Hockey East Association and Van Wagner Announce Multi-Year MMR Partnership

August 2, 2023

Hockey East Association and Van Wagner Announce Multi-Year MMR Partnership featured image

NEW YORK (August 2, 2023) – The Hockey East Association, the premier men’s and women’s NCAA Division I college hockey conference, and Van Wagner, a leading sports advertising and entertainment agency, today announced a transformative multi-year multimedia rights (MMR) partnership. Van Wagner will exclusively manage and sell the corporate marketing and advertising sponsorship program of the Hockey East.

“Hockey East is excited to begin a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive partnership with Van Wagner,” said Hockey East Commissioner Steve Metcalf. “Together, we will be able to provide more value and better experiences than ever before to our fans, partners, and student-athletes.”

The partnership will provide corporate partners with direct access to a vast audience of millions of passionate fans, students, and alumni attending over 350 Hockey East events each year. Van Wagner has named Justin Barnes as General Manager to lead Hockey East Sponsorships.  Barnes has previous experience managing the corporate partnership programs at Hockey East member institutions, University of Maine and University of New Hampshire.  Van Wagner will work closely with Hockey East leadership to deliver customized marketing opportunities, including in-venue signage; broadcast exposure; impact promotions; digital/social platforms; promotional rights to marks; engagement and activation; and access to tickets, hospitality, and more.

“I am extremely excited to announce our partnership with Hockey East, which for 40 years has consistently proven to be the strongest NCAA Division I college hockey conference,” said Mike Palisi, President of Van Wagner College. “With our deep personal ties to Hockey East, including having a former player and athletic administrators on our senior team, we understand the history, passion, and value of the Association. The opportunity to work with Commissioner Steve Metcalf and his team on building upon their tremendous history of success is truly an honor. We look forward to expanding their corporate relationships throughout New England and the country.”

Van Wagner currently represents a dozen conferences and associations across the U.S. and has the fastest, organically grown team in the industry dedicated to collegiate athletics marketing. Van Wagner’s extensive experience overseeing multimedia rights and advertising, and our strong relationships with national brands, will enable the team to provide strategic marketing solutions and elevate the Hockey East Association. Van Wagner also exclusively manages the multimedia rights of Hockey East member institution University of Maine.

The Hockey East Association has consistently proven to be the strongest NCAA Division I college hockey conference, boasting 123 NCAA Tournament berths, more than any other conference since the Association’s inception. Annually, Hockey East alumni make up nearly one-third of all college hockey products that play in the NHL.


#  #  #



The Hockey East Association is an 11-team Division I college men’s hockey conference founded in 1984 and a 10-team Division I women’s league which began play in 2002-03. The men’s league has won 10 NCAA championships, most recently in 2021. Since 1999, Hockey East has won eight men’s NCAA Championships with 17 NCAA Championship Game appearances, while placing 29 teams in the Frozen Four and 79 teams in the NCAA Tournament. Overall, Hockey East has sent 123 teams to the men’s NCAA Tournament since its inaugural season, more than any other conference in that span. Hockey East is home to 11 Hobey Baker winners and four Patty Kazmaier winners.


Van Wagner is a leading sports advertising and entertainment agency, with global expertise in live events, sponsorship sales, multimedia rights and aerial advertising. Van Wagner creates, advises and sells on behalf of world-class teams, leagues, brands and properties. An innovator in the sports and media business, Van Wagner is a global leader in high-impact broadcast visible signage throughout the MLB, NBA, NCAA and international soccer, sponsorships sales, college multimedia rights and in-venue content production at the world’s biggest sporting events. For more information, visit