In a summer in which naming rights have been hotly contested in the nation's capital, it's no surprise to learn that the Ottawa Senators have gotten in on the act.
While the Ottawa Fury, Ottawa RedBlacks and whatever the hell that Ottawa Tomahawks basketball team became revealed their brands for their forthcoming seasons in the NASL and CFL, the Senators have announced that they have reached a new corporate agreement to rename their arena.
Although the Senators had signed a 15-year agreement with Scotiabank for the naming rights to the arena, today the organization announced that those rights had been sold to Canadian Tire. There have been conflicting reports that: 1) the Senators had a window of opportunity to find another deal; and 2) that Scotiabank simply chose not to renew their deal; but how or why it happened is immaterial.
Regardless of what anyone thinks, as of July 1st, Scotiabank Place will join illustrious namesakes like the Palladium and the Corel Centre in the Ottawa Senators' arena name graveyard and will henceforth be referred to as the Canadian Tire Centre.
It will take some time getting used to — probably less time than it will take some to crack Canadian Tire money jokes — but it's just an arena name that should never receive the same kind of treatment from those insufferable sports fans who still waste energy ripping the RedBlacks name.
All that really matters is what this is going to do for the Ottawa Senators.
The monetary value of the contract was not disclosed but the term of the agreement will last for eight seasons; prior to its expiry date in 2021, Canadian Tire will have the right to renew the agreement for a decade.
Looking at the contracts historically, one has to imagine that the Senators will benefit financially more than they have in the past.
In 1996, Corel agreed to pay $26-million for the naming rights for 20 years. The deal only lasted ten years before Scotiabank scooped up the rights for a 15-year deal worth an alleged $20 million.
To put these figures into perspective, CBC ran an article that indicated Bell Canada will pay as much as $64 million over 20 years for the naming rights of the Montreal Canadiens home rink. Air Canada will reportedly spend $30 million for the rights to name the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors for 20 years. GM's deal in Vancouver is worth about $20 million over 20 years.
Looking at the figures that Ottawa has received in the past, the difference between the Corel, Scotiabank and the Canadian Tire deals isn't going to be that significant. So for those fans, if there are any, who think this new deal is going to favorably increase the team's budget for players, you're probably going to be disappointed.
The biggest changes created by this deal will be the ones outlined within the team's official press release.
Major Partnership Components:
– Naming rights to Canadian Tire Centre, including building, digital, scoreboard and in-ice signage
– Support for community-based programs including: Future Sens Program, I Love to Skate Program, Canadian Forces Appreciation Night, Jumpstart Game Nights and the Bell Capital Cup
– An enhanced partnership between Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities and the Sens Foundation that will provide families in financial need with support in getting their children enrolled in organized sport and recreation
– The installation of Capital Tickets kiosks at select Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Sports Experts and Mark’s stores in the region to provide easy access to all of Senators Sports & Entertainment’s events taking place at Canadian Tire Centre
– Canadian Tire becomes the title sponsor of Senators Sportsnet broadcasts, with reach into Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada
– Naming rights for rink pads and advertising at the Bell Sensplex and soon-to-be built Richcraft Sensplex
– Sport Chek and Sports Experts become the exclusive ‘Team Development Sponsor,’ tied to the NHL Draft, Development Camp, Rookie Camp and Ottawa Senators Training Camp
– Mark’s has the opportunity to become the official outfitter of Canadian Tire Centre, outfitting event and facility staff with assorted apparel from Denver Hayes
– Player and coach involvement in community events hosted by Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Sports Experts and Mark’s
– Access to major consumer promotions, including ‘Ride the Canadian Tire Zamboni’ and exclusive offers for customers parking their cars at Canadian Tire Centre
– Frank Finnigan's restaurant in the facility’s main concourse to be redesigned as a sports bar and renamed ‘Sport Chek Sports Bar & Grill’
– As the country’s largest kitchen store, the arena’s kitchens will become known as the official ‘Canadian Tire Kitchens’ where the company will test new equipment and produce customer facing marketing materials