The Lagardère Sports agency will lead the European sponsorship programme for this year’s World Cup of Hockey after striking a deal with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), the organisers of the national team ice hockey event.
Under the agreement, Lagardère Sports will seek to secure sponsorship deals for the tournament in Europe. The agency will be responsible for selling commercial assets such as the official tournament mark, as well as team logos, group player rights and digital dasherboards for European broadcasts. Lagardère Sports will also sell on-ice and in-arena branding assets for the pre-tournament exhibition games in Russia, Finland, the Czech Republic and Sweden.
The World Cup has not been held since 2004 but is being resurrected after the NHL set its rebirth as one of the key items on its agenda. The Canadian city of Toronto will host the tournament from September 17 to October 1, with all games taking place at the Air Canada Centre.
“The World Cup of Hockey 2016 is a premier global sports property that will capture the hearts and minds of avid hockey fans, engage casual sports fans and kindle national pride,” Keith Wachtel, NHL executive vice-president of global partnerships, said. “Who better to partner with than Lagardère Sports, one of the leaders in developing marketing partnerships around the world.”
Eight teams comprising 150 of the best players in the NHL will compete in the World Cup of Hockey. The teams will include Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the USA, along with ‘Team Europe’ and ‘Team North American Youngstars’.
‘Team Europe’ will be made up of European players not born in the four competing European nations. ‘Team North American Youngstars’ will feature players from Canada and the US that are aged 23 or under.