TAMPA — Snow Day!
Not exactly something uttered too often by anyone living in the Sunshine State.
But Steven Stamkos found a way to enjoy a “Snow Day’’ in a Nike television ad that features many other top athletes from other sports, including NFL stars Rob Gronkowski, Ben Roethlisberger, Odell Beckham Jr., Ndamukong Suh and Women’s World Cup hero Carli Lloyd.
In the ad, Stamkos makes an appearance toward the end as he pops out of the snow, hockey stick in hand, as he gets set to join in as a game of backyard football gets set to kick off. The video, available on YouTube, was shot on a custom-built set in Los Angeles during the summer.
“It’s the biggest spot I’ve ever been in in terms of all the other athletes in there and where the commercial is being broadcast during which events. That’s pretty cool,’’ Stamkos said. “Obviously my part is pretty small, but it was great’’
His scene, where he rises out from under the snow, took about 20 minutes to shoot.
“They did it three times, and we tried to do it right the first time because they actually had to bury me under the fake snow,’’ Stamkos said. “So it was a little crazy under there. ’’
There is also a quick scene that features Stamkos dressing up a snowman by firing two pucks for the coat buttons and a carrot for the nose.
Stamkos is no stranger to commercial shoots. The 25-year-old has done ads for Nike/Bauer (shooting pucks into a fish tank among other breakable items or shooting “field goals’’) and Sportschek (shooting down flying drones), as well as promo shoots for Sportsnet (using hockey tape to fix a broken coffee mug and hat rack).
Those pale in comparison to his most recent experience.
“Nothing quite like that,’’ Stamkos said. “You are in L.A. and you pull up to the studio and it’s a multi-million dollar set. It was amazing. This thing is like what you see in the movies, except you are there and part of it. It’s amazing to see the amount of effort that goes into putting on a commercial like that and all the people that are (involved). There’s probably a hundred people around doing their little job to make the thing go.
“I was kind of in awe just being in that atmosphere and getting to meet some of the other athletes. And it being a global spot — and (despite me) being a Canadian and hockey not (being) that huge globally — to get a spot in there was pretty amazing.’’
And the athlete he was most impressed to meet?
“It was pretty cool to meet Odell Beckham Jr., especially with all the hype of last year and ‘The Catch,’ and it’s a pretty cool spot he has in the ad catching the barbell,’’ Stamkos said.
The shoot took place over a two-day span as 21 athletes were featured in the ad including football, tennis, soccer, basketball, hockey and boxing. Stamkos was unable to meet all the other athletes involved in the commercial because of the separate takes. He also doesn’t mind that when the ad airs during events in the United States, his scene often is not part of the 30- or 60-second spots. The original ad runs for two minutes.
“You get the Canadians in there and I think Eugenie Bouchard (Canadian tennis player) and I get cut out of some of the American broadcasts,’’ Stamkos said. “But sometimes we are in there, I’ve watched the football game on Sunday night and we were in that one. But just to be asked to be a part of that was pretty surreal.’’
NOTE: Tampa Bay recalled defenseman Nikita Nesterov from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. Nesterov was assigned on Friday and appeared in two games with the Crunch — he scored on Friday — before being brought back up to the Lightning.