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NHL promotes ‘300’

League mixes game footage with scene

The Spartan swords of Warner’s “300” are mixing it up with the slashing sticks of the National Hockey League.

Marking the first time the NHL has promoted a Hollywood pic, the league has cut a 30-second TV spot mixing game play footage with scenes from Warner Bros.’ violent ancient battle actioner “300.”

Spot, produced by NHL Prods., will air during NHL games on NBC, Versus, TSN and local affiliates. It also will play on the league’s Web site and in-arena games in select markets.

Film, which opens Friday, is based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name and retells the story of the fight-to-the-death Battle of Thermopylae.

NHL Enterprises prexy Ed Horne said the campaign is part of the league’s overall efforts to plant the NHL brand in the entertainment landscape. League is repped by William Morris Agency. The “300” campaign has several other components, including dispatching a handful of NHL players to the movie’s preem.

In addition to heavily marketing the pic to sports fans — it’s been hard to watch any sporting event without seeing an ad for “300” — Warners has been reaching out to comicbook fans and hipsters trolling the Internet. A trailer for “300” posted on the pic’s official MySpace page has been viewed 8 million times.

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