SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced a multi-year partnership with the MeiGray Group and the creation of the AHL/MeiGray Game-Worn Jersey Program. The MeiGray Group has also been named the official game-worn jersey source of the AHL and the 2006 AHL All-Star Classic.
Beginning with the 2005-06 season, the AHL and MeiGray will market game-worn jerseys directly to fans and collectors throughout the world for the following American Hockey League teams:
The AHL/MeiGray program will also market jerseys worn in the 2006 AHL All-Star Game and the 2006 Calder Cup Finals, and will make available game-worn jerseys from select past AHL All-Star Classics as well.
“The AHL is very pleased to begin this partnership with the MeiGray Group, the leader in the game-worn industry,” said Chris Nikolis, vice president of sales and marketing for the AHL. “As we prepare for our 70th-anniversary season, we look forward to being able to make AHL game-worn jerseys more easily available to fans and collectors around the world.”
Each AHL team will wear two sets of home and away jerseys during the regular season. For each participating club, MeiGray will own the exclusive rights to the first-half sets, and the teams will own the exclusive rights to the second-half sets. All alternate and special-event jerseys will remain property of the clubs. Fans will be offered the opportunity to reserve and pre-order jerseys once the 2005-06 AHL season begins.
“We’re delighted to be joining the AHL family,” said Barry Meisel, president of the MeiGray Group. “This league has a great tradition, great franchises and great fans, and we’re thrilled to have this opportunity to reach the AHL’s broad base of fans and collectors.”
MeiGray, which has sold more than 18,000 game-worn hockey jerseys since 1997, also directs the National Hockey League’s game-worn jersey authentication program and the ECHL’s game-worn jersey program.
In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 80 percent of NHL players in 2003-04 were AHL graduates, and in 2004-05, more than 7 million fans – an all-time league record – attended AHL games across North America.