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NHL Announces Multiyear Agreement with Rival to Host League’s Esports Initiatives

Partnership Includes Annual EA SPORTS NHL World Championship Events and Programming Opportunities for NHL Clubs

NEW YORK (Nov. 30, 2023) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) today announced a multiyear partnership with leading fan engagement company Rival to serve as the Official Tournament Platform and League Operator for all competitions within the NHL’s esports umbrella, including the EA SPORTS™ NHL World Championship.

Now in its seventh season, the NHL’s annual tournament, which encompasses a European and North American draw that culminates at the World Championship, showcases the best EA SPORTS NHL players in the world and incorporates 32 Club qualifier tournaments, satellite qualifiers that are held during NHL Signature events, as well as an Open Play period.

Under the agreement, Rival will host all initiatives associated with the EA SPORTS NHL 24 World Championship as well as extend its broad services to NHL Clubs, who will have the opportunity to launch team-branded gaming communities on the Rival platform. As experts in the esports space, Rival will help to strengthen tournament administrative functions, offer unique user experiences and maximize engagement with fans.

While Rival has partnered with other NHL Clubs, the New Jersey Devils, who recently launched “Devils Gaming Group” will be one of the first teams under this agreement with the League and Rival.

“We’re excited to leverage Rival’s knowledge, insight and integration for our League esports initiatives as well as for our Clubs, who continue to build opportunities to engage their own gaming communities”, said Chris Golier, NHL Group Vice President, Business Development and Innovation. “We look forward to expanding our esport presence and delivering another year of record engagement across League platforms.”

“The NHL has cultivated a hugely passionate gaming audience and Rival is thrilled to build on its efforts to deepen fan engagement with gamers worldwide,” said Rival CEO Matt Virtue. “What’s unique about this partnership is that we’ve expanded the core services to include both the NHL and its 32 Clubs. This will better inform all areas of data capture, marketing and operations, in addition to executing a bespoke gaming experience that brings the fans closer to the League and the teams they follow.”

Rival powers the gaming communities of more than 45 partners worldwide, across sports properties, media, tech, and brands, including organizations across NHL, NFL, NBA, MLS, USL, Serie A and the English Premier League. This partnership with the NHL marks Rival’s second with a professional sports league.

To join the NHL gaming community, visit

### (11/30/23)

NHL and the NHL Shield are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. NHL and NHL team marks are the property of the NHL and its teams. © NHL 2023. All Rights Reserved.

About Rival

Rival provides a first-of-its-kind, enterprise platform solution that empowers companies and organizations to leverage the popularity of gaming and esports to acquire new customers, drive engagement, build a loyal community around their brands and create new revenue streams. Through its proprietary technology, Rival connects the massive global appeal and audience of gaming and esports with sports teams, leagues, brands and media properties. With operations in two continents, Rival’s current partnership roster includes the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns, NHL’s New Jersey Devils, NBA’s Detroit Pistons, the NBA 2K League, Liverpool F.C. and Aston Villa of the English Premier League, as well as brands including New Balance and Benefit Cosmetics, plus youth/amateur sports organizations including Pop Warner Little Scholars and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

About the NHL

The National Hockey League (NHL®), founded in 1917, consists of 32 Member Clubs. Each team roster reflects the League’s international makeup with players from more than 20 countries represented, all vying for the most cherished and historic trophy in professional sports – the Stanley Cup®. Every year, the NHL entertains more than 670 million fans in-arena and through its partners on national television and radio; more than 191 million followers – league, team and player accounts combined – across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube; and more than 100 million fans online at The League broadcasts games in more than 160 countries and territories through its rightsholders including ESPN, WBD Sports and NHL Network in the U.S.; Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada; Viaplay in the Nordics, Baltics, Poland and the UK; MTV3 in Finland; Nova in Czech Republic and Slovakia; Sky Sports and ProSieben in Germany; MySports in Switzerland; and CCTV5+ in China; and reaches fans worldwide with games available to stream in every country. Fans are engaged across the League’s digital assets on mobile devices via the free NHL® App; across nine social media platforms; on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio™; and on, available in eight languages and featuring unprecedented access to player and team statistics as well as every regular-season and playoff game box score dating back to the League’s inception, powered by SAP. NHL Productions develops compelling original programming featuring unprecedented access to players, coaches and League and team personnel for distribution across the NHL’s social and digital platforms.

The NHL is committed to building healthy and vibrant communities using the sport of hockey to celebrate fans of every race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. The NHL’s Hockey Is For Everyone® initiative reinforces that the official policy of the sport is one of inclusion on the ice, in locker rooms, boardrooms and stands. The NHL is expanding access and opportunity for people of all backgrounds and abilities to play hockey, fostering more inclusive environments and growing the game through a greater diversity of participants. To date, the NHL has invested more than $100 million in youth hockey and grassroots programs, with a commitment to invest an additional $5 million for diversity and inclusion programs over the next year.

Rival Media Contact:

NHL Media Contact:

Julie Young (


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