LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Honda and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that the automaker will serve as the title sponsor of the 2017 NHL® All-Star Game in Los Angeles. The announcement was made today at the Los Angeles Auto Show with a special appearance by NHL icon Wayne Gretzky and the unveiling of a custom-wrapped 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Ridgeline. Honda will present a new 2017 Ridgeline truck to the most valuable player of the 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 29 at the Staples Center.
"Honda shares a love for the game of hockey with millions of fans around the world, and we are pleased to support the effort to host this ultimate showcase of the NHL and its incredibly talented players in our backyard," said Jeff Conrad, Honda's Senior Vice President & General Manager. "We look forward to working with the NHL to create some fun for fans throughout the 2017 All-Star Weekend including the intersection of Hockey and Hollywood that will be arriving at LA Live the last weekend of January." Honda will award the MVP of the 2017 NHL All-Star Game with an all-new 2017 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck at the conclusion of the game. To help celebrate the event, Honda will showcase a custom-wrapped 2017 Honda Ridgeline truck replete with the All-Star Game logo at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, running Nov. 18-27 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Attendees at the auto show will be able to take a photo with the "MVP Ridgeline" at the Honda booth. Honda's presence during the 2017 NHL All-Star festivities in Los Angeles also will include serving as a sponsor of one of the skills in the 2017 NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ on Saturday, Jan. 28, where the greatest players in the League will face off in a series of on-ice contests. NHL All-Stars will show off their best moves in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge™ with the winner determined by fan vote. "The 2017 NHL All-Star Weekend marks Honda's third straight year as title sponsor and demonstrates their commitment to hockey fans - both in Southern California and across North America," said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President and Chief Branding Officer. "Honda shares our goal to make each All-Star Weekend more entertaining than the last, and are amazing partners in the continued growth and success of the NHL." Gretzky, the NHL's all-time leader in goals (894), assists (1,963) and points (2,857) as well as numerous other records, currently serves as the official Centennial Ambassador of the NHL's year-long celebration of its Centennial in 2017. He will make appearances at various events throughout the calendar year as the league marks 100 years of the NHL, including the 2017 NHL All-Star festivities in Los Angeles. "The NHL All-Star Game and the NHL All-Star Skills Competition are the greatest showcases of hockey talent in the world and I'm excited to have the game and fan events in my home of Los Angeles," said Gretzky. "With the Honda Ridgeline truck going to the most valuable player, I'm tempted to wear number 99 to win the award." Honda is celebrating nine years as the Official Vehicle of the National Hockey League, and will support the NHL throughout the 2016-2017 season as the exclusive automotive partnership of the NHL. Honda's award-winning vehicles, including the all-new 2017 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck, Pilot SUV and CR-V crossover, will be featured at key events including NHL Centennial Classic™, NHL Winter Classic®, NHL® All-Star Weekend, NHL Heritage Classic™, NHL Stadium Series™, NHL Awards™, and NHL Draft™, as well as throughout the Stanley Cup® Playoffs and Stanley Cup® Final.