CCM Hockey, one of the largest producers of hockey equipment in the world, is planning to stop using Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, as well as other Russian-born NHL players, in any global marketing campaigns, according to TSN’s Rick Westhead. CCM chief executive Marrouane Nabih confirmed that the hockey equipment giant made the decision following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier in February.
“We are very sad to witness, like the rest of the world, what is happening in Ukraine,” CCM chief executive Marrouane Nabih told TSN. “Although Mr. Ovechkin is not responsible for the Russian government’s actions, we took the decision to not use him (or any Russian player) on any global CCM communication at this point.”
Ovechkin makes over $500,000 in endorsements from CCM, according to TSN. The Capitals winger even receives a percentage of the company’s sales in his native Russia.
CCM has active endorsement deals with plenty of non-Russian NHL stars, such as Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid and Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, but the company’s relationship with Ovechkin goes back years.
Ovechkin initially was a spokesman for CCM early in his career before moving to Bauer Hockey. However, in 2017, Ovechkin returned to CCM on a long-term contract. According to TSN, even if CCM stops using Ovechkin and other Russian stars in their ads, it’s unlikely that CCM would end their partnerships with the players completely.