2021-06-17
Introducing Lower.com Field: Columbus Crew announces long-term stadium naming rights partnership with Lower
Columbus Crew and Lower today announced a long-term partnership that includes naming rights to the Crew’s new downtown home, which will be named Lower.com Field, effective immediately. The partnership sees two Columbus-based organizations who are invested in the local community come together in a landmark agreement, terms of which were not disclosed.“We are proud to partner with Lower in naming our new Stadium,” said Dee Haslam, Columbus Crew Investor-Operator. “Dan Snyder’s leadership and vision align so strongly with the goals of the Crew. Lower is a world class company, rooted in Columbus, renowned for their culture and fully invested in giving back to our community. Lower.com Field will provide our players a home-field advantage and our supporters a best-in-class experience. In addition to match days, we are immensely excited that Lower.com Field will be the cornerstone of a new live, work, and play neighborhood in Astor Park. On behalf of the Haslam and Edwards Families, we look forward to working together to make a sustainable and positive difference in Columbus and for our supporters.”Lower is a fintech company whose mission is to make the traditionally daunting task of buying or refinancing a home simple. The millennial and Gen-z home finance platform is differentiated from other digital lenders by taking a holistic approach to the homeownership journey. Consumers can go online or download the app and find a one-stop shop experience where they can save for a home and get a great mortgage. With more than 10,000 five-star reviews in less than two years, Lower is becoming the go-to destination for those looking to save for, buy, or refinance a home across the country.“We have nearly 1,000 local team members, have funded billions in loans, and have been named the top workplace in Columbus, and yet, we’re still relatively unknown as a company. So, this partnership, to some extent, is the coming out party for our brand. Very few companies ever get to name a stadium, let alone a brand new one, in their hometown. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Lower CEO Dan Snyder. “On behalf of my partners and the entire team, we couldn’t be more excited to open up Lower.com Field to the city of Columbus on July 3.”Lower is heavily invested in the Columbus community and will collaborate with the Crew on several community-based initiatives as a focal point throughout the partnership. Lower becomes the Presenting Partner to the Crew’s Mini-Pitch Project. The Mini-Pitch Project is a field development project that aims to provide local youth in underserved communities with the opportunity to get outside and play soccer in safe and fun environments. As previously announced, the Club’s 11th  field development project – a mini pitch at Northgate Intermediate School in Columbus – is set to open later this month. On matchdays, for each goal scored by the Crew, Lower will donate $1,000 to Healthy Homes. Healthy Homes is a non-profit housing organization and collaboration between Community Development for All People and Nationwide Children’s Hospital that works to preserve and create high-quality affordable housing. On top of the charitable donation, there will be a second goal-based opportunity, which benefits Crew fans. For each goal scored in the regular season, team supporters will unlock $500 toward their home financing, up to $1,500.Lower also becomes an Associate Partner to Give Forward becoming an integral part of the Club’s community efforts. Give Forward is a platform of the Columbus Crew Foundation that serves challenged youth, encouraging healthy and positive lifestyles, honoring the military, and keeping Columbus beautiful."We couldn’t have found a more perfect fit with Lower as our naming rights partner," said Columbus Crew Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Steve Lyons. "It was critical for us to find a like-minded company, Columbus-based, and committed to our community. At the same time, Lower’s bold, upward trajectory reflects the direction of the Crew and the personality of Lower Field. As a leading innovative technological company, they focus on creating world-class customer experiences and their core mission of making home ownership more accessible is impactful for our fans. We are thrilled to welcome Lower and their associates to the Crew family."Continued Lyons: “As we prepare to open Lower.com Field, we are excited that this stadium will represent our players, club and city on a national and international stage through events such as Campeones Cup later this summer and potential U.S. Soccer matches in the future. The ability to host high-profile events of this magnitude provides incredible exposure to the club, the city and our partners through the global game of soccer.”The Crew also announced today that the second largest supporters section in Major League Soccer, the Nordecke (3,364) has now officially sold out. While the Nordecke, and as previously announced, all premium club, suites and loge boxes at Lower.com Field sold out for the current season, limited general seating 2021 Season Tickets are still available at a pro-rated price. Similarly, Limited Partial Plans for four to 10 matches are currently available. Supporters can ensure priority access to single match tickets and purchase full or partial Season Ticket Memberships by visiting the following link: https://bit.ly/2SuhKsD.As part of the partnership, Lower is also the Entitlement Partner to the East Field Club, which is set to be named the “Lower.com Lounge.” The lounge is the most premier space within Lower.com Field and is inclusive of 10 private field-level suites and 120 field seats.Lower.com Field is set to open its gates at full capacity on Saturday, July 3, when the Crew hosts the New England Revolution for the venue’s Inaugural Match [5:00 p.m. ET / ESPN, ESPN App (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971thefan.com(English); ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish)]. The new world-class stadium has a capacity for 20,011 supporters and includes seats that are as much as 28 feet closer to the pitch than any of the seats at Historic Crew Stadium. Additionally, the incline is steeper, providing improved sightlines for supporters in every part of the venue. A defining feature of the stadium is a 220,000 square-foot canopy that will cover all supporters during the match, providing shelter from weather conditions throughout the season.The premium spaces at the new home of the Crew are among the highest-end premium experiences in MLS and include Ledge Seats which hang over the lower bowl, offering one of the best views of the pitch. The New Nordecke at Lower.com Field is located on the north end of the stadium and is set to be the second-largest supporters section in MLS, with standing-only capacity for 3,364 supporters. Notably, it features a state-of-the-art tifo-rigging system designed for the Black & Gold supporters. Upon arrival to the southeast entrance of Lower.com Field, supporters will be able to walk up to and congregate in a 62,000 square-foot public plaza featuring a large, outdoor 14-feet by 24-feet video screen. Supporters can then walk across the plaza to the Pub Restaurant and Crew Shop, which will be open on non-matchdays. The concession stands at the venue are also set to feature several local food and beverage options.At 225 feet wide by 360 feet long, the surface of the pitch at Lower.com Field – which sits 22 feet below the concourse level – will be surrounded by thirteen feet of synthetic turf on the sidelines and eleven feet of synthetic turf on the end lines. The SubAir system used in the pitch will allow it to recover faster from adverse weather conditions, as it can increase the temperature of the pitch root zone by up to 28 degrees, allowing for events played in cold conditions to occur with less buildup that normally might affect the flow of the game. Additionally, the SubAir system can drain water from the pitch in three minutes, while gravity systems usually used in stadiums can take up to 60 minutes.Before Lower.com Field opens, the Club is set to hold multiple activations as part of its matchday programming for the Club’s Farewell to Historic Crew Stadium this weekend. The Crew’s final match at the historic venue is set to take place on Saturday, June 19 with the Club hosting Chicago Fire FC [7:30 p.m. ET / Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports App (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971thefan.com (English); ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish)]. Ahead of the match, Bally Sports Ohio is scheduled to host a one-hour pre-match special commemorating the day, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET....
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2021-06-17
Women’s rugby is surging. Its next chapter will be even bigger
“Who will marry you?” asked Sweta Shahi’s uncle when he learned about her ambition to play professional rugby, a full-contact sport celebrated for its thunderous team action and fearless players. With no coaching except from her father and tips picked up from YouTube, she has gone on to represent India on the women’s national team.Shahi is one of the “unstoppables” — a group of women players that World Rugby named to represent the sport. They’ve excelled at this game traditionally dominated by men, breaking barriers with every step onto the pitch.Women’s rugby is now one of the fastest growing team sports in the world. In total, more than 2.7 million women and girls play in professional leagues, at the Olympics, at universities and even in grade school. But they still don’t receive the same recognition and support as men in rugby.But that is changing. Mastercard announced today it will be the founding global partner of World Rugby’s Women in Rugby program, focusing on growing youth participation and raising the global profile of women’s international competitions. Mastercard’s support includes the first worldwide partnership for Rugby Cup 2021 and 2025, and the first partnership with WXV, a new, annual women’s competition expected to start in 2023.It’s part of our longstanding commitment to women’s sports — spanning players, teams and competitions — because we believe that when we create meaningful connections, inspire acceptance and cultivate a culture where everyone can be their best selves, we are building a better world.I recently sat down with Katie Sadleir, general manager of women’s rugby for World Rugby, to talk about the sport’s phenomenal growth — and potential.Rajamannar: Before the pandemic, interest and participation in women’s rugby surged. Why has the women’s game experienced such growth in recent years? How can it sustain the momentum?Sadleir: The Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 were a huge boost — the first time women’s rugby has ever been played in the Olympics. That was a huge investment to actually get the sport moving. It’s kind of a sport that, prior to the Olympics, you didn't see as much. You definitely didn't see women playing the game.It was my job to harness the energy and enthusiasm around the world to create an aspirational strategy that says, okay, we want to normalize women's involvement, and when people think about rugby, we want them to think about a sport that is played by men and played by women — not just “Really? Do women do that?”Rajamannar: Why is it important to bring more women into the sport? How does it benefit women, and how does it benefit rugby?Sadleir: I was a synchronized swimmer and competed in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. I don't think that there was ever any kind of problem with me as a female choosing that sport. When I think about rugby and the physical demands of it, the perception in some countries can be very different. It can be quite challenging for some young girls to tell their parents, “I want to play rugby.”It is very varied depending on where you live, but what we're about is making sure people start talking about those challenges, facing them straight on, creating opportunities to break them down.Rajamannar: We believe sports is a universal passion, and we’re working to increase equity in areas that are still male-dominated. How is World Rugby working to expand representation, and what more can be done?Sadleir: I started at World Rugby in 2017, and we’ve gone through a massive transformation in this period. The council was governed by 30 men even though 27% of the population playing the game was women. I was brought on to develop a strategy to transform the sport. We added 17 female directors to our World Rugby Council. That was a big commitment to drive change around the globe.One of the things that I've learned in this job is that what's right, or what is a challenge, for a young girl in Laos or Cambodia might be different elsewhere.For example, we work in partnership with a charity called Child Fund. With them we have a program called Pass It Back in villages in Laos and Cambodia where we use rugby as a way to build independence in young women. We’ve put programs in place in villages to encourage more girls to get involved in rugby. It’s such a powerful, empowering game for women.Rajamannar: Our world is full of brilliant possibilities, but they’re not always open to everyone. What are some exciting changes you’ve seen in women’s rugby in emerging nations?Sadleir: In Mongolia, they play snow rugby! There have been so many exciting examples of how women are embracing rugby in non-traditional markets at a much faster rate. When I look at the programs and the growth in India, the last time I looked at it, it was something like 46% of all rugby players in India are women and girls. They have some amazing role models, which has helped. Iran went from just three and a half thousand women playing to more than 10,000 women after our Try and Stop Us campaign. The pictures from Iran are amazing. I like to think that rugby is part of that journey in empowering women.Rajamannar: Too much of our world was designed without women in mind — and without women involved. We’re trying to tackle this head-on in our business and through our sponsorships, including this one with Women’s Rugby. How critical are these sponsorships to the expansion of the sport?Sadleir: Mastercard is our founding, first rugby partner, and that is so important to us starting to shift the agenda and the discussion. We can then create diversified investments that underpin the game. We’re at a stage where the sport really needs investment, but it’s not just about cash. It's actually about partners that are aligned to what you're trying to achieve. This sponsorship will help us lift the profile of the sport by hosting aspirational events around the world that get more women on the pitch.There are people that doubt whether corporates are interested in women’s sports. You get people saying, “You don’t bring enough money into the game, so why do you think you have the right to have money invested in you?” It's great being involved with a partner that absolutely believes in the potential of this sport and the potential of women in rugby.Source: https://www.mastercard.com/news/perspectives/2021/womens-rugby-sponsorship/...
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2021-06-16
Welcome to Canada Life Centre, home of the Winnipeg Jets
Canada Life and True North Sports + Entertainment are excited to announce a new strategic relationship that will see the home of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose renamed to Canada Life Centre™, effective July 1, 2021. The arena typically hosts more than 140 events each year and is consistently recognized as one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in North America.The 10-year sponsorship agreement includes substantial branding, media, hospitality and community assets for Canada Life.“As True North Sports + Entertainment celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, we can’t think of a more exciting way to embark upon the next ten years of our organization’s journey than with a partner like Canada Life, that shares the same community commitment and passion for our great city and country,” said Mark Chipman, Executive Chairman of True North Sports + Entertainment. “We are proud to call the home of our Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose Canada Life Centre and look forward to associating the Canada Life brand with exciting moments in hockey and entertainment.”“Today marks an exciting chapter for our company,” said Paul Mahon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Great-West Lifeco, Canada Life’s parent company. “For more than 130 years, our companies have called Winnipeg ‘home’ and we’re proud to be an integral part of the fabric of this community. We can’t wait to continue telling our story to Canadians, and as a Winnipegger, I couldn’t be more excited for this journey.”Mr. Mahon also noted that for Canada Life’s more than 11,000 employees across the country, and specifically the more than 3,300 employees in Winnipeg alone, this announcement only further amplifies the pride they have for both the city and company. Whether they’re cheering on the Jets or safely watching a world-class concert, they’ll be reminded of Canada Life.“We are thrilled to introduce Canada Life to all Canadians in this big and bold way and build on the momentum our company has achieved since moving to one brand in the Canadian market,” said Jeff Macoun, President and Chief Operating Officer, Canada, Canada Life. “We have a long history and deep roots in Winnipeg and we’re proud to have our name on a place that embodies the heart and spirit of the city’s vibrant community.”Mr. Macoun added that this is an evolution of the relationship between True North and Canada Life, both sponsorship-wise and philanthropically.“Something that makes this partnership unique is that True North Sports + Entertainment shares many of the same values we do at Canada Life. We are connected by a shared sense of responsibility to give back and help build stronger communities, especially in the places where we live and work. By teaming up, we believe we can do more for the community and ensure that our efforts create positive change for the well-being of all Canadians,” said Mr. Macoun.While the name Canada Life Centre is effective July 1, 2021, it will take a number of weeks to replace the signage currently in place throughout the facility. Canada Life estimates that all new signage will be in place by September....
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2021-06-14
'Bev' Becomes The Official Canned Wine Of The Rose Bowl Stadium
LA-based canned wine brand Bev has become the Official Canned Wine partner of the Rose Bowl Stadium, announcing today the start of a three-year long partnership with America's Stadium. Bev's zero sugar canned wines will be served at all Rose Bowl Stadium events, including concerts, sporting events, and the monthly Rose Bowl Flea Market - as well as the neighboring Brookside Golf Club. Rose Bowl Stadium visitors can find Bev at various kiosks throughout the stadium for these events."Bev was born right here in Southern California and it's always been a dream to one day be a part of this historic landmark," said Alix Peabody, Founder and CEO of Bev. "We're so thrilled to partner with the Rose Bowl Stadium and join in on the incredible shows & events that delight so many from all over the country. With events starting to come back, people are really getting excited to attend concerts and games once again -- and we plan to be right there with them!"As a proud sponsor, the Los Angeles born and bred canned wine brand will be bringing its zero sugar, 100 calorie, and 11.9% ABV wines to California's beloved Rose Bowl Stadium. Available in five varietals: rosé, sauv blanc, pinot gris, pinot noir - and the fan fave sparkling wine, Glitz."We strive to offer our guests at America's Stadium the finest beverage options in the market, which is why Bev is such a great fit becoming the Official Canned Wine of the Rose Bowl Stadium," said Jens Weiden, Chief Revenue Officer of the Rose Bowl Operating Company. "It is such a natural fit and we look forward to this new and exciting partnership as we look to welcome fans back to our venue soon."The partnership between the Rose Bowl Stadium and Bev has already proven to be a fan favorite with Bev selling out on its first day available for purchase during the monthly Rose Bowl Flea Market. The first sporting event featuring Bev at the Rose Bowl Stadium will be UCLA vs Hawaii Football on Saturday, August 28th, 2021.To celebrate this momentous and exciting partnership between the two iconic brands - Bev is offering 15% off their fan-favorite hero blend, Rosé, for a limited time only at drinkbev.com/pages/rosebowl....
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2021-06-14
LAFC Announces New Partnership With Hyperice
LAFC today announced a new partnership with Hyperice to serve as the Club’s Official Recovery Technology Partner.“LAFC recognizes the critical relationship between off-the-pitch practices and the product on-the-pitch,” said LAFC Co-President & CBO Larry Freedman. “An integral part of that relationship is the athlete recovery process, and Hyperice products are best in class when it comes to improving this process.”The partnership will also involve product integration at the Nectar Performance Center, including recovery technology utilized by LAFC coaches, players and staff, LAFC Technical Staff appearances and digital content assets.“Not only is the LAFC an energetic force on the pitch, but the organization has also been celebrated for its innovative approach to training and recovery,” said Jim Huether, CEO Hyperice. “As the club’s Official Recovery Technology Partner, we’ll collaborate with the performance and training staff to support player health and wellness with real-time access to cutting-edge recovery technologies both in the training room and on the field.”Additionally, LAFC Season ticket members will receive special discounts on Hyperice products....
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2021-06-11
Norwich City axe BK8 sponsorship deal over sexualised marketing
Norwich City have ditched their new sponsor after a revolt by fans over the gambling company’s sexualised marketing.On Saturday, the club announced a one-year contract with BK8, an online casino targeted at Asian markets but apparently registered in Malta. The deal, believed to be worth £5m, provoked dissatisfaction among a number of fans unhappy at having a gambling sponsor, and one with an obscure financial structure.Once those fans began searching online, however, they also found content that did not chime with the Canaries’ professed status as a community club.Young women in revealing clothing were a consistent theme of the company’s marketing. Norwich persuaded BK8 to delete content from their Instagram channel, only for fans to uncover BK8’s services to their Malaysian customers which included, among similar offerings, “sexy Baccarat” and videos of suggestive hot dog-swallowing contests.On Tuesday, a collective of Norwich supporters groups posted a video denouncing the sponsorship deal. Using the hashtag #hergametoo, the video set out what the fans believed were the club’s principles. “Our club does not support or endorse degrading or upsetting images not in keeping with our values as an inclusive community club. Our football club should not associate with anyone else who does.”On Thursday, the club announced the deal had been cancelled with immediate effect. “As a club, we’re proud of our place within the local community and our relationship with supporters around the world. We have worked tirelessly for a considerable time building relationships across a wide range of mediums and community projects.“Whilst we anticipated some negative responses to the announcement of the partnership with a betting company, the club understands the reaction to BK8, their affiliates and other similar brands’ ways of marketing, the values of which do not align with those of the football club.“On this occasion, we got it wrong. For that, and any offence caused, the club apologises.”Source: https://amp-theguardian-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.theguardian.com/football/2021/jun/10/norwich-axe-bk8-sponsorship-deal-over-sexualised-marketing...
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2021-06-08
Cazoo partners with European Tour as title sponsor of two UK Swing Tournaments
 Wales Open renamed as the Cazoo Open, to be held at the Celtic Manor ResortCazoo Classic replaces the English Open and will be held at the London Golf Club Celtic Manor Resort Cazoo, the UK’s leading online car retailer, which makes buying your next car as simple and seamless as purchasing any other product online, has today been announced as the title sponsor of two key events on the European Tour’s UK Swing, the Cazoo Open and Cazoo Classic.The multi-year partnership will see the Wales Open, to be played at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport from July 22-25, renamed the Cazoo Open while the English Open will be replaced on the 2021 Race to Dubai by the Cazoo Classic, taking place at the London Golf Club from August 12-15.Cazoo will have exclusive naming rights across both tournaments and the deal includes significant on-course and off-course branding to include tee boxes and markers, greenside boards, par and yardage boards as well as caddy bibs and branding at other European Tour events.London Golf Club This latest deal adds to Cazoo’s impressive portfolio as one of the UK’s most active sports sponsors that now includes football (Everton, Aston Villa and the EFL), cricket (The Hundred), rugby (Welsh Rugby Union & 2021 Rugby League World Cup), horseracing (Epsom Derby) and snooker (World Snooker Tour).Cazoo is pioneering the shift to online car buying and, since being founded in 2018, has sold over 25,000 cars to consumers across the UK who have embraced the selection, transparency and convenience of buying quality used cars entirely online. Alex Chesterman OBE, Founder & CEO of Cazoo said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the UK leg of the European Tour and adding golf to our growing portfolio of sports sponsorships. This deal gives us exposure to a new audience of golf fans and we look forward to engaging with them and introducing them to the best car buying experience in the UK.”Guy Kinnings, Deputy CEO European Tour, Ryder Cup Director and Chief Commercial Officer said: “We are delighted to welcome Cazoo into the European Tour’s commercial family for the first time and are very pleased that Alex and his team have added golf to their impressive portfolio of sports sponsorships.”Max Hamilton, European Tour Commercial Director added: “Innovation is important to both of our brands and we look forward to working with Cazoo as part of our UK Swing, which continues to flourish following its introduction last year.” Source: https://sponsorship.org/cazoo-partners-with-european-tour-as-title-sponsor-of-two-uk-swing-tournaments/...
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2021-06-04
Flex Seal, Awareness Ties and Operation Ramp It Up Join Forces to Support Veterans
Flex Seal, Awareness Ties and Operation Ramp It Up Join Forces to Support VeteransAn Effort to Keep Veterans From Falling Through The CracksOwosso, MI, May 17, 2021 — For Military Appreciation Month, The Flex Seal® Family of Products, Awareness Ties and Operation Ramp It Up are launching 'Selfie to Support Veterans' - a social media campaign to support the installation of ramps for wheelchair bound veterans, offering them the gift of mobility."So often there are cracks in the service and benefits offered to our veterans," says Greg Schneider, CEO and Founder of Operation Ramp It Up. "Flex Seal is helping us keep our veterans from falling through the cracks by donating funds through Selfie to Support so we can build and install ramps for those who have sacrificed so much for so many."Selfie to Support™ is a cause campaign platform designed and developed by Awareness Ties inviting users to post a selfie with a custom cause filter "tying" them to the cause they care about. Selfies can be posted to social media along with a personal message of support. Each selfie can be ‘boosted’ with a donation, providing additional funds to support the cause."With Memorial Day and May being Military Appreciation Month, we wanted to show our support for those who have served and invite others to show their appreciation simply by sharing a selfie. For each selfie shared, we’ll donate $5 to support Operation Ramp It Up, who are doing great things for our veterans" stated Phil Swift, CEO, Inventor and Spokesperson of Flex Seal. "Supporting our vets is very, very important to us.”Flex Seal will donate $5 per selfie posted at veterans.selfietosupport.com up to $10,000. “Being a veteran myself, it's an honor to work with both Flex Seal and Operation Ramp It Up to not only raise awareness for the needs of veterans but to also take action in raising funds to do the work to support veterans in need,” says Jack McGuire, Co-Founder of Awareness Ties.About Flex SealSwift Response, LLC is the distributor and marketer of The Flex Seal Family of Products. Founded in 2011, the company provides a variety of DIY home repair and maintenance products specializing in waterproofing, adhesive, bonding and sealing. www.flexseal.com About Awareness TiesAwareness Ties™ is a multimedia platform supporting multiple causes by elevating awareness and providing resources for positive social impact. Through AwareNow™ Magazine, Podcast and Talk Show, they raise awareness for causes one story at a time. With Selfie To Support™, nonprofits receive funds through audience engagement & empowerment. www.IamAwareNow.comAbout Operation Ramp It UpFounded by Greg Schneider, a 42 year full-time UPS driver, Operation Ramp It Up installs ramps for those who gave up their freedom so that we can have ours. To date, they've installed over 100 ramps in 26 states. www.operationrampitup.com ContactAllié McGuire, Co-Founder, Awareness Ties(231) 414-2052allie@awarenessties.us###...
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2021-06-04
TC Energy will not participate in Stampede events this year but will continue financial support
'Participating in Stampede events could create unnecessary health and safety risks'One of the Calgary Stampede's major sponsors will not participate in Stampede events this year, from both a branding and hosting perspective.TC Energy says that while it will continue with its financial commitments to the Stampede, it will not participate in events next month. "This is a difficult decision for us but we believe it is the right one. Safety is our primary value and nothing is more important than the health, wellness and safety of our people and the communities where we live and work," said spokeswoman Suzanne Wilton. 'Unnecessary health and safety risks'"While we are as eager as everyone to return to normal, we must remain vigilant in our own protocols. Participating in Stampede events could create unnecessary health and safety risks for our people and business partners."The company says it has a long, storied history of support for the Stampede and that this decision was a difficult one and expectations about the acceptance of invitation have been communicated directly with employees."We have not provided direction to what employees do on their personal time," said Wilton. "Safety is a core value at TC Energy and it is our expectation we all abide by public health measures at all times."The Stampede said Thursday that no one from the organization was available for an interview. However, in an email, it said it "continues to work closely with TC Energy as a trusted and long-time Stampede partner."There was no word on the possibility of other sponsors backing out."It would not be appropriate to discuss confidential agreements we have with our partners. As mentioned, we continue to work with all of our corporate partners just as we do every year," the organization said.Nutrien, another major sponsor of the Calgary Stampede, says it is undecided. "We're still in the process of sorting out our plans for Stampede this year. Our executive team is making a few decisions early next week," the company said in an emailed statement.'They may take their cues from TC Energy'AnneMarie Dorland is an assistant professor of marketing at Mount Royal University. She says this is a huge decision for TC Energy to make. "Pulling their name and their visibility from the event impacts them in terms of the visibility they get from participating. The Stampede is enormous," she said. "I think it's indicative of a company standing clear on their own values of how they want to restart in this soon to be post-COVID kind of a world."Dorland says it's fortunate for the Stampede that its brand has its own power."People come to the Stampede not because of who its sponsors are, but because of the Stampede itself," she said. "I don't know that it would necessarily change how Calgarians and visitors experience the Stampede itself."When it comes to how this decision may affect other sponsorships, Dorland says that is still to be seen."A very, very large corporation is deciding that it is not something they want to align themselves with in the current climate," she said. "Other sponsors, moving forward, they may take their cues from TC Energy in this way. You'll certainly stand out if you don't."It's not even a 'see you later' so much as an 'I can't be seen with you right now,'" she added."But I doubt that that would be something that would carry on post-COVID times because it is such a valuable experience."Former Calgary Stampede president David Chalack said this year's event is "quite polarized," but he doesn't think this will have an impact on people who already planned to attend this year.'It is the choice of the sponsors'"I think most people are thoughtful and can, you know, go through the critical thought process and make decisions for themselves. I don't think that they have to be led by sponsors or anyone," he said."I'm very much an enthusiastic supporter of the Calgary Stampede and what it does for the community. I appreciate all the sponsorship that we get, but it is the choice of the sponsors."ATCO says it will participate as usual. "ATCO is continuing as a long-time sponsor of this positive, community-building event, and our biggest 'ask' of employees these days is that they get vaccinated if they are able to, and that they follow the relevant COVID guidelines and protocols, whether at the workplace or in the community," said spokesperson Kurt Kadatz in an email.Enmax, which also has a long-standing sponsorship with the Calgary Stampede, says that as an essential service provider, the health and safety of its team members and ensuring ongoing service to customers remains its priority."Our primary sponsorship is in holding the naming rights of Enmax Park," said Kara Kingston, director of brand and external relations at Enmax."In recent years, Enmax has not sponsored significant events on the grounds, and our commitment to the health and safety of our team members means that will continue again this year."Last year, the Calgary Stampede was cancelled for the first time in nearly a century because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, the Stampede announced it will go on in July, but with changes, including the cancellation of the Rangeland Derby chuckwagon races. Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/tc-energy-no-stampede-1.6052374...
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2021-06-02
Edmonton CFL team rebranded as Elks
The Edmonton-based Canadian Football League team has officially announced that the Elks will be its new nickname.According to the club, “Elk” was the overwhelming favorite among fans, players and coaches from a shortlist of seven names under consideration: Elk, Evergreens, Evergolds, Eclipse, Elkhounds, Eagles, and Elements.An “S” was added after a consultation with linguistics experts from the Oxford Dictionary and the University of Alberta. Elk is already a plural word.The move, which includes a new logo, comes ahead of the 2021 CFL season, which is set to start in August.“This is not the beginning. This is a new chapter in a story that began 72 years ago officially, and over 100 years ago unofficially,” said club president Chris Presson during the rebranding announcement. “Thousands have carried our torch since then, and we light it again. We build on that legacy — new name, same colours, for Edmontonians.”Last July, the team announced that some fans had become “increasingly uncomfortable” with its previous Eskimos moniker, which is considered by many a derogatory, colonial-era term for Inuits, a group of people who are indigenous to Greenland, Alaska, and Northern Canada.The club in turn undertook a comprehensive engagement process on a new name, which included research and engagement with season-ticket holders, casual ticket purchasers, and commercial partners.In the meantime, the club used the names “EE Football Team” and “Edmonton Football Team.”The widely-anticipated move took place after the team came under pressure from corporate sponsors to change their nickname. Canadian home and car insurance company Belairdirect said it would drop its sponsorship of the team unless a name change took place. Sports Book Interaction, the team’s official online casino and gaming partner, also demanded a change in the moniker, which has been in place since the team’s inception in 1949.Edmonton’s decision followed that of the National Football League’s Washington Redskins, who are now known as Washington Football Team after mounting pressure from corporate sponsors, as well as fans, investors, political leaders, and the media.“Thanks to our wonderful fans and partners across the board for their input, dialogue and debate,” Presson added. “Rebranding a team is hard. Rebranding a team with 100 years of history is even more challenging and we worked hard to meld that history with something new and meaningful.”Source: https://www.sportbusiness.com/news/edmonton-cfl-team-rebranded-as-elks/?logged_in=1...
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