NHL Makes Slapshot Into B2B Market

Compiled By Jonathan Katz The National Hockey League and management-consulting service provider PricewaterhouseCoopers are exploring ways to implement business-to-business (B2B) Internet technology that would allow NHL teams to combine their purchasing power along the NHL's entire supply chain -- from sporting equipment vendors and team merchandise manufacturers to broadcasters, ticket brokers, and stadium concessions suppliers. PricewaterhouseCoopers will study the feasibility of an NHL supply chain and will use its findings to drive a multi-tiered solution that could include a combination of newly designed operational roadmaps and customized Web-based applications. "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," says NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Although this is the first-ever B2B initiative taken in professional sports, PricewaterhouseCoopers is currently proposing the same to other professional sports organizations. "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," says Patrick McDonnell, management consulting services partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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