PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced that it has hired Rich Lisk as vice president of marketing and business development.
He will be responsible for the overall marketing and branding of the ECHL as well as sponsorship sales and league partner relationships.
“Rich brings a wealth of sports and entertainment sales and marketing experience to the ECHL. In addition, having operated a team will make him uniquely qualified to understand our teams’ needs and growth opportunities,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “We are fortunate to have Rich leading the marketing efforts of the ECHL.”
“I’m very excited to be back in the ECHL,” said Lisk. “For the last 20 years the league has grown itself into the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League and I look forward to being part of that growth over the next 20 years.”
Lisk joins the ECHL after three seasons with Philadelphia of the Arena Football League where as the only general manager in team history he built the Soul into one of the premiere teams in the league. Philadelphia received the Commissioner’s Award as outstanding organization in 2007 and was recognized by the PRISM Award committee for fan appreciation and customer service. The Soul increased ticket sales every season, up 37 percent from their first season, and in 2008 they sold out four of their eight home games. Philadelphia won Arena Bowl XXII in 2008 and Lisk received a Telly award as executive producer of webisodes on ESPN. He served as treasurer of the Soul Charitable Foundation and was also a member of the AFL Team Marketing Advisory Board.
He was hired as the first vice president of marketing and sales for the expansion Trenton Titans, who led the ECHL in ticket revenue their first season while averaging 7,000 fans in the 7,500-seat Sovereign Bank Arena. He was named the ECHL Marketing Executive of the Year in 2001-02 and was promoted to president and general manager of the team in 2002. During his tenure, Trenton hosted the most successful ECHL All-Star weekend while playing its first international game and the first game between the ECHL and the AHL. Lisk served as the team’s Alternate Governor and was a member of the ECHL Marketing Committee and the Kelly Cup Playoffs Committee.
Before joining the Titans, Lisk worked for Busch Entertainment Promotions, Sesame Place where he managed media buying, special events, marketing plans and budgets while also overseeing the marketing and public relations efforts for the launch of Vapor Trail which was the first dry land roller coaster in the park’s history. He was also selected to be a member of the Busch Entertainment National Promotions Committee which oversaw and consulted on marketing efforts for all of the Busch Entertainment theme parks.
Lisk began his career with World Wrestling Entertainment rising from pay-per-view marketing representative to director of pay-per-view where he oversaw the marketing and advertising for 12 WWE pay-per-view events. He then worked at Comcast Spectacor and was the marketing manager responsible for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League, the Philadelphia Wings of the Major Indoor Soccer League and select family shows. During the Phantoms inaugural season his efforts helped produce five sellout crowds of 17,380 and Philadelphia led the AHL averaging more than 9,000 fans per game.
Lisk, who received his degree in economics and finance from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a board member of the National Sports Marketing Network – Philadelphia Chapter and in 2008 he was selected as a member of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list. He is co-founder of the Character Project, an organization that helps underprivileged children in tutoring and athletics, and is co-owner of Competitive Edge Hockey School while also serving on the Board of Trustees for Saint Francis Medical Center Foundation.
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• The ECHL celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
• ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 23 teams playing 828 games in 16 states and British Columbia in 2008-09.
• The Reading Royals, the City of Reading and the Sovereign Center will host the 17th Annual ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 21, 2009 and the 12th Annual All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 20, 2009.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• Affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League marking 12th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 359 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
• 103 have played their first NHL game in the last four seasons.
• Four former ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season: former Wheeling Nailers and ECHL All-Star defenseman Paul Bissonnette (Pittsburgh on Oct. 4), former Charlotte Checkers defenseman Steve MacIntyre (Edmonton on Oct. 15), former Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Adam Pardy (Calgary on Oct. 9) and former Gwinnett Gladiators center Jared Ross (Philadelphia on Oct. 11).
• There were 72 former ECHL players on NHL opening-day rosters.
• Twenty-six former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2007-08, including six who played in both the ECHL and the NHL as goaltender Chris Beckford-Tseu (Alaska and St. Louis), Adam Berti (Pensacola and Chicago), Joe Jensen (Wheeling and Carolina), Dan LaCosta (Elmira and Columbus), Jonathan Quick (Reading and Los Angeles) and Danny Taylor (Reading and Los Angeles).
• Record 51 former ECHL players played their first NHL game in 2005-06.
• ECHL has been represented on last eight Stanley Cup champions.
• Former ECHL coaches working as head coaches in the NHL are Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals, Scott Gordon of the New York Islanders and Peter Laviolette of the Carolina Hurricanes. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award. Laviolette, who began his coaching career with the Wheeling Nailers, led Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
• There are 15 assistant coaches in the NHL who were players or coaches in the ECHL.
• There are 18 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2008-09 with referees David Banfield, Chris Ciamaga, Ghislain Hebert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak and Jay Sharrers. Barton, Joannette, Leggo, McCauley, Nowak, Pollock, Rooney and Sharrers all worked the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
• ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 19 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.
• In the last six seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.
• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.