American Hockey League And The Hockey Company Form Multi-Year Strategic Marketing & Licensing Partnership
CCM©, Jofa© and Koho© to be Exclusive Equipment Suppliers
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League and The Hockey Company today announced a multi-year, multi-million-dollar partnership that will serve as the foundation for the AHL's marketing, licensing and on-ice branding strategies for years to come. The agreement was approved by the AHL's Board of Governors, and will establish THC as the exclusive supplier of sticks, helmets, gloves, pants, jerseys and socks to 26 AHL teams.
The Hockey Company is home to three of the world's most recognized brands in hockey equipment and apparel: CCM©, Jofa© and Koho©. The breakthrough agreement further strengthens the long-standing relationship between two of the most celebrated names in the sport: the AHL, which has been one of the premier hockey leagues in the world for nearly seven decades, and THC, whose roots trace back to the founding of CCM in 1899. Each season, the AHL sends some 400 players to the National Hockey League.
This partnership also includes a joint marketing commitment between the AHL and The Hockey Company to cultivate the game at the grassroots level, including a pledge by THC to purchase thousands of tickets during the term of the agreement for use in community-driven initiatives. The Hockey Company will receive significant visibility in AHL markets in the form of in-arena signage, television advertising, e-commerce opportunities and other promotional activities. THC will also be a major sponsor of and equipment supplier to the AHL All-Star Classic, and serve as the title sponsor of the CCM AHL Player of the Week, Koho AHL Goaltender of the Month, Jofa AHL Rookie of the Month and CCM AHL Performers of the Month awards.
Through the partnership, The Hockey Company will be the exclusive supplier of sticks, gloves, helmets, pants, performance underwear and bench wear to AHL teams beginning with the 2004-05 season, and of jerseys and socks beginning in 2005-06. THC will also serve as exclusive supplier of helmets, pants, jerseys and performance underwear to all AHL referees and linesmen. THC will also create an advisory panel comprising THC product specialists, AHL players and team equipment managers in order to continue the development of high-performance professional equipment.
Furthermore, The Hockey Company will receive the exclusive rights to supply and market authentic and replica jerseys for AHL clubs and the AHL's annual All-Star teams, as well as authentic AHL apparel, including locker room and Calder Cup championship apparel. The AHL and THC will also join forces by using the CCM© brand to aggressively market and distribute complete lines of AHL-licensed apparel, including AHL Vintage jerseys to coincide with the league's 70th anniversary season in 2005-06.
"This is a momentous day for the AHL and our member clubs," said David Andrews, President and CEO of the American Hockey League. "This agreement positively impacts every facet of our on- and off-ice product, greatly benefiting our players and fans alike. As the AHL continues to grow, we look forward to working closely with The Hockey Company to outfit our players in the best equipment available and to make premium AHL apparel available worldwide."
"The American Hockey League represents an ideal vehicle to further our marketing, licensing and product exposure," said Matthew H. O'Toole, President and CEO of The Hockey Company. "All of us at The Hockey Company are delighted to form this close association with the premier league in the development of National Hockey League players. We look forward to providing AHL players with breakthrough products like our CCM Vector stick."
Established in 1936, and with 28 franchises reaching from Salt Lake City to St. John's, Nfld., and Winnipeg to San Antonio, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 80 percent of all players competing in the NHL today are AHL graduates, including stars like Brett Hull, Martin St. Louis, Steve Sullivan, Bill Guerin and Sergei Gonchar, as well as CCM's own Martin Brodeur, Shane Doan and Olaf Kolzig. The American Hockey League has also been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, such as Terry Sawchuk, Johnny Bower, Eddie Shore, Gerry Cheevers, George Armstrong, Bob Gainey and Larry Robinson.