LONDON and NEW YORK - IMG, a global leader in sports, fashion and media, and the National Hockey League today announced a multiyear agreement to market and distribute global media rights for the NHL outside the U.S., Canada and Nordic countries, beginning with the 2016-17 NHL® season.
In addition, IMG will work alongside the National Hockey League Players' Association and the NHL to make the 2016 World Cup of Hockey available to the same territories worldwide.
Hillary Mandel, Senior Vice President & Head of Media, North America at IMG, said: "Our partnership will be based on a collaborative approach. The reach and expertise of our global sales team allows us to act on a sales and consultancy basis, as this extensive knowledge of each regional market means we can work strategically with both organizations. As a result, this is an exciting opportunity to make the NHL far more accessible to both its existing global fan base and a new generation of hockey fans."
"We are thrilled to expand our relationship with IMG," said David Proper, NHL Executive Vice President of Media Distribution and Strategy / Business Affairs. "Bringing NHL games and the World Cup of Hockey to our fans worldwide is a crucial component of our strategic plan to grow the NHL's global presence."
"We are looking forward to working with IMG, in conjunction with the NHL, to further expand the reach of the World Cup of Hockey to a broader global audience," said Don Fehr, NHLPA Executive Director.
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016 and be comprised of eight teams – Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden, Team USA, Team Europe and Team North America. More than 150 NHL players will compete in a best-on-best international hockey championship.
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 25 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world's greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages thousands of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is the world's largest independent producer and distributor of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world's leading entertainment agency, to form WME | IMG.
About the NHL
The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, consists of 30 Member Clubs, with players from more than 20 countries represented across team rosters, competing for the most revered trophy in professional sports – the Stanley Cup®. Each year, the NHL entertains hundreds of millions of fans around the world. The League broadcasts games in more than 160 countries and territories through its rightsholders including NBC/NBCSN in the U.S., Sportsnet and TVA in Canada, and Viasat in the Nordic Region. The NHL reaches fans worldwide with games available online in every country including via its live and on-demand streaming service NHL GameCenter LIVE™. Fans are engaged across the League's digital assets on mobile devices via the free NHL app; across nine social media platforms; on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio™, and on NHL.com, available in eight languages and featuring an enhanced statistics platform powered by SAP, providing the definitive destination for hockey analytics. A historic media rights partnership between the NHL and MLBAM will transform the fan experience across the League's digital and broadcast assets, with an emphasis on deeper access into the game and enhanced storytelling. To celebrate the NHL's international diversity, the World Cup of Hockey will return in September, 2016, a best-on-best international tournament featuring eight teams comprised of the world's best hockey players. On Founder's Day in November 2017, the League will be celebrating its Centennial anniversary, commemorating 100 years of NHL hockey. The NHL is committed to giving back to the community through programs including: Hockey is for Everyone™ which supports nonprofit youth hockey organizations across North America; Hockey Fights Cancer™ which raises money and awareness for hockey's most important fight; NHL Green™ which is committed to the pursuit of sustainable business practices; and a partnership with the You Can Play Project, which is committed to supporting the LGBT community and fighting homophobia in sports. For more information, visit NHL.com.
About the NHLPA
The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labour organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 15 years, more than 70,000 deserving children in 33 countries have benefited from the players' donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $23-million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.