Dunkin' Donuts, Canton, Mass., and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced a multi-year agreement, making Dunkin' Donuts the official U.S. coffee, doughnut and breakfast sandwich of the NHL. The partnership, which marks Dunkin' Donuts' first national sports league partnership, will officially launch during the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic outdoor game, which takes place Jan. 2, 2017, in St. Louis.

As part of the deal, Dunkin' Donuts will be prominently featured at several of the NHL events, including the NHL Winter Classic, NHL All-Star Weekend, NHL Stadium Series and the NHL's year-long Centennial celebration. Dunkin' Donuts will be included in advertising, LED Signage and jumbotron displays, as well as on-site activations at each event, the company says.

Dunkin' Donuts also will have significant presence across NHL's broadcast and digital platforms in the United States, it says. Dunkin' Donuts also has a multi-million dollar partnership with NBC Sports that will include custom in-game features and dashboard visibility, as well as advertising across broadcast, digital and social media channels beginning Jan. 2 and continuing throughout the NHL season.

New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh and Boston Bruins center David Backes will join Dunkin' Donuts as national brand spokespersons. McDonagh and Backes will be featured in a series of advertisements, along with U.S. Women's Team Captain and star of the Boston Pride, Meghan Duggan, it adds. 

"As the NHL celebrates its Centennial year, we are thrilled to be partnering with such an iconic league, giving our fans many more opportunities to engage with their favorite hockey teams," said Tom Manchester, vice president of field marketing for Dunkin' Brands, in a statement. "NHL fans, much like Dunkin' Donuts fans, are some of the most loyal, energetic and passionate fans around. Dunkin' Donuts' coffee, doughnuts and breakfast sandwiches are sure to keep hockey fans running throughout the season."

Dave Lehanski, senior vice president of business development and global partnerships for NHL, added: "This groundbreaking deal, marking the NHL as the first professional sports league partner for Dunkin' Donuts reflects the power and reach of the NHL brand and our ever-growing fan base. Dunkin' Donuts' coffee, doughnuts and breakfast sandwiches are synonymous with hockey at all levels — whether you're a hockey fan, parent or player. We're excited and proud to welcome Dunkin' Donuts to our NHL family and look forward to working together to engage hockey fans all across the country."

For a limited time, Dunkin' Donuts also will offer special NHL team logo doughnuts  throughout the season at participating U.S. restaurants in select markets, it adds. 

Prior to launching a league-wide partnership with the NHL, Dunkin' Donuts has maintained a history of local partnerships with several prominent NHL franchises, including the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals, the company says. As a result of Dunkin' Donuts' partnership with the NHL,  the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues have joined the brand's roster of local NHL team sponsorships. Additionally, Dunkin' Donuts became the first official corporate sponsor of the new National Women's Hockey League in December 2015  and entered into a partnership with USA Hockey that includes designation as the Official Coffee Shop of the U.S. Women's National Team in February 2016, it adds.