The Detroit Red Wings have decided to add a new hockey tradition to Turkey Day. They're giving away Zamboni gravy boats to the first 7,500 fans at their Nov. 22 home game against the New Jersey Devils.
The giveaway went viral this week thanks to a mesmerizing, looped video showing a stream of Zamboni gravy covering a plate of mashed potatoes.
Beep beep! Gravy coming through! 🍽️— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) November 8, 2023
Thanksgiving Eve at Little Caesars Arena! First 7,500 receive a #RedWings gravy b̶o̶a̶t̶ zamboni, thanks to our friends at @meijer!
Be there! » https://t.co/552fIE86FN pic.twitter.com/0xuDXA8Wbf
"We wanted a unique item that's great for friends and family," said Ben Broder, VP of marketing for the Red Wings. "Something that they can share around the table the next day."
Broder said that the Red Wings have traditionally had their biggest games of the season on Thanksgiving Eve, which is a special time of year for Detroit sports.
"The Lions play on Thanksgiving Day, and the Wings usually play the night before," he said. "It's phenomenal because we're a family organization, and everybody comes home then -- high school and college friends, family, everyone else."
To build on that tradition, the Red Wings decided to create a fan giveaway that could tie into the holiday.
This is not the first marriage between Turkey Day's signature condiment and an ice-resurfacing machine. The Washington Capitals sent gravy boats to season-ticket holders in 2017. But this marks the first time an NHL team used them for a fan giveaway at a game.
The Red Wings worked with BDA, their branding vendor, to create the gravy boats. BDA has a licensing agreement with Zamboni, which allowed Detroit to use the iconic company name for the gravy boat.
Broder said partnering with Meijer -- a regional grocery store -- was an obvious fit because everybody's likely already getting their Thanksgiving items and fixings there.
Broder said the plan is to make the Thanksgiving Eve Zamboni Gravy Boat giveaway an annual tradition for Red Wings fans and their families.
"Every year, they're going to be like, 'We have to go to the next one and see what the design's going to be,'" the Red Wings marketing expert said.