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NHL, SLOC agree on marketing deal

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NEW YORK — The National Hockey League and the Salt Lake Organizing Committee today announced a marketing agreement under which the NHL will implement a comprehensive marketing plan that promotes league participation in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

The NHL and its 30 teams will adopt the plan in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation. The agreement marks the first deal of its kind between a professional sports league and an Olympic Organizing Committee.

The agreement includes the development of a joint logo that incorporates the NHL shield and the SLOC crystal Olympic emblem. The marketing plan will be central to the NHL's new "Hockey30 Rules" campaign, which will debut for the start of the 2001-2002 season. The joint logo will be featured on printed materials and NHL advertising. The NHL and its teams also may use the phrase "See You in Salt Lake" as a secondary tag line to promote the Olympic Hockey Tournament.

The goal of the "Hockey Rules" initiative for both the NHL and SLOC is to increase awareness of NHL players' participation in February's Olympic Winter Games.

The agreement will serve to maximize media coverage, attendance and television viewership of the tournament.

"The NHL fan base is global, loyal and avid supporters of the game of hockey on all levels. Our ability to promote the NHL's participation in the Olympic Winter Games around the world — in our arenas, our advertising and promotional inventory, and on NHL.com will bring both our own core fan base and new viewers to the Winter Games," said Bill Daly, NHL executive vice president & chief legal officer.

Mark Lewis, managing director of marketing for SLOC, said "the opportunity to jointly promote NHL players participation in the 2002 Games allows both SLOC and the NHL to offer fans the chance to watch world class athletes competing for their home countries in a dream tournament." The NHL, under an agreement with the NHL Players' Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation, agreed in May 2000 for the League to take a 12-day hiatus during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. NHL players will participate on their National teams from Feb. 15-24.

National Federations for Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States announced the first members of their 23-man Olympic rosters in March. To date, 52 NHL players, representing 25 of the 30 NHL member clubs have been selected. The Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins each claim a League-high five Olympians, followed by New Jersey and St. Louis with four. A list of NHL 2002 Olympians by national team and by NHL club is available on www.NHL.com.