Verizon Renews as U.S. Wireless Provider of NHL/NHLPA

VERIZON WIRELESS RENEWS AS OFFICIAL WIRELESS SERVICE PROVIDER OF THE NHL & NHLPA IN THE U.S.

NEW YORK/TORONTO (February 13, 2012) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), the National Hockey League (NHL), NBC Sports Group, and Verizon Wireless, the nation’s leading wireless provider, today announced a multi-year partnership renewal that will bring Verizon customers closer to the game than ever before with exclusive content via the Verizon edition of the NHL GameCenter smartphone and tablet apps.  

For the first time, the NHL will offer customers of the Verizon NHL GameCenter Premium App the ability to stream programming -- taking fans inside all the action from around the League, including live look-ins, real-time scores, team press conferences, expert analysis, and on-location access to such League events as the NHL Winter Classic®, NHL® All-Star Weekend and Stanley Cup® Final.  For this season, the app has been enhanced to include:
 
·        Star Cam feed: NBC broadcast bonus camera angles catch all the action
·        NBC Sports’ “Inside the Glass”™ analysis from the national network broadcasts: additional insight and information about the action from the coach’s or the bench perspective
·        Key In-Game Replays not available during the live on-air broadcast on NBC
·        NHL Network’s signature show, NHL On the Fly
·        Weekly “Frozen Moment” montage, capturing the iconic moments and history in the making available on demand
·        Weekly “NHL Plays of the Week” video on demand.

Verizon 4G LTE Smartphone and tablet customers will be able to get the NHL GameCenter Premium experience for free while all other Verizon customers can access to the app for just $9.99.  Other charges may apply according to a customer’s data plan.

In addition, all NHL games that air on NBC are now available to all Verizon Wireless customers using the Verizon editions of the NHL GameCenter App, Basic and Premium.  

“With more fans using mobile phones and tablets to access NHL content, we are focused on growing this area to provide the best customer experience possible,” said Keith Wachtel, Senior Vice President of Integrated Sales at the NHL. “An important step in accomplishing this is to extend our partnership with Verizon, a leader in the wireless category, to bring our tech-savvy fans the premium NHL content they demand through the medium of their choice.”

""The NHLPA is pleased to be renewing our partnership with Verizon Wireless,” said Mike Ouellet, NHLPA Chief of Business Affairs. “Today’s announcement is a positive one for hockey fans across the United States who will be able to enjoy exclusive player-generated content delivered directly to their mobile devices.”

”Bringing our technology combined with new and exclusive content to our customers is one of the exciting aspects of this relationship,” said Conley Smith, Executive Director, Sponsorships for Verizon Wireless.  “The fast pace of NHL action is a perfect match with  the blazingly fast speeds of Verizon’s leading 4G LTE network.”

“We are thrilled that Verizon continues to be one of the most significant long-term media sponsors and partners of hockey, not just on NBC, but across all the hockey platforms sold by the NBC Sports Group,” said Seth Winter, SVP, Sales & Marketing, NBC Sports Group.

The renewed relationship provides Verizon Wireless with exclusive marketing and promotional rights as the “Official Wireless Service Provider” in the United States, and category-exclusive U.S. marketing rights for marquee NHL events – including the NHL Winter Classic®, NHL® All-Star Weekend in the U.S., NHL Awards and NHL Lester Patrick Awards.

Verizon Wireless also will have considerable media presence on the broadcast, cable, and digital platforms of NBC and NBC Sports Network, including digital promotions on NBCSports.com banners, videos, and live streaming games.

About the NHL
The National Hockey League®, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America.  Today, the NHL® consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other major professional sport. The NHL entertains more than 250 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (NBCSN, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, and NHL Network™) and radio (NHL Radio™ and Sirius XM Satellite Radio).  Through the NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer™ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to NHL.com.

About the National Hockey League Players’ Association
The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labour organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 12 years, more than 60,000 deserving children in 25 countries have benefited from the players' donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $20-million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.

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