Jaromír Jágr has been famous in North America. But you can’t imagine how big of a deal is he in the Czech Republic.
When Jágr bought his first team in his hometown of Kladno, he wanted to secure them from bankruptcy. HC Kladno had financial issues and there was a chance that they would be forced to sell their Extraliga license to another team from the minor league.
(Note: Czech Extraliga isn’t “closed”. Teams can go down and up after each season. It depends on the rank and there’s a best-of-seven series between the lowest team from Extraliga and the highest team from the 1st League (minors). But there’s another way to go up to Extraliga: if you can’t run an Extraliga team, you can sell the license to a team from the 1st League — and there was a really good chance that Kladno could sell the license).
Jágr found a way to secure Kladno. He signed a contract with the lottery company, Sazka, for 40 million CZK (2 million USD). He wanted money for Kladno and Sazka wanted Jágr after financial issues that nearly ruined the whole company.
Jágr and his popularity were the best way to come back, to get more players for Sazka betting system and for saving the company. They made a few spots and that famous number 68 is everywhere – there’s a posters in almost every town or city or TV spots. It’s not possible to see these commercials in the US, it’s only on Czech commercial TV’s Nova, Prima and Barrandov.
This first one is the full spot. Jágr is wearing T-shirts of every NHL team in which he played and talk about offers in his life:
It’s in Czech, so I’ve made a transcript for you:
“I’ve received a lot of offers in my life,” said Jágr. “I usually said no. Before I start to play for some team, I have to be sure that I can count on them. I play with Sazka, because I believe them.”
This is “Making of” the Sazka spot. A Czech TV crew made a trip to Philly for 3 days (10/30-11/1) and this is a result:
So what’s your thoughts? Do you like it?