AHL, EA Sports announce marketing partnership

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has reached a multi-platform marketing and licensing agreement with Electronic Arts, the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company, focusing on the launch of NHL®09, the latest release in EA’s NHL franchise.
One component of this partnership includes NHL®09 receiving in-arena signage and promotion throughout the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Charter Communications, which will take place Jan. 25-26 in Worcester, Mass. Televised to national audiences in the United States and Canada, the annual All-Star Classic is the AHL’s showcase of the very best young professional players in the sport, as well as a celebration of the American Hockey League and its storied history.
Additionally, EA will receive significant exposure across the AHL Internet Network, with banner ads promoting the launch of NHL®09 found on the home page of theahl.com, as well as on the AHL Network navigation bar that appears on all pages of all 29 AHL member club Web sites.
For the second year in a row, EA SPORTS has an exclusive license with the American Hockey League allowing all 29 AHL teams, as well as players, uniforms, logos, arenas and trophies, to be featured prominently in NHL®09. The AHL’s involvement provides an additional level of authenticity to EA SPORTS’ award-winning NHL game franchise, as 84 percent of all current NHL players are graduates of the American Hockey League and the AHL serves as the top development league for all 30 NHL clubs. Gamers can play AHL teams against each other in NHL®09, 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.
“This is a terrific extension of the AHL brand to the many people of all ages who enjoy EA’s NHL franchise,” said Chris Nikolis, AHL executive vice president of marketing and business development. “It has been a pleasure working with EA and we look forward to strengthening our partnership in the future.”
Electronic Arts (EA) is the world’s leading independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for advanced console systems such as PlayStation, Xbox from Microsoft and Nintendo Wii as well as PC games, casual web-based games and games for mobile phone devices. EA SPORTS’ NHL®09 is available now for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360; the PlayStation 2 and PC versions will be available in stores in October. For more information, log onto www.easports.com/nhl09.

EA and EA SPORTS are trademarks or registered trademarks in the U.S. and/or other countries. All rights reserved.
In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 84 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the seventh year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2007-08. The AHL’s 73rd regular season begins on Wed., Oct. 8, as 29 teams begin competition for the prestigious Calder Cup.