The NHL ice hockey league has entered into a partnership with industrial and construction products distributor Fastenal.

The deal names Fastenal as the official maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) partner of the NHL until the end of the 2023-24 season. The agreement is designed to create an efficient and reliable MRO supply chain for ice rinks in North America.

Fastenal will receive a presence at major NHL events, including corner in-ice advertising positions and in-arena branding at the Winter Classic, All-Star Weekend, Global Series and Stadium Series.

The NHL will use the company’s supplier network to provide various MRO supply needs, offering products such as PPE, sanitiser and cleaning supplies to maintain safe environments.

The NHL will also work with Fastenal to implement a standardised equipment programme that will include state-of-the-art tool carts for visiting team locker rooms at all NHL arenas. The agreement will also help venues optimise their operations by accessing process improvement tools to simplify procurement, control spending and visualise inventory.

Additionally, Fastenal’s nationwide branch network will offer services to the 4,800-plus community ice rinks in North America, helping facilities deal with issues such as ageing infrastructure and rising operating costs.

Max Paulsen, the NHL’s director of business development, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Fastenal to the NHL family. Our facility operators, equipment managers and trainers can immediately benefit from Fastenal’s wide assortment of MRO products for all their specialised needs.

“This partnership reinforces the league’s commitment to community rinks via Fastenal’s industry-leading expertise, product inventory, and competitive preferred pricing, which will ultimately ensure the continued growth of hockey at all levels.”

Dan Florness, president and chief executive at Fastenal, added: “As we discussed a possible partnership with the NHL, it became clear the supply chain strengths of Fastenal, coupled with our steadfast commitment to providing safety solutions during this current environment, could make a positive impact on the league and on hockey facilities throughout North America.

“We’re excited to connect with the NHL’s avid fan base, and to deepen our connection with a sport that is already loved by many of our employees and customers.”

Image: NHL