PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players Associationannounced that they have signed a licensing agreement with SEGA Europe. The agreement includes players from the ECHL being included in NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005, the newest release from SEGA Europe which will be available across Europe on May 27.
Created by Sports Interactive, NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005 has a refreshed interface and all new features while offering a comprehensive experience for every hockey and management fan.
“Following the success of the game last year, we are delighted to continue our excellent relationship with the Professional Hockey Players Association and with the involvement of the ECHL, which is the Premier “AA” Hockey League,” said Mark Duffy, Product Manager for Sports Interactive. “We are looking forward to working closely in seasons to come to increase accuracy and make NHL’ Eastside Hockey Manager’ 2005 even more comprehensive.”
“The ECHL is proud to announce its partnership with SEGA, the leader in sports video game entertainment,” said Glen Thornborough, ECHL Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “This new relationship will allow ECHL fans the opportunity to manage their own ECHL team providing an experience that transcends customary fan affinity.”
“The PHPA is thrilled to work with an established organization like SEGA and the commitment to quality and realism affords this product a true management experience,” said Andrew Johnston, Director of Communications and Business Development for the PHPA. “As the first company to utilize all of the top developmental professional hockey leagues in a video game, SEGA has produced a professional hockey simulation that is second to none.”
In addition to the ECHL and the PHPA, NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005 is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association as well as the American Hockey League.
Available for PSP, PC and Mac, NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005 is an engrossing management simulation that offers players more realistic sports management than ever before. NHL’ Eastside Hockey Manager’ 2005 gives the user complete control to build and shape their roster by trading players, signing free agents and drafting new talent while taking their team on the road to glory.
The Premier “AA” Hockey League, the ECHL had affiliations with 24 of the 28 teams in the AHL in 2004-05 and provided over 78 percent of the roster additions to the 28 teams in the American Hockey League. The ECHL accounted for 355 of the 450 roster additions involving players from the four professional minor leagues in North America. The 28 teams in the ECHL provided 219 of the 267 players listed by the AHL as being added to rosters in 2004-05, the remaining 48 players coming from the remaining 39 minor professional teams. The ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League and almost 100 players in the ECHL are on NHL contracts. The ECHL welcomed its first team outside the United States in 2004-05 with the addition of Victoria, British Columbia and 2005-06 will see the addition of Stockton, California and Phoenix, Arizona.
Professional Hockey Players Association
Since its inception in 1967, the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA) has continued to serve as an advocate of player interests. Currently, it is the U.S. National Labor Relations Board recognized collective bargaining unit for over 1400 players on 56 teams in the American Hockey League and the ECHL, respectively. Further information on the PHPA is available from its website at phpa.com.
Sports Interactive (SI) is the world’s leading developer of sports management simulations for home computers. SI’s pillar titles cover a range of sports, including football (the Football Manager series), ice hockey (the NHL: Eastside Hockey Manager series) and baseball (Out of the Park Baseball). Founded in 1994 and based in Islington, North London, SI has a full-time staff of 35 and employs the services of more than 1,500 part-time researchers across the globe. The company’s games have enjoyed an unparalleled history of commercial and critical success, with five of its creations among the UK’s Top 20 best-selling PC games of all time. In 2004 SI signed an exclusive five-year agreement with SEGA which will see all games it produces within that period published by the global computer and video games giant. Further information on the company and its games is available from the SI website at sigames.com.
SEGA(r) Europe Ltd.
SEGA Europe Ltd. is the European Publishing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA Corporation, a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. SEGA Europe’s web site is located at sega-europe.com.