families. The sponsorship began in 2014, when the Leidos logo first appeared throughout Capital One Arena. For the past three years, we’ve sponsored Hockey Fights Cancer, an awareness event designed to educate the hockey community about cancer care and research. The company made an additional investment in 2017, and the Leidos logo was added to the playing surface near center ice.
All of this culminated last night when, with the whole world watching, the team achieved its ultimate goal and etched its name onto the Stanley Cup. While the partnership began as part of a broad effort to increase brand recognition, as many of our employees will tell you, it has come with the incredible benefit of experiencing and being a part of this historic moment.
Congratulations to the Washington Capitals and their fans on winning the 2018 Stanley Cup! Here's the full-page ad we placed in the official Stanley Cup Finals program, which sums up our feelings perfectly:
Brandon is a writer and content marketer based in the Washington, D.C. area. He loves to cover emerging technology and its power to improve society.Follow on Twitter More Content by Brandon Buckner