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USA Hockey signs three new deals, boosts revenue to $2.75M
February 12, 2014 06:08 PM
The new sponsors include Got Milk, STX Hockey and Proctor & Gamble’s Gillette and Bounty brands. Liberty Mutual, an existing sponsor, expanded its deal to include a presenting sponsorship of a series of women’s hockey exhibition games.
All of the sponsors are featuring members of USA Hockey in marketing and promotions around the Games. Gillette is working with Ryan Suter, Bounty with Julie Chu, Got Milk with Zach Parise, and STX Hockey with Hillary Knight. Liberty Mutual is working with Rico Roman and Monique Lamoureux.
The deals collectively pushed USA Hockey’s annual corporate revenue up 23 percent from where it was during the 2010 Vancouver Games.
“Looking at this Olympic year, people have a good memory of Vancouver, and the overall strength of the NHL and high level of U.S. players helped us,” said Lee Meyer, USA Hockey’s senior director of marketing.
USA Hockey is one of the only U.S. national governing bodies to restrict its athletes from appearing in uniform for advertising and marketing with a company that doesn’t sponsor its team. That rule, which is written into its player contracts, helped it negotiate several new deals with companies looking to feature its athletes.
The organization also allows companies to pay for “image rights” to feature its jerseys on hockey players it uses in campaigns. Citibank (Chu and Roman), BP (Chu), Chobani (Parise and Roman), McDonald’s (Patrick Kane) and Kellogg’s (Jim Craig) all paid for image rights ahead of the Sochi Games.
“This is way, way beyond what we’ve ever had before in terms of using our athletes and our jerseys,” Meyer said.
In addition to those companies featuring USA Hockey athletes, the organization’s beer partner, Labatt, developed special-edition jersey cans featuring this year’s Team USA jersey.
The jersey has been one of the best-selling jerseys in USA Hockey history. The organization’s merchandise revenue is up 80 percent from the Vancouver Games, and the increase has been driven primarily by jersey sales, Meyer said. He added, “That’s a huge statement when you think of Vancouver being a North American Olympics. It’s gigantic.”