14:49 PM

ECHL, Bellevue University Announce Scholarships, Professional Development Programs through Exclusive Partnership


SHEWSBURY, N.J. – The ECHL, the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League, today announced a multi-year partnership with Bellevue University, which becomes the League’s first Official Higher Education Partner.

As part of the partnership, Bellevue University and the ECHL will provide career and professional development for the ECHL’s ecosystem of players, staff and employees. Bellevue University and the ECHL will award scholarships to a select number of League players, officials, staff and employees that will allow the recipients the opportunity to start or finish a bachelor’s or graduate degree program of their choice.

Additionally, Bellevue University students will have the opportunity to engage with the ECHL through career fairs, internship programs and learning opportunities in conjunction with ECHL league-wide meetings. The league and the university will also explore additional collaboration opportunities involving Bellevue University’s Corporate Partnership Network.

“Bellevue University is honored to partner with the ECHL to bring innovative educational opportunities to the League clubs and to ECHL communities across North America,” said Bellevue University President Dr. Mary Hawkins. “As the ECHL’s Official Higher Education Partner, Bellevue University will help players who are balancing careers and real life demands to achieve their goals of earning a college degree by providing access to the education and support they need to be successful.”

“As part of being a developmental league, our goal is to enhance our players, officials, staff, and members of the ECHL with opportunities for their personal growth whether that is on or off the ice,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. “Joining with Bellevue University adds a strategic partner in our ability to play a role in furthering the career development of those in our league, as well allowing us to help to give real world insights to the minor league sports industry for the students in their curriculum. Bellevue University’s alignment to our objectives was clear from the beginning, so we are thrilled to have a relationship that will allow both of our organizations to supplement programs that are already in place.”

The partnership will formally launch at the 2022 Warrior ECHL All-Star Classic in Jacksonville, Florida on January 17, 2022. Scholarship recipients and graduates will be highlighted at ECHL events throughout the Season.

The deal was brokered by SRS Partners, who represents the ECHL on sponsorship and partnership development for the League.

About the ECHL

Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 27 teams in 20 states and two Canadian provinces for its 34th season in 2021-22. There have been 708 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 10 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2021-22 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 27 of the 32 NHL teams in 2021-22, marking the 25th consecutive season that the league has affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

About Bellevue University

Founded in 1966, Bellevue University is a non-profit university with nearly 60,000 graduates worldwide. The University is a recognized national leader in preparing students for lifelong success with career-relevant knowledge and skills, while making college affordable. Routinely ranked among the nation’s top military and accessible institutions, the University serves residential students at its main campus in Bellevue, Nebraska, and everyone online with more than 80 degree programs uniquely designed for working adults. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (

About SRS Partners

SRS Partners was launched in 2021 to support sports and entertainment properties, brands and non-profits in developing ways to understand and monetize commercial rights platform through sponsorship. SRS consists of two verticals, Sponsorship Rights & Strategy, along with Sponsorship Revenue & Sales. As a boutique agency, SRS is designed to create bespoke solutions for its clients and drive long-term results for our clients through partnerships that can scale with the ever-changing partnership landscape across sponsorship, media, experiential marketing, and product integration.