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NHL’s Oilers form sports and entertainment company

NHL ice hockey team Edmonton Oilers has announced the formation of a new sports and entertainment company that will feature recently retired Hockey Canada president and chief executive Bob Nicholson as vice-chairman.

Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) will manage the Katz Group’s sports and entertainment assets, along with managing the Canadian team’s new home arena Rogers Place.

Nicholson, who will continue to serve as vice-president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, is set to work alongside fellow OEG vice-chairman Kevin Lowe, Oilers owner Daryl Katz and the team’s president and chief executive Patrick LaForge in expanding the group’s sports and entertainment offerings, fan experiences and sponsorship portfolio. Currently under construction, Rogers Place opens its doors in September 2016.

Additionally, Nicholson will be an alternate governor for Edmonton Oilers on the NHL Board of Governors. “Bob Nicholson is an exceptional talent with a world-class reputation and deep relationships across the hockey world, from junior player development to world-scale events and large corporate sponsors,” Katz said. “He has been an innovator in driving new sport-based revenue models and we feel very fortunate he has chosen to move to Edmonton and become part of our team as we build a leading Canadian sports and entertainment company.”

Nicholson added: “This was an opportunity for me to stay connected to the game I love, work with a hugely promising franchise and be part of an organisation that fully understands the power of sports and entertainment to build brands, strengthen communities and inspire young people to excellence.”