A record attendance of over 200 representatives from the 28 ECHL teams, including several owners, presidents and general managers, as well as representatives from nine Southern Professional Hockey League teams, attended the 20th Annual Sales, Marketing and Communications Meetings presented by Essensa at The Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 25-26, 2015.
Keynote speakers were Frank Miceli, Senior Vice President of Sales and Franchise Business Operations of the San Antonio Spurs, who spoke about 10 Tips for Success in the Sports Business and Shaun Graham of Synergy Sales Solutions, who presented on selling sport to businesses. ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna provided his annual “State of the ECHL” address while Ryan Crelin, Senior Vice President of Business Operations, spoke about Selling your ECHL Brand.
Jim Delaney, President and CEO of Activate Sports & Entertainment, presented a breakout session on leveraging social and digital for partnership activation while Charles Melillo of NeuLion and Mike “JB” John-Baptiste of SendtoNews focused on generating revenue from video content. Rob Montpere of The Fur Circus led a session on bringing your brand outside of the arena.
Mark Iralson, co-founder of Game Changer 23, presented breakouts on game operations as entertainment while Dewayne Hankins, Vice President of Marketing & Digital for the Portland Trail Blazers led sessions on mobile platforms and creating your own content.
In addition to his keynote speech, Graham led breakouts on managing staff to your strengths and on business sales techniques while Ken Troupe of Sportsdesk Media presented on digital demographics to drive tickets.
Bill Guertin, CEO of The 800 Pound Gorilla, presented sessions on crafting sales emails, laying the renewal groundwork, contact as the renewal silver bullet, and finding new customers while Steve Delay, co-creator of The Ultimate Toolkit, led a breakout on themes and groups for sellouts.
A merchandise and retail forum was presented by ECHL licensed vendors.
For the 11th 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 Rapid City Rush for the 2015-16 season.
The annual welcome receptions and vendor’s showcase presented by CCM, which highlighted over 36 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 fourth annual ECHL Career Fair, presented by TeamWork Online. Nearly 30 candidates from across the country, along with 14 ECHL teams, 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 28 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 28th season in 2015-16. There have been 569 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 28 who made their NHL debuts in the 2014-15 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 29 of the 30 NHL teams in 2014-15, marking the 18th 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.