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NHL checks B2B network
June 26, 2000: 4:47 p.m. ET

Hockey teams could collaborate to buy equipment, concessions, merchandise
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Hold on to your hat tricks.

The National Hockey League is considering what would be the first business-to-business exchange anywhere between professional sports teams for equipment and concessions, officials said Monday.

The New York-based NHL, which is made up of 30 teams, announced the agreement Monday with New York-based accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, to study just how much such an exchange would save the organization in purchasing costs each year, and how that might affect ticket prices.

Such an exchange over the Internet could save the league 10 to 30 percent in procurement costs and an additional percentage in other transactions, PricewaterhouseCoopers spokesman Patrick McDonnell said.

graphic"In an increasingly dynamic sports and entertainment marketplace, new technology and entertainment vehicles have impacted the way sports leagues function and how we deliver the NHL experience to our business partners and fans," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers and the NHL said the study, which actually began about six months ago and is slated to be completed by the end of the summer, will focus on six teams - the Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens and the Los Angeles Kings.

But Craig Harnett, the NHL's chief operating officer, declined to say which teams incurred the highest procurement costs in the league.

If the NHL decides to go ahead with the exchange, it could involve all 30 teams, McDonnell said. Neither side said how any savings might be passed onto fans, such as lower ticket or concession prices.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said it plans to perform a comprehensive analysis of the NHL's entire supply chain "from sporting equipment vendors and team merchandise manufacturers to broadcasters, ticket brokers and stadium concessions suppliers."

"...We are confident that this exciting initiative with the National Hockey League will serve as the business model for how other professional and even amateur sports organizations can boost business productivity and serve their fans in creative new ways," PricewaterhouseCoopers' McDonnell said.

If the Internet exchange is established, hockey teams will work together to buy everything from sticks and protective equipment to concessions and team merchandise, officials said.

"It has the potential to include anything from paperclips to jumbotrons," Harnett said. Back to top


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