A record 230 attendees from 28 ECHL teams, including several owners, presidents and general managers, as well as representatives from teams in the Southern Professional Hockey League, United States Hockey League and National Women’s Hockey League, participated in the 21st Annual Sales, Marketing and Communications Meetings presented by Essensa at The Monte Carlo Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 22-24, 2016.
Keynote speakers Jeff Vinik, Chairman and Governor of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and industry legend Jon Spoelstra, best selling sports author of Marketing Outrageously and Ice To Eskimos, kicked off the event. ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna provided his annual “State of the ECHL” address.
“This year’s event was the largest ever and featured a broad array of relevant topics and thought provoking speakers,” said Brian McKenna, Commissioner of the ECHL. “We believe this exchange of ideas will benefit all attendees in growing their business during the upcoming Season.”
Matt Sebek, a Strategic Consultant to Fortune 100 brands, also addressed the attendees about how to leverage digital tools to increase the fan experience, while a number of breakout sessions were led by other industry professionals including.
Eric Bridenstine, Vice President of Marketing and Creative Services, AHL’s Charlotte Checkers
Murray Cohn, President and Founder of MC Sports Sales Training & Consulting
James Collins, Accelerated Sports Career Academy
Steve Delay, The Ultimate Sales Kit To Fill the Last Seat in the House
Jeff Henry, Associate Director of Experiential with Erwin Penland
Rich Libero, Founder of Stadium Publishing, LLC
Bill Makris, Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service, Arizona Coyotes
Jeff Morander, Executive Vice President of Ticket Sales & Strategy, Arizona Coyotes
For the 12th year in a row, AMI Graphics, the “Exclusive Signage Company of the ECHL”, awarded a complete set of dasher board and under-ice graphics to an attending team, which was won by the Greenville Swamp Rabbits for the 2016-17 season.
The annual Welcome Reception and Vendors’ Showcase presented by CCM, which highlighted over 30 companies, provided an opportunity for teams to view products from League vendors and licensees. The Fur Circus sponsored lunch during the event for attendees.
The week also included the 5th annual ECHL Career Fair, presented by TeamWork Online. Nearly 80 candidates from across the country – along with 14 ECHL teams, the Arizona Coyotes, the SPHL, the USHL and Accelerated Sports Career Academy, attended the fair with multiple candidates receiving job offers on site.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 27 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 29th season in 2016-17. There have been 599 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 30 who made their NHL debuts in the 2015-16 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 25 of the 30 NHL teams in 2015-16, marking the 19th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.