Qwest teams with USA Hockey
By Tripp Mickle
The Denver Business Journal
Monday, Monday, February 26, 2007
Funding usually peaks for national governing bodies during
Olympic years and dips during the years in between, but USA
Hockey has found a way to beat that trend.
The national governing body has completed a multiyear deal with
Qwest Communicatons International, the Denver-based telecom with
a $15.5 billion market cap. The finances of the deal were not
immediately available, but most USA Hockey deals are in the low-
to mid-six-figure range.
The deal is the largest nonendemic deal in the organization's
history, said marketing director Lee Meyer, and it pushes USA
Hockey's sponsorship revenue 5 percent above where it was in
2006, when the Olympics were held in Turin, Italy, and 35
percent above 2005, the last non-Olympic year.
"That's raising the bar for USA Hockey," Meyer said. "My hope is
it builds a whole new basis for us to operate."
Qwest will become the official communication partner for USA
Hockey and the official sponsor of the U.S. women's national
team, a position formerly held by Wal-Mart.
Unlike the men's national team, which plays in two major events,
the World Championships and the Olympics, the women's team plays
11 to 18 domestic games annually. Qwest will be entitled to
event signs, tickets and athlete rights with the team.
USA Hockey also will help the telecommunications provider
network with local and state-level organizations to sponsor
events such as the Minnesota state hockey championships.
Qwest has partnered with other national governing bodies in the
past. It recently sponsored the State Farm U.S. Figure Skating
Championships and was a sponsor of U.S. Speedskating until that
contract expired last year.
USA Hockey began working on the deal with Qwest in January 2006,
Meyer said. The company was looking for ways to be involved with
athletes at the grassroots level, he added, and with more than
520,000 members, USA Hockey was a good fit.
Qwest was not available for comment.