Friendship Four Tournament 2019
The Friendship Four ice hockey tournament is a unique opportunity for local sports fans to watch the only National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) hockey tournament which takes place outside of the United States.
This year's four-game tournament featured elite ice hockey players from Northeastern University, The University of New Hampshire, Princeton University and Colgate University all competing to hoist the Belpot Trophy for their University.
With many of these young athletes soon to be NHL stars, this was the first chance for sports fans in Europe to see them up close.
Taking part in the Friendship Four allowed players to compete for a championship while having a week-long educational experience in another country. It’s was an opportunity for the players, their supporters and families, and the athletic support staff from the US colleges to experience Northern Ireland.
The televised tournament also showcased Northern Ireland’s passion for sport not only to the 20,000 spectators who came to the SSE Arena to watch the games but to the millions that tuned in across the USA and Canada.
Congratulations to Northeastern University who were the 2019 Belpot Champions #HowlinHuskies, commiserations to runners up Colgate University on a fantastic tournament.
Sponsoring the Friendship Four gave NI Connections a unique opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland’s expertise in Sports Technology.
We used the Friendship Four as an opportunity to introduce our growing cluster of sports technology innovators to some of the most senior representatives from the sports departments of the US colleges involved in the tournament.
Local sports-tech companies got to network with some of the most influential decision-makers in ice hockey when they met with the Athletic Directors and Deputy Athletic Directors of the visiting colleges. Those introductions are having a positive impact on Northern Irish companies such as STATSports, Kairos, Incisiv and Performa Sport.
Paul McKernan, STATSports:
The Friendship Four allowed STATSports to meet with key influencers from the US Colleges.
Andrew Trimble & Gareth Quinn, Kairos:
Kairos discovered by meeting US Colleges that their product could work for Ice Hockey Teams.