The ECHL has been holding summer hockey meetings in Las Vegas for a decade, but the league just moments ago unveiled big upgrades to this year’s event. For the first time since their inception, the ECHL Summer Meetings will be branded with their own logo, and the ECHL will partner with the San Diego-based design firm Brandiose, most noted for its work in minor league baseball, to present the event.
Over the past decade, the ECHL Summer Meetings have grown as the league has reached out to include other hockey leagues like the SPHL, USHL, the National Women’s League, and the AHL. This year’s event will even feature leagues from Europe. The ECHL Summer Meetings are the closest thing hockey has to baseball’s winter meetings, which are a landmark event in that sport.
“From a leadership perspective, we’d be happy to take the role and grow, and mimic what baseball does, because I believe that’s a great model,” said Ryan Crelin, Senior Vice President for Business Operations for the ECHL.
Brandiose saw the opportunity to grow the ECHL Summer Meetings through branding and approached the league with the idea.
“We’re just looking to be a part of growing the hockey industry into everything it could be, and to fostering the collaboration and the idea sharing that minor league sports are known for,” Klein said.
The league jumped at the idea.
“We’ve taken a step back and said, let’s start to brand this thing and go a little bit bigger,” Crelin said.”It’s still the same concept, it’s just a little bit bigger and looking to take that next big step.”
While some other hockey leagues hold summer meetings, the ECHL’s annual event is the largest. In creating a brand for the meetings, Brandiose and the ECHL look to cement the reputation of this meeting as the go-to event for hockey clubs in any league.
“I think it signifies that this is the place to be if you’re in the hockey industry,” said Brandiose partner Jason Klein. “It symbolizes that this is a major event in a major city. If you’re in the hockey business and you want to learn and grow, this is the place to be.”
Brandiose, which is responsible for the lion’s share of new brands in minor league baseball, is looking to its expand into other sports, and minor league hockey is rife with potential. The firm’s involvement with this meeting is certainly of mutual benefit to Brandiose and the ECHL.
“The more that we’re part of the conversation in hockey, the more that we see our business growing with individual teams,” Klein said. “It’s a benefit for us, absolutely.”
The ECHL Summer Meetings will take place June 14–16 at the New York New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.