IHG named preferred hotel partner of the ECHL

ATLANTA and PRINCETON, N.J. – IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), a global hotel organization, and the ECHL announced today that they have entered into a one-year agreement that names IHG the preferred hotel partner of the ECHL.

"We are really looking forward to this new relationship with the ECHL," said Doug Dixon, marketing manager, U.S. Sales & Marketing, IHG. "This partnership provides a terrific opportunity for IHG to showcase team travel accommodations for the ECHL’s players and officials.”

As a part of its sponsorship, IHG will create a special portal for ECHL teams and coaches to book rooms at exclusive rates at any participating IHG hotel for its out-of town hotel needs during competition and recruitment. IHG brands include: InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental® Alliance Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Resort®, Holiday Inn® Club Vacations, Holiday Inn® Express, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®. The ECHL will also participate in IHG’s loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards, the world’s largest with 67 million members worldwide.

“We are pleased to partner with IHG’s family of hotel brands,” said Tara Crane, vice president, Marketing and Licensing, ECHL. “IHG’s wide array of brands will provide quality and affordable alternatives for ECHL teams, officials and fans.”

About IHG

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organization with nine hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, as well as our two newest brands, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts. IHG also manages Priority Club® Rewards, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty program with over 67 million members worldwide.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,500 hotels and more than 666,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories. With more than 1,000 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 people into additional roles across its estate over the next few years.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.priorityclub.com for more on Priority Club Rewards. For the latest news, visit www.ihg.com/media, twitter.com/ihgplc, facebook.com/ihg or youtube.com/ihgplc.



Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts 

• Watch games live on America One Sports, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” of the ECHL.

• The ECHL celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2012-13 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 in 16 states in 2012-13.

• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.

490 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 23 in 2011-12.

• The ECHL has had 298 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years.

• 234 ECHL players have played their first game in the last seven seasons for an average of more than 33 per year.

• ECHL had a record 81 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2011-12, surpassing the 79 from 2010-11 and marking the ninth year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.

• ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 NHL teams in 2012-13, marking the 16th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.

• 31 coaches with an ECHL background are working behind the benches of teams in the NHL including Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and 2011 Jack Adams Award winner Dan Bylsma, New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. It is the seventh consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL. 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.

• 26 former ECHL officials are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2012-13 with referees Darcy Burchell, Francis Charron, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Mike Leggo, Dave Lewis, T.J. Luxmore, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.

• ECHL was represented for the 12th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion in 2012 with Los Angeles Kings assistant coach Jamie Kompon, players Dwight King, Jordan Nolan and Jonathan Quick, manager of communications/broadcasting Jeremy Zager and scouts Steve Greeley, Mark Mullen and Mark Yannetti. Quick was named the recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the second consecutive year a former ECHL player won the award.. There were 43 former players and 13 coaches on the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the seventh year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the ninth consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.

• ECHL was represented in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game by Dan Girardi of the New York Rangers, Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.  

• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the NHL include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Tom Callahan of the Nashville Predators, Dave Goucher of the Boston Bruins, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bob McElligott of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

• Ryan Stanzel and Jeremy Zager, who were both recipients of the ECHL Media Relations Director of the Year award, are working in the communications department for the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. Former ECHL assistant director of communications Joe Siville works in the communications department for the Philadelphia Flyers.

• ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the American Hockey League in 2012-13 and for the past 23 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.

• In the last seven seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 3,500 call-ups involving more than 1,800 players and in 2011-12 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.

• The ECHL averaged 4,281 fans per game in 2011-12, marking the eighth consecutive season and the 20th time in the last 22 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans.

• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.