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Over 130 Team Representatives Attend ECHL Meetings

June 16, 2008 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release

PRINCETON, N.J. - More than 130 representatives from ECHL teams attended the 13th Annual Marketing & Communications Meetings on June 8-11.

ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna provided a "State of the ECHL" while ECHL Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Glen Thornborough reviewed the past season and ECHL Director of Team Services John Fierko presented an overview of the results from the league-wide survey.

The keynote speaker was Aspire Group president Bernie Mullen, who has over 30 years of experience in the sports and entertainment business with the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and college athletics.

Mike Boswell, who is director of ticket and premium seat sales at Arizona State University, conducted a "Ticket Sales 101" training session and Philadelphia Flyers vice president of customer solutions Cindy Stutman presented a customer service seminar and Pete Winemiller, who is vice president of customer relations for the Seattle Supersonics of the NBA and the Seattle Storm of the WNBA, spoke about creating a service culture through guest relations, and Buffy G. Filippell, who is the founder and president of TeamWork Consulting, Inc., instructed on "Selling Your Way To The Top".

Richard Libero, who is the vice president of editorial and production for, addressed the general session on internet communication and interaction with fans and media while former Johnstown Chiefs and current Tampa Bay Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin spoke at the communications breakout.

Team representatives participated in discussion groups on ticket plans, database management, charitable contributions, holiday sales, season ticket holder retention, and service and theme nights.

For the fourth year in a row AMI Graphics, the "Exclusive Signage Company of the ECHL" awarded a complete set of dasherboard graphics, won by the Ontario Reign, and under-ice graphics, won by the Utah Grizzlies.

Teams were given multiple opportunities to view products at the annual vendor's showcase which had representatives from ECHL licensees Alexander Global, Aroma's Uncorked, Destroyer Promotions, Hartranft Associates, In Glas Co, OGP Enterprises Inc., Old Time Sports, Pro Specialties Group, Reebok-CCM, SFC USA Inc. and SP Apparel as well as 50/50 Central, Action Sports America, eMedia Solutions and SeatSub Inc.

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08, the ECHL is the Premier 'AA' Hockey League and the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.

ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league that will play with 24 teams in 16 states and British Columbia in 2008-09.

The league officially changed its name to ECHL on May 19, 2003.

The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the NHL in 2007-08, marking the 11th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.

There have been 355 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including 99 in the last three seasons. There have been 210 former ECHL players who have played their first game in the NHL in the past seven seasons.

There are 15 coaches in the NHL who have ECHL experience including former Wheeling coach Peter Laviolette, who is head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, and former Mississippi coach Bruce Boudreau, who is head coach of the Washington Capitals.

The ECHL is represented for the eighth consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team in 2008 with Detroit Red Wings forward Aaron Downey.

The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League in 2007-08 and for the past 19 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup champion.

In each of the last two seasons there have been more than 225 players who have played in both the ECHL and the AHL and there were over 800 call-ups involving more than 500 players. In the last five seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.

Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at

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