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AHL, EA announce partnership extension

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League and Electronic Arts, the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company, have announced a four-year extension of their successful licensing partnership, under which the American Hockey League will continue to be featured prominently in EA SPORTS’ award-winning NHL game franchise.

Since the fall of 2007 with NHL®08, EA SPORTS has had an exclusive license with the American Hockey League allowing all AHL teams – as well as players, stats, uniforms, logos, arenas and trophies – to be featured in EA’s NHL franchise. This extension will continue the AHL’s involvement through 2003-14.

The inclusion of the AHL provides an additional level of authenticity to EA SPORTS’ award-winning NHL game franchise. The AHL serves as top development League for all 30 NHL clubs and 85 percent of all current NHL players are graduates of the American Hockey League. In the current NHL®10 game, gamers can play AHL teams against each other or use the “Be A Pro” feature to start off in the ranks of the American Hockey League and advance to a potentially legendary career in the NHL.

“The extension of the AHL brand to the many people of all ages who enjoy EA’s NHL franchise and the excitement of AHL hockey has been a huge success,” said Chris Nikolis, AHL executive vice president of marketing and business development. “EA has been a great partner and it has been a pleasure working with them. We look forward to playing a vital role in EA’s NHL franchise for many years to come.”

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is a leading global interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, wireless devices and the Internet. For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete. EA and EA SPORTS are trademarks or registered trademarks in the U.S. and/or other countries. All rights reserved. NHL is a registered trademark of the National Hockey League.

In operation since 1936, the AHL (theahl.com) continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 85 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the ninth year in a row, more than 6 million fans have attended AHL games across North America during the 2009-10 season. The 2010 Calder Cup Finals get underway on Thursday, with the Hershey Bears and the Texas Stars battling for the AHL’s 74th championship.