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Tough year ahead of the teams of ICEHL

Multiple teams are reporting budgets cuts compared to the previous years that are driven by a combination of factors. Here are the most important logical explanations to:


Firstly, the Covid-19 pandemic made all planning very unstable. The last season ended unexpectedly because of the devastating spread of the coronavirus. Until the middle of summer it was not even sure when and how will the league kick start the 2020/2021 season.

This of course also means that sponsoring brands could also not plan with high certainty with their advertising budget. Most of these companies were hit hard by the pandemic and in most cases the first area to look for savings starts with cutting their advertising and marketing budget. Now with a channel like sponsorships, the performance of campaigns are very hard to measure even in certain times but during the recent instability it is becoming close to impossible. Not to mention the facts that if a new wave of the virus comes there could be strict restrictions on the live audience sizes and a potential intermediate pause in the league can also happen. We should be happy to see brands continuing with their sponsorship roles during these difficult times. Thanks for them in advance!


Another massive problem was coming from the fact that at the end of the last season Erste Bank the naming sponsor decided not to extend it’s naming sponsor role. This led to the news that the Austria based hockey league will change its name from EBEL (Erste Bank Eishockey League) to Bet at home ICE Hockey League, or ICEHL. We wrote about this change in a bit more detail in our previous blog post.


Lastly, the broadcasting contract with the famous sport channel Servus TV has also ended in the previous season, which also means that clubs will have one less revenue stream.




These problems listed above impact all participants of the league butthe teams are obviously not impacted at the same level. The teams of Innsbruck and Klagenfurt transparently announced a big cut in their available budgets that led to big sacrifices. Innsbruck announced to let go their key player and top scorer John Lammers (after 5 years) and their captain Tyler Spurgeon (after 9 years). Their head coach, Rob Pallin, also decided to move away from the ICEHL league and lead the team of ESV Kaufbeuren in the German second league, DEL2. The new head coach will be Mitch O’Keefe who has been an assistant coach for the past 2 years. The owner of the team, Günther Hanschnitz, said that times are tough and the next year is about survival and that they are thankful and hopeful to their sponsors.



In Klagenfurt, the team has announced during summer that they are only looking to hire 3 foreign players and the rest of the team should be built up from their young club members. First big change on their roster is the loss of their experienced goalie Lars Haugen, who will be moving back to Norway for the next year.


Earlier this year the Czech EBEL participant also announced the exit from ICEHL due to financial problems. You can read more about it here.

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