Document Sample
                                 HOCKEY LEAGUE
                                  NEWSLETTER                                                            >> ISSUE 01 <<
                                                                                                        MARCH 04, 2008

  Welcome to Champions Hockey League
   Since our official launch in St. Petersburg, we’ve been busy building what will be the greatest, most exhilarating and
   dynamic hockey league Europe has ever seen. With Season One debuting this September 2008, we wanted to
   introduce ourselves and update you all with concrete information on what has been planned.

  Who’s Behind Champions Hockey League
   For as long as he can remember, IIHF (International Ice
   Hockey Federation) President René Fasel has wanted
   a premiere European league where the best clubs in
   Europe compete against each other for the European
   crown. Last April, he announced the IIHF’s intention to
   launch a new European club competition. Less than a
   month later, the IIHF commissioned a feasibility study
   to assess interest in the Champions Hockey League
   among European national associations, clubs and
   players as well as potential sponsors and broadcasters
   and last but not least, fans.

  Champions Hockey League: What European Hockey Wants
   The conclusion was overwhelmingly positive. National
   associations, leagues, clubs and players were more
   than willing to cooperate. Sponsors and broadcasters
   saw the great opportunity to reach a wider audience.
   And everyone, especially the fans, were delighted at
   this new and unique possibility. There was no doubt
   that Europe was ready for a premiere European club
   competition; a league worthy of the high-caliber ice
   hockey that’s been played on this continent for years.

CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                    >> PAGE 1 <<
CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                    >> ISSUE 01 <<
                                                                                                           MARCH 04, 2008

  Ovation Sports: Experience You Can Trust
                         Craig Thompson                            professionals. Together they bring Champions Hockey
                         Ovation Sports CEO                        League an exceptional wealth of experience. We believe
                                                                   European club hockey deserves its own Champions
                       In January 2008, it was agreed
                                                                   League. Together with the IIHF, we are honored and
                       that Ovation Sports will manage
                                                                   ready to bring you Europe’s most professional and
                       the Champions Hockey League.
                                                                   exciting ice hockey competition.
                       Ovation is led by Craig Thompson
                       one of the founding fathers of              We have carefully studied what has come before. We’ve
                       UEFA’s Champions League. Its                understood the mistakes of the past, we know what
                       multi-skilled staff has more than           went right and wrong because we are experts in sports
   half a century of combined history turning Champions            league creation as well as centralized marketing.
   League Football into UEFA’s most’s valuable asset. In
   addition, Ovation has assembled a team of ice hockey

  Why Champions Hockey League will Succeed
   IT’S WORTH IT                                                   ONLY THE BEST PLAY THE BEST
   The CHL offers the largest prize money package ever             >> Every game will be exciting because our qualification
   of any European club competition. Thanks to a strong               system ensures that the teams are Europe’s best
   group of committed investors, in our first season 10               from year to year.
   million Euros will be distributed. This will benefit not just   >> Why? Because a nation at the bottom of the rankings
   club hockey, but the sport as a whole.                             will never compete against one at the top, unless
   >> Each of the 7 participating National Associations               they’ve earned it by qualifying.
      will receive 100,000€
                                                                   NOw THE EUROPEAN CHAMPION CAN FACE OFF
   >> Each of the 7 participating European leagues will            AGAINST THE NHL
      receive 300,000€
                                                                   >> For the first time ever, the IIHF and the NHL have
   >> Each participating European Club will receive                   agreed on a club competition - the VICTORIA CUP
      300,000€                                                        (see below) - which will match the best club in
   >> Each win in the Group Stage: 50,000€. Win all 4                 Europe against an NHL challenger.
      Group Stage games = 200,000€                                 >> Now, European Club hockey finally has a chance
   >> Make it to the Semi-Final: 200,000€ each for 4                  to prove itself in an officially sanctioned global
      clubs                                                           competition.
   >> European Championship Runner Up: 500,000€
                                                                   EVERYONE’S ON THE SAME TEAM
   >> Win the European Championship Title: 1,000,000€
                                                                   >> For the last year, representatives of participating
   BECAUSE RESPECTING THE LEAGUE                                      national hockey associations and leagues have
   SCHEDULES IS IMPORTANT                                             helped create the best structure to ensure this
                                                                      competition’s success. They will continue to do so as
   >> We have cooperated with Europe’s ice hockey clubs
                                                                      part of a soon-to-be-appointed CHL Administrative
      and leagues to make sure that the action packed
                                                                      Board named by the IIHF.
      five-month Champions Hockey League season is
      both convenient and compatible with the national             EVERYONE’S COMMITTED FOR THE LONG TERM
      league programs.
                                                                   >> The IIHF has granted a seven-year mandate to
   >> Number of Games Played 2008/2009 per Club:                      ensure we have the time to bring you the best
      Minimum 4, Maximum 9 (in the first season), if the              hockey competition in Europe.
      club makes it all the way to the final and plays in the
      Victoria Cup.                                                >> Our investor group guarantees the prize money and
                                                                      operational costs for a full three seasons. Though
                                                                      we are confident CHL’s costs will be covered by
                                                                      generated revenue, we are not dependent on such
                                                                      to succeed.

CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                      >> PAGE 2 <<
CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                    >> ISSUE 01 <<
                                                                                                           MARCH 04, 2008

  Champions Hockey League: Calender and Competition Format
   Our feasibility study showed that Wednesday is the night in Europe where current leagues play the least. It’s the easiest
   night for our participating leagues to modify their schedules and so now, selected Wednesdays from September to
   January are Champions Hockey League nights. They’ve been carefully chosen to minimize competition with football
   and thus, maximize exposure potential.

   Named after the arena in which the first organized hockey competition was ever played (March 3, 1875), the Victoria
   Cup is an unprecedented event; the first time the NHL has ever faced-off against the European club champion with
   a cup on the line.
   On October 1st, Russia’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the winner of the 2007 European Championship Cup, will play
   the New York Rangers in the Post Finance Arena in Bern Switzerland. This will be the first Russia/NHL club match-
   up in 17 years. Hockey history will also be made on September 30th, when the NHL makes their first appearance on
   Swiss ice with an exhibition game between the Rangers and host SC Bern, one of Europe’s premiere clubs.
   This year’s Victoria Cup, is just the start of a long tradition. Every year, this illustrious competition will launch the
   Champions Hockey League season. As the league grows, the Victoria Cup will evolve with it; the vision is to one day
   match the winners of the Stanley Cup and the Champions Hockey League.

CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                       >> PAGE 3 <<
CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                                                                                                                           >> ISSUE 01 <<
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MARCH 04, 2008

   To secure its future, the debut of Champions Hockey League’s must be unparalleled. The league’s presentation in
   it’s first season must be of the best and highest quality.
   Therefore, this season of Champions Hockey League will be an abbreviated version of what is to come in 2009-2010
   and beyond. The competition will commence directly with the Champions Hockey League Group Stage.
   We intimately understand the careful planning and airtight organization needed to ensure the success of a new
   league. An overloaded schedule in the first season would be detrimental. Now we’ll have less games and an
   additional month in which to deliver the premiere of Europe’s greatest league.

   Top 12 Clubs in Europe from the Top 7 Nations
                           IIHF TOP 7 NATIONS’                                      PLAY OFF CHAMPIONS                                                         REGULAR SEASON WINNERS*

                                                                                               GROUP STAGE                                                                  GROUP STAGE
                                                                                                                                                                REGULAR SEASON WINNERS
                                                                                         1              RUSSIA
                                      FINLAND                                                                                                                          8          RUSSIA
                                                                                         2              FINLAND
                                                                                                                                                                       9          FINLAND
                                      CZECH REPUBLIC
                                                                                         3              CZECH REPUBLIC
                                                                                                                                                                    10            CZECH REPUBLIC
                                      SWEDEN                                             4              SWEDEN
                                                                                                                                                                       11         SWEDEN
                                                                                  Champions of Top 7 Nations’
                                                                                     Automatically Qualify
                                                                                                                                                                QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT

                                      SLOVAKIA                                                                                                                   REGULAR SEASON WINNER
                                                                                         5              SLOVAKIA
                                      SWITZERLAND                                        6              SWITZERLAND

                                                                                         7              GERMANY                                                   12              SWITZERLAND

                        * Regular Season Runner-up if Champion and Regular Season Winner are the same
                        * Exception Russia and Finland the runner-up is the second team from the play-offs (First CHL Season Only)

   September 2008                                                              October 2008                                                                            November 2008
    Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday       Saturday   Sunday    Monday       Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday       Saturday   Sunday            Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday    Friday   Saturday   Sunday

         1         2         3           4             5         6         7                                 1           2             3         4         5                                                                      1         2
         8         9 10 11 12 13 14                                                  6             7         8           9      10 11 12                                     3         4         5           6          7         8         9
      15 16 17 18 19 20 21                                                        13 14 15 16 17 18 19                                                                      10 11 12 13 14 15 16
      22 23 24 25 26 27 28                                                        20 21 22 23 24 25 26                                                                      17 18 19 20 21 22 23
      29 30                                                                       27 28 29 30                                   31                                          24 25 26 27 28 29 30

   December 2008                                                               January 2009                                                                            KEY
    Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday       Saturday   Sunday    Monday       Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday       Saturday   Sunday

         1         2         3           4             5         6         7                                             1             2         3         4                     Qualifying Tournament
         8         9 10 11 12 13 14                                                  5             6         7           8         9          10 11                              Group Stage Game Days 1-6
      15 16 17 18 19 20 21                                                        12 13 14 15 16 17 18                                                                           Semi-Final 1+2
      22 23 24 25 26 27 28                                                        19 20 21 22 23 24 25                                                                           Final 1+2
      29 30 31                                                                    26 27 28 29 30 31                                                                              NHL Exhibition & Victoria Cup

CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                                                                                                                              >> PAGE 4 <<
CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                              >> ISSUE 01 <<
                                                                                                     MARCH 04, 2008

   2008/2009:GROUP STAGE
   To those seven nations* (Sweden, Finland, Russia, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland and Slovakia) who
   will compete in the first season of the Champions Hockey League, our warmest and most heart-felt congratulations.
   The top twelve clubs from these nations will qualify for the first season of Champions Hockey League.

               2 teams each in CHL Group Stage for 2008 – 2009
                         1     Russia
                         2     Finland
                         3     Czech Republic
                         4     Sweden

               1 team each in Group Stage + 1 qualifier opportunity for 2008 – 2009
                         5     Slovakia
                         6     Switzerland
                         7     Germany

               Teams for Q1 for 2009 – 2010
                         8     Belarus
                         9     Latvia
                        10     Denmark
                         11    Austria
                        12     Kazakhstan
                        13     Norway
                        14     France
                        15     Slovenia
                        16     Italy
                        17     Hungary
                        18     Poland
                        19     Netherlands
                        20     Ukraine
                        21     Great Britain
                        22     Romania

   *The top 7 countries were determined through an IIHF ranking-system created for European club hockey.
   This ranking system will be used for automatic qualification in the Group Stage.


   wHO’S TEAM 12?
   That all depends on Germany, Switzerland and Slovakia whose Regular Season Winners (or Runners Up) will
   play in a single round-robin qualification tournament for the 12th spot. The tournament will be played September
   12th,13th and 14th 2008. The exact date and venue will be determined at the conclusion of these nations’ regular
   hockey seasons.

CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                 >> PAGE 5 <<
CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                         >> ISSUE 01 <<
                                                                MARCH 04, 2008

   We’d like to remind those clubs whose season is still
   running, that this season and the playoffs which follow
   count for qualification to the Champions Hockey
   League’s inaugural season 2008-2009. It is how clubs
   place both in your season and in the playoffs which will
   determine who will qualify for the Champions Hockey
   League Group Stage.
   Champions Hockey League offers two avenues to
   qualification. In addition to the playoff winners, winners
   of the regular season are also candidates.

   By the time Season Two arrives, we will be ready
   for clubs from 22 nations. And with each season,
   Champions Hockey League has the opportunity to
   grow. Remember all great things start small. Look at
   Champions League football. At its inception in 1991,
   only 8 clubs participated. Now, that figure has grown
   to 32.

CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                          >> PAGE 6 <<
CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                   >> ISSUE 01 <<
                                                                                                          MARCH 04, 2008

  What we’ve been up to
   BRANDING: A CLASS ACT                                       >> Advertising in Eastern Europe is growing at three
                                                                  times the rate of that of Western Europe. With ice
   >> For Champions Hockey League to stand out among
                                                                  hockey rivaling football as the number one sport
      the rest, it must be instantly recognizable. Turn on
                                                                  in Eastern and Northern Europe, the Champions
      the TV and zap between channels. Close your eyes.
                                                                  Hockey League offers advertisers a popular and
      You’ll know just by listening that you’re watching
                                                                  advantageous vehicle by which to access this
      Champions Hockey League.
                                                                  growing market.
   >> We are working with some of the top European
                                                               >> In addition, our centralized marketing strategy
      advertising, graphic design and music production
                                                                  means a more exclusive family of partners that
      agencies to create a logo, a look, a sound. We will
                                                                  will generate greater revenue. The sponsorship
      soon be able to bring this unique, bold Champions
                                                                  program will give four major sponsors a massive
      Hockey League style to communications like this
                                                                  pan-European marketing platform. This also offers
                                                                  the tremendous value of being able to stand out
   >> Our look will be clean and easy-to-spot. We will            from the advertising clutter which is currently the
      clear the clutter: clean ice, clean jerseys, clean          norm in the sports sponsorship environment
                                                               >> Ice hockey in Europe is a sport ready for impressive
                                                                  growth for both players and fans. Surpassing
   BROADCASTING CHAMPIONS HOCkEY LEAGUE                           their own expectations, many European arenas
   >> The kind of hockey played in this league deserves to        have more than doubled previous turnout just by
      be seen. We will not limit ourselves to subscription        modernizing and enlarging stadium capacity.
      television. Our goal is to broadcast this league to      >> Europe boasts some of the world’s most professional
      as wide an audience as possible and thus, we are            ice hockey arenas, offering up-to-date facilities for
      signing up broadcasters country per country. We             broadcasters and sponsors alike.
      will announce details of broadcasting deals as soon
      as they are official.                                    >> Broadcasters and sponsors are hungry for the unique
                                                                  set of values ice hockey represents - this is a family
   >> The key to delivering a good league is centralization.      sport different from the rest: it’s fast, it’s tough, it’s
      With so many leagues and so many clubs,                     real and it’s tangible. The players are accessible
      Champions Hockey League must control its image.             and the action is up close and personal.
      All broadcasters will be provided with the graphics
      toolkit giving the league a unified look and quality.    >> Sponsorship discussions are currently under way
      No matter where a Champions Hockey League                   with major global bluechip companies with a strong
      game takes place or is broadcast from, all will be          focus on European markets.
      delivered with the same excellent and uniform
      quality.                                                 RULES, REGULATIONS, REFEREES AND
   >> We want the hockey seen at home to be every-
      centimeter as good and even better than what’s           >> Champions Hockey League games will have a
      seen LIVE. We are working with some of Europe’s             fixed broadcast window of 2 hours and 30 min,
      best engineers to utilize and develop innovative            so broadcasters can plan their programming
      broadcast technology. This will allow us to bring our       schedules.
      viewers the most vivid of hockey experiences on          >> There will be no overtime. In case of a tied game,
      television.                                                 we will go directly to a penalty shoot-out.
                                                               >> A victory in regulation time is worth 3 points.
   COMMERCIAL SUCCESS                                          >> A victory in a shoot-out is worth 2 points.
   >> Due to its inherent commercial value, Champions          >> A defeat in a shoot out is worth 1 point.
      Hockey League is ready for commercial success.
                                                               >> The winner of each group qualifies for the
      Broadcasters and sponsors have shown great
      interest in this new competition which offers them an
      uncrowded platform and a chance to take advantage
      of a developing and undiscovered market.

CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                      >> PAGE 7 <<
CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                 >> ISSUE 01 <<
                                                                                                        MARCH 04, 2008

  Communications: As Transparent as Ice
   As in all relationships, communication between partners
   is the key – especially when they include 22 different
   countries and almost as many languages. Our goal is
   to keep everyone participating, as informed and up-to-
   the-minute in a manner as skilled and as fast as the
   sport of ice hockey itself. We will be upfront, transparent
   and clear. To compete in, broadcast, sponsor, watch
   and enjoy this league, we want to make sure everyone
   understands what’s happening when, why and how. If you
   have a question, we’re here to answer it. Please feel free
   to email Sydney Trattner, Ovation’s Communications
   Coordinator, with any questions you may have:
   For IIHF and ice hockey related questions contact
   Szymon Szemberg, the federation’s Communications

  To Come
   >> As the league progresses, so too will our                  >> In addition to all information on all leagues and
      communication. We will continue to issue                      clubs, competition format, regulations, calendars
      newsletters like this one in the coming months.               etc., here you will also have direct access to us.
   >> We are planning a communications campaign to                  We will have staff that man this site and who are
      take place during the 2007/2008 national league               responsible for answering your questions in a timely
      playoffs in the seven countries participating in our          fashion.
      first season. It is key that we generate interest and      >> The CHL newsletter will also be available on the
      enthusiasm now, as these playoffs will have a direct          IIHF website.
      impact and relevance to 2008/2009 Champions                >> We also plan to publish a Champions Hockey
      Hockey League season.                                         League magazine.
   >> We are working on a variety of different
      communication portals, the most important of which
      will be the Champions Hockey League website.

CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                   >> PAGE 8 <<
CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                 >> ISSUE 01 <<
                                                                                                        MARCH 04, 2008

  European Club Hockey, Thank You
   The more we work on setting up the Champions Hockey League, the more we realize how much we need to thank
   everyone. Our job is easy. We already have the best to work with: professional leagues, quality clubs, highly-skilled
   players and passionate fans. We couldn’t ask for more.

  Spread the Word
   We will be in touch again very soon. We wish you all the best of luck for the playoffs. Please know that we are 100%
   behind the Champions Hockey League. We will do everything in our power to ensure that this league will make
   hockey history. The success of the Champions Hockey league depends on all of us. Help us get the word out.

   All the best. Until next time,

   International Ice Hockey Federation and Ovation Sports

CHAMPIONS HOCKEY LEAGUE                                                                                   >> PAGE 9 <<