A&W Canada and the MS Society of Canada Kick Off 10th Annual Burgers to Beat MS Campaign
 A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. and the MS Society of Canada are teaming up with soccer superstar Christine Sinclair, two-time Olympic bronze medalist and Canadian women's national soccer team captain, for the 10th annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign to take on multiple sclerosis (MS). Burgers to Beat MS kicks off Monday, July 9 and runs until Thursday, August 16. Canadians can help support by rounding up their bill at the A&W register, purchasing limited-edition stickers for $2, giving through in-restaurant donation mugs, and visiting an A&W restaurant on Burgers to Beat MS Day on August 16, when $2 from every Teen Burger® sold across Canada will go towards beating MS.Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world. On average, 11 Canadians are diagnosed with MS every day and women are three times more likely than men to be diagnosed with MS. Sinclair knows first-hand the impact that MS has—her mother, Sandi, who was also her childhood soccer coach, lives with the disease—and she wants to encourage all Canadians to come together to help find a way to beat the disease."My mom living with MS is something I've dealt with my entire life," says Sinclair. "Through Burgers to Beat MS, I believe I have an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of Canadians who are living with MS. My ultimate goal is that other people won't have to go through what my family has had to experience."Join Christine Sinclair on the Burgers to Beat MS TeamTo kick-off the annual fundraising campaign, A&W and the MS Society will host the Burgers to Beat MS Training Camp at Robson Square in Vancouver, B.C. on Monday, July 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Burgers to Beat MS Training Camp will help Canadians get ready to take on MS on Burgers to Beat MS Day on Thursday, August 16. Led by Burgers to Beat MSTeam Captain, Sinclair, along with Assistant Captain, The Great A&W Root Bear® and MS Society coaches, the Burgers to Beat MS Training Camp will feature fun, soccer-themed activities, special team photos with Sinclair and the opportunity to learn more about MS and what it's like to live with the disease.Canadians coast-to-coast who can't make it to the Training Camp are invited to support the cause by joining the Team online. Simply post on social media why you are joining the Burgers to Beat MS Team using #BurgersToBeatMS and tagging @AWCanada and @MSSocietyCanada. Earlybird sign up is open July 9 through July 31, and Canadians that join the Team during this time by posting on Instagram and Twitter can score a special Burgers to Beat MS prize pack, including a $100 A&W gift card and a Sinclair-signed jersey and soccer ball†.Since 2009, Burgers to Beat MS has raised more than $11 million, making it the single largest annual corporate fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada. A&W is aiming to raise more than $2 million through the 10th annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign, and wants Canadians to get involved early to help raise important awareness and much-needed funds for those with MS."Burgers to Beat MS is a campaign that brings the extended A&W family together, working together for a cause that's close to our hearts," says Susan Senecal, President and CEO, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. "The 10th anniversary of Burgers to Beat MS is a special milestone, and we want to make the biggest impact possible. We're encouraging all Canadians to team up with us and Christine Sinclair to help make a difference in the lives of people living with MS."MS is a complex and unpredictable disease that affects the central nervous system and affects each person differently. Common symptoms include: fatigue, dizziness, (muscle) weakness, impaired sensation, vision loss, mood changes and cognitive impairment. It is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults. The cause of MS remains a mystery and as of today, there is no cure, but each day researchers are learning more about what causes the disease and ways to prevent it."We look forward to our Burgers to Beat MS partnership with A&W each year, and this year is bigger than ever as it's the 10th anniversary of the campaign," says Pamela Valentine, President and CEO, MS Society of Canada. "Burgers to Beat MS enables the MS Society of Canada to fund critical research to improve the quality of life of those living with MS. It helps support advocacy efforts for Canadians affected by MS to have the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of life and provides program delivery in local communities. The funds raised through Burgers to Beat MS will help us drive forward for a cure."...
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CP extends sponsorship of Canadian Women’s Open through 2023
There was never a doubt in Keith Creel’s mind regarding the merits of Canadian Pacific Railway continuing to sponsor the Women’s Open golf tournament.Creel, CP’s president and chief executive officer, announced Monday the company extended its sponsorship of the LPGA Tour event another five years. Specific details weren’t disclosed but CP has sponsored the tournament since November 2013."We just think the return is there," Creel said. "It’s giving an event to a community that’s creating an emotional connection with our customers, with our families at the same time with Canadians across the board."I just don’t know of another venue that offers all those things. It’s nice that I like it myself but I’m not alone in that. It’s a great sport, great athletes, great markets, great venues, great opportunities."The new agreement begins next year and goes through 2023. It will also maintain the US$2.25 million purse with a commitment to be among the LPGA Tour’s top-tier events over the term of the deal.Creel made the announcement at Magna Golf Club, which will host the 2019 event. The 7,307-yard, par-72 course will become the first GTA facility to hold the tournament since Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont., hosted in 2001.This year’s tournament will be held Aug. 20-26 at Wascana Country Club in Regina with 95 of the Tour’s top-100 players scheduled to participate. The naming of Magna Golf Club as the 2019 host kicks off an east-west venue rotation of the event over the new five-year term"We just want to continue to connect with communities," Creel said. "If we stay here east, eventually you could probably saturate the community and you’re going to miss an opportunity in different parts of the network."Like a network, we serve communities across Canada and we want to make sure we’re using this opportunity to share this as the same time."Canadian Pacific will also continue as title sponsor of the CP Women’s Leadership Summit with the inaugural event scheduled for Aug. 21 in Regina. Olympic hockey standout Hayley Wickenheiser is scheduled to serve as keynote speaker."It’s going to be an opportunity for the ladies in the golf world as well as the ladies in the business world to come together," Creel said.Laurence Applebaum, Golf Canada’s CEO, was very pleased about CP’s sponsorship extension."It’s an incredible day for us," he said. "CP has taken this event and put it at the premier level of all events on this great global tour."They’ve made an impact in the communities we go into in the most meaningful way."Applebaum said the CP Women’s Open provides between $15 and $18 million in annual economic impact."When Laurence and I first connected and talked about the notion of Magna Gold Club hosting the 2019 championship, obviously I was intrigued," said Stuart Brindle, Magna Golf Club’s general manager and director of golf. "But it wasn’t until we sat down and Laurence shared the tremendous impact that this event brings and all the great things surrounding it … that’s when our team got together and said that this is something we want to be part of."We could not be more thrilled to welcome the LPGA Tour and host the championship at this club. Looking forward to August."LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan couldn’t attend Monday’s announcement but applauded CP’s extension."For our players, this championship is a must-play event with great hospitality as well as great history," he said in a statement. "The LPGA’s success is made possible through partnerships like the ones we enjoy with CP and Golf Canada."I’d like to congratulate both CP and Golf Canada on this five-year sponsorship extension. With CP’s help, we’re proud to continue showcasing the LPGA Tour to millions of golf fans in Canada, across North America and around the world."LPGA Tour star Brooke Henderson, of Smiths Falls, Ont., and Canadian Golf Hall of Famer Lorie Kane both serve as CP golf ambassadors. Creel said if Henderson won the Women’s Open, she’d provide a tremendous boost for women’s golf in Canada."I don’t know if you could create a better Cinderella story (than) a Canadian to win this tournament that we sponsor in a community we serve," he said. "I don’t know if I could write it any better."Article as posted on Sportsnet....
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CoinDeal Signs as Official Partner of Wolverhampton Wanderers in the World's First Cryptocurrency Exchange Sports Sponsorship
Global cryptocurrency exchange platform, CoinDeal has today been confirmed as official sponsor of Wolverhampton Wanderers ahead of their forthcoming return to the English Premier League.The deal is the first ever sports sponsorship deal involving a cryptocurrency exchange platform, representing an exciting development for the cryptocurrency and blockchain community and points towards an exciting future for the industry.CoinDeal will become sleeve sponsor of the first team playing kit, as well as appearing on all team training kit. Additional rights include significant signage around the stadium, LEDs and branding of the first team dugout.CoinDeal is a relatively young cryptocurrency exchange platform, having been founded in March 2018. The platform aims to offer fast, safe, and easy cryptocurrency exchange services. CoinDeal offers cryptocurrency trading in BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, DASH, and QTUM, while offering two fiat currencies - EUR & USD.Uniquely, if users wish to add a new cryptocurrency to the exchange, they can launch a vote. If a certain number of users vote for the suggested cryptocurrency, it will be approved and added to the platform.Kajetan Maćkowiak, CoinDeal co-founder commented "I have always had a passion for the world of sports and its impact on consumers. At CoinDeal we are very aware of the impact that football marketing can have on brand and its community, especially in industry such as ours. We believe that a club like Wolverhampton Wanderers will help portray our message globally. It is an incredibly exciting time to be involved with Wolves, on the eve of their return to the English Premier League and we look forward to supporting them to ensure they continue their incredible performance levels both on and off the pitch."Wolves managing director Laurie Dalrymple said: "We are absolutely thrilled to partner with CoinDeal at such an exciting time in Wolves' history, and very pleased to announce our very first shirt sleeve sponsor. Once more a partner has agreed to tweaking the colour of their logo to complement our kit, which is a huge gesture of goodwill towards the club and its fans, and something we are very grateful for.""CoinDeal is a bold and progressive company, who we believe to be an ideal match to become one of our principal partners, and we look forward to working with them throughout our first season back in the Premier League."...
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Goodbye ACC, hello Scotiabank Arena! Home of Leafs, Raptors has new name
Goodbye Air Canada Centre, hello Scotiabank Arena.The home of Toronto's Maple Leafs and Raptors has a new name — marking the end of an era for Canada's busiest sports and entertainment venue.The Scotiabank logo replaced that of Air Canada atop the Bay Street building on Canada Day. That's when the 20-year sponsorship agreement between Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) and Scotiabank kicked in.The Canadian bank's record-setting $800-million deal for the naming rights of the stadium, that also houses the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League and serves as a primier stage for music, signified a major shift in the sports marketing landscape.   Under the the terms of the deal, first announced in late August of 2017, Scotiabank will pay a reported $40 million a year. The price tag is enormous. It's more than 10 times what Air Canada paid for the inaugural rights nearly two decades ago.  "Our goal is to ensure, working with MLSE, that when you come down here in the fall for first puck drop or tip off, you feel different," John Doig, executive vice-president of Scotiabank, said Tuesday in an interview with CBC Toronto. Air Canada has held the naming rights to the arena since it opened in 1999. The ACC is even an acronym rooted in the city's vernacular. And it's clear it will take some Leafs and Raptors fans time to adopt the new name."It's kind of like the Rogers Centre just up the street. It will always be the Skydome to me," Toronto resident Rob Robinson said.A hashtag "ACCforever" has been created for Torontonians to tweet their memories.While Doig recognizes that "change is difficult" for Toronto fans, he explains that Scotiabank is striving to "do a really good job at improving the fan experience" at Scotiabank Arena. A first step is adding MLSE to its SCENE loyalty program, which will now be handing out reward points to sports and music fans who buy tickets. The bank will also be installing a larger, more "complete" interactive sign ahead of the start of the National Hockey League's season in October, as the current one is only temporary. "I do believe that over time, Scotiabank Arena or Scotia Arena, will be the name of this great building," said Doig. A renovation of the main gates to improve the flow of people and enhance security to help fans take their seats faster is also on Scotiabank's to-do list.  Inside, the bank is doing a makeover of the jumbo scoreboard, adding its logo below, and rebuilding the former Air Canada Club — now dubbed Scotia Club. Concrete floors, and exposed walls and ceilings will be added in the area over the summer, said Nick Eaves, chief venues and operating officer of MLSE ."We're going to renovate it to reflect the new brand and energy of the building," he said.Article by Amara McLaughlin as posted on CBC News....
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Roger Federer's new sponsorship deal is reportedly worth $300 million as he replaces Nike with Uniqlo
Roger Federer began his campaign for his ninth win at Wimbledon on Monday, but the biggest news from the World No. 1 player was not his game on the court, but instead his outfit.Federer has worn Nike for over twenty years, making the "swoosh" logo and his "RF" logo iconic symbols of his dominance on the court. But as he dispatched Dušan Lajović in straight sets to move on to the second round, Federer was rocking his new sponsor, Uniqlo, for the first time.According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the deal is worth more than $300 million over ten years and includes an unprecedented clause that will allow Federer to keep collecting even if he doesn't play through the end of the deal.While it was initially speculated that the deal could be worth $21 million per year, it looks as though Federer found his way into an even better agreement with the Japanese athletic brand. In addition to the money he'll earn as a brand ambassador for Uniqlo, he'll also reportedly be able to sell patches on his shirt — something that Nike had forbidden him from doing.Federer was still Federer on the court, but the sight of the greatest of all time without the swoosh on his chest and his own "RF" — which Nike still holds the rights to — emblazoned somewhere was enough to catch some people off guard.Federer isn't the first high profile player to wear Uniqlo on the court — three-time Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic also worked with the brand before switching to LaCoste last year.Federer hasn't removed Nike entirely from his tennis wardrobe, as still wore his Nike shoes throughout the match.Article by Tyler Lauletta as posted on Business Insider....
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Italy’s new ban on gambling advertising and sponsorship to begin in January
Italy’s new coalition government finalized a draft of their Dignity Decree, a move that will see online gambling advertising and sponsorship’s banned. The ban would take effect on January 1st, 2019 and would apply to any form of advertising that relates to games or wagering with money. The advertising ban will cover any means including artistic events, sporting events, television broadcasts, radio, daily press, billboards, online and more.According to CalvinAyre, an explanatory report of the ban stated that it applies to not only advertising but also sponsorships, along with every form of content communication promotions that are not counted as tabular advertising, such as the superimposition of the brand, activities, name, etc., that promotes betting or gambling.Those who fail to follow the restrictions will face an administrative fine that will begin at €50,000 and extend to 5% of the value of the advertising or sponsorship. Fines will be handed down to gambling operators, media outlets that provide advertising as well as sports groups and event organizers. Larger fines of €100,000 to €500,000 will apply to those who advertise gambling services or products alongside programs that cater to an underage audience.The money that is raised from the set fines will be placed towards programs focusing on reducing harm from problem gambling, due to the fact that the ad ban was created to strengthen consumer protection.Operators are not too happy with the ban, with one making public comments on the matter. LeoVegas, an online gambling provider licensed in Italy, has stated that the ban proposal could be in violation of the country’s constitutional protections involving the freedom to do business, due to the fact that the government’s has legalized and provided licensing for online gambling basically saying that gambling does not represent a threat to society.The operator would like to see the coalition change their proposal to cover problem gambling without populist slogans or action. LeoVegas feels that the ban will not create a reduction in problem gambling as it will create an increase in advertising efforts by operators that provide gambling without a license in the country.Article by Marie Kelley as posted on World Casino News....
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The Spectacle of Spectacles: Hendrick's Gin Globally Launches E.L.E.V.A.T.U.M. with a Historic, Multi-Sensory Experience at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal
Hendrick's Gin disrupts with global firsts unveiling both E.L.E.V.A.T.U.M. and C.O.R.G.A.N at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal creating an unforgettable display of gin and jazz.Hendrick's Gin proudly opens the doors to their wonderfully unusual world of whimsy at the 2018 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal today and tomorrow, taking historical strides with the E.L.E.V.A.T.U.M. experience.Taking place at the famous Quartier des Spectacles in downtown Montreal (because where else would the spectacle of spectacles take place?), Hendrick's Gin E.L.E.V.A.T.U.M. is a once-in-a-lifetime, fully integrated multi-sensory experience introducing the world to a peculiar experience like no other."Hendrick's Gin is about cultivating the unusual," comments Beth-Anne Perry, Senior National Brand Manager, Hendrick's Gin.  "As purveyors of the peculiar, we aim to surprise, delight and disrupt festival guests with a once-in-a-lifetime, multi-sensory spectacle that shares the whimsical world of Hendrick's with jazz fans from across the globe."THE SPECTACLE FOR YOUR SENSES: June 28 & 29, 6:00 P.M. to midnightFor Thy EyesThe Hendrick's Gin E.L.E.V.A.T.U.M. (Elevating, Levitating, Exceptionally, Voluminous, Amazingly, Towering, Uplifting, Mobile) will whisk those lucky enough to have acquired the coveted gift of gold in the form of a golden ticket to an unconventional journey 44 ¼ cucumbers into the sky to observe the Montreal festival from a view usually only reserved for our favourite feathered friends.For Thy EarsHendrick's Gin is delighted to globally (and unusually) unveil the first ever Jazz C.O.R.G.A.N. (or Cucumber Organ of Remarkably Glorious Auditory Nirvana), a one-of-a-kind musical instrument which consists of real, whole cucumber keys that create a distinctive jazz tone when touched, giving festival visitors an auditory and oddly unusual experience unlike any other.  The Hendrick's Gin Jazz Cucumber Organ is set to be displayed at the festival for an exclusive ten-day appearance appearing in the Hendrick's Gin Air Departure Lounge on the 28th and the 29th of June and the festival media and talent lounge for the duration of the festival.For Thy Lips:Alongside the spectacles of the E.L.E.V.A.T.U.M. and the C.O.R.G.A.N., Hendrick's Gin is giving golden ticket guests an exclusive first taste of the new Hendrick's Orbium!  A rare and one-time only expression of Hendrick's Gin, reimagined in a parallel universe as Orbium, this new gin is infused with three additional extracts of quinine, wormwood, and blue lotus blossom complementing the classic cucumber and rose essences.  Handcrafted in a preciously small batch, the tasting at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal marks the first consumer tasting outside of the U.K. Non-bearers of golden tickets need not fret! Their lips will too be tantalized with the glorious gift of Hendrick's Gin with complimentary tea cup G & Ts for Festival guests, available at the Hendrick's Air Departure Lounge on behalf of the first-ever gin sponsor of the Festival, alongside Madame E.L.E.V.A.T.U.M. and her 11 botanical friends.For Thy Nose:For those that need ask, of course the nose shall be tantalized.  Guests can take a moment to stop and smell the sweet scent of roses accented by the world's most glorious cucumbers throughout the Hendrick's Air Departure Lounge.For Thy Spirit:Of course, the purveyors of the peculiar would not forget the sense of spirit that lies within!  Renowned Intuitive Specialist Terri-Lynn Decker comes from a land to the East giving golden ticket holders special energy readings, adding to the whimsical wonderment of the Hendrick's Gin E.L.E.V.A.T.U.M. experience.For the first time in over 39 years of Jazz Festival History, Hendrick's Gin welcomes guests into the unusually captivating world of Hendrick's Gin that connects music with spectacle and gin with jazz, revealing a number of curiously wonderous, whimsical and HISTORICAL firsts that will undoubtedly be encapsulated within the spectacle of the evenings.All jazz festival attendees 18+ and over are welcome to sample and engage in the magic of the Hendrick's Gin E.L.E.V.A.T.U.M. and view golden ticket holders soaring the skies.  A series of golden tickets will also be available to win on location for festival guests, in an onsite balloting contest both nights."A Hendrick's Gin soiree is always a spectacle of the unusual," adds Alvin Ramchurn, National Brand Ambassador, Hendrick's Gin. "We pride ourselves on being purveyors of the peculiar and E.L.E.V.A.T.U.M. will be no exception!"...
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Subaru Canada Announces Title Sponsorship of Ironman Events in Canada
Partnership will include title sponsorship of all IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 races in Canada IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, together with Subaru Canada, Inc. (SCI), are thrilled to announce that Subaru Canada will return as the title sponsor for all IRONMAN®events in Canada for the 2018-19 race season.The 2018 Subaru-IRONMAN partnership will include title sponsorship of all IRONMAN and IRONMAN® 70.3® races in Canada, including: Subaru IRONMAN Canada, Subaru IRONMAN 70.3 Canada, Subaru IRONMAN 70.3 Muskoka presented by Subaru of Muskoka, Subaru IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant presented by Sportium, Subaru IRONMAN 70.3 Mont-Tremblant presented by Sportium, and Subaru IRONMAN 70.3 Victoria presented by Jim Pattison Subaru, as well as all related IRONKIDS® races in those markets. Subaru will also be the title sponsor for shorter distance triathlon events in the region including Subaru Iron Girl® Grimsby and the Subaru Ontario Tri-Series.This is also the third consecutive year that Subaru Canada will sponsor the Road to Kona, a contest through www.roadtokona.ca that allows the nomination of an IRONMAN athlete to compete in the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.  "Subaru's dedication to promoting healthy lifestyles for Canadians in a family-friendly way has continued to grow with our involvement in IRONMAN events," said Yasushi Enami, chairman, president and CEO of Subaru Canada, Inc. "Today, it's reflected in all of our current triathlon sponsorships and the expansion of the Subaru IRONMAN races."Subaru has been involved with IRONMAN events in Canada for over two decades, dating back to the early 1990s with the grassroots series and the Subaru IRONMAN Canada. Throughout its 20-year partnership with IRONMAN, Subaru has expanded its sponsorship which now includes six extraordinary IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events in Canada."It is with great pride that we broaden our long-standing relationship with Subaru Canada," said Stuart Selig, Executive Vice President of Global Partnerships, North America - ‎IRONMAN. "We are thrilled to continue to promote healthy lifestyles with a valued partner who shares similar goals."...
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The Dahdaleh Foundation Extends Sponsorship of Canada House Gallery to 2025
The Dahdaleh Foundation is proud to announce a five year extension of its principal sponsorship of the Canada Gallery, housed in the High Commission of Canada on Trafalgar Square.The renewed sponsorship builds on an initial commitment by the Foundation, chaired by Victor Phillip Dahdaleh, which began on completion of the 2015 refurbishment of Canada House. The Dahdaleh Foundation's support will now run up to 2025.Since the Canada Gallery opened in 2015, it has hosted 14 exhibitions, ranging from the inaugural exhibition by Vancouver artist Jeff Wall to the celebrated Andrew Salgado to an inspiring group exhibition of contemporary artists from Nunavut and most recently hosted  Vikky Alexander's first UK exhibition, 'The Spoils of the Park.'In the three years since its opening, the Canada House Gallery has attracted more than 47,000 visitors and helped to create a new perspective and profile for a wide range of Canadian artists and their art.HE Mrs. Janice Charette, Canadian High Commissioner to the UK said:'I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Dahdaleh Foundation for its continued support of our work here in the UK as we aim to promote the vast array of innovative Canadian visual arts to new audiences through our Canada Gallery programming. This sponsorship continues to help us ensure that the best of Canada reaches our many visitors to our gallery space at an exciting time for Canada's cultural scene.'Commenting on the principal sponsorship extension agreement Mr Victor Phillip Dahdaleh said:'The Dahdaleh Foundation has been delighted with the work that has been done through the Canada House Gallery to give talented Canadian artists the opportunity to showcase their work and promote Canadian culture through an array of enviable exhibitions. We are delighted to have extended our support to a full ten years, providing a solid platform for future programming.'The Gallery's work is at the heart of one of the Foundation's principal philanthropic areas of support - improving relationships and understanding between Canada and the UK.'...
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How legal weed will affect the Canadian music industry
Back in January, UP Cannabis, one of the country’s budding (sorry) legal marijuana producers, nailed down an agreement with The Feldman Agency, a major talent booking organization whose roster includes everyone from Alessia Cara and the Barenaked Ladies to Our Lady Peace and Michael Bublé.In addition to getting gigs for its clients, Feldman also specializes in brand integration projects. So, could Feldman help UP get deeper into the music space? Absolutely.As with alcohol, music and marijuana have always gone together. If Molson can sponsor a tour and Budweiser can have a venue named after it, why couldn’t another legal, government-regulated recreational ingestible product do the same?Jean Richer, senior vice president of sales and marketing, wants UP to head in this direction. After all, this was part of his job when he worked as a market manager for AB InBev, the massive Belgian-Brazilian beer consortium.While regulations for marketing pot are still being worked out — some shows, tours, and festivals have already struck deals with licensed pot producers, occupying a legal grey area of Bill C-45 — Richer and other cannabis companies are most anxious to get into the music endorsement/sponsorship space.UP began by involving the Tragically Hip. The group enthusiastically bought in as investors; the company’s stock ticker symbol is HIP.V. Earlier this month, UP staged a Maritime Kitchen Party at the World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, N.B.And then there’s an event on June 24: UP is part of the Stars and Thunder festival in Timmins, Ont., (population: 41,000), which features Bryan Adams, Burton Cummings, The Beach Boys, Our Lady Peace, Blue Rodeo, Colin James, Paul Brandt and more. You don’t get that kind of heavyweight talent to a place like Timmins without some serious financial investment.Other artists, managers, agents, promoters and music festivals are all hoping to tap into the revenue that will be generated by legal weed.Snoop Dogg, an avid marijuana enthusiast (he once claimed to smoke 81 blunts a day) has brought his company, Leafs By Snoop, into the country. Willie Nelson, the estate of Bob Marley, Wiz Khalifa, and Melissa Etheridge are all involved in various marijuana projects.From the other side, you can bet that the other big producers — Aphria, Canopy Growth Corp, and Med Releaf — are looking at how they can tap into the music market. We already have companies like Aurora Cannabis, one of Canada’s biggest producers, presenting the North by Northeast music festival earlier this month in Toronto. And don’t be surprised to see a marijuana company as a major participant in next year’s Canadian Music Week.Just how much and how deeply these companies will be allowed to participate in these events remains to be seen.The tobacco industry is most annoyed at this. After all, brands like Du Maurier, Rothmans and Benson & Hedges once sponsored music events before they were prohibited from this sort of advertising and sunk by strict no smoking laws. Why should another smokeable product be allowed to promote itself through music and other cultural events?The cannabis companies say that they’re just promoting brand awareness and not selling anything. And then there’s that little thing about nicotine, addiction and lung cancer that come with cigarettes.At the same time, there are specific rules about how cannabis countries may advertise their goods and how musicians may promote cannabis products. Traditional advertising is, at this point, prohibited and packaging will be highly regulated, but posts through social media and mailing lists are okay. For example, that’s how The Tragically Hip gets the word out on UP. Other musicians are doing the same for other companies.But these are mere details. There’s too much money (read: too much tax revenue) to stifle things too much, even in staid, conservative Canada. And Canadian culture is going to benefit financially.In my conversations with music industry people about the coming weed wave, I’ve learned:Plans are already in the works for “wine and weed” tours through vineyard regions like Niagara, Prince Edward County and throughout B.C. Events could include concerts as part of a visit. Some vineyards already have amphitheatres and performance spaces built.Canadian venues near the U.S. border are thinking about how they might deal with a potential influx of American fans at concerts and festivals.Promoters who have benefited from liquor sponsorships for shows, tours, and festivals (think beer companies, Jagermeister, etc.) have been looking at the revenue potential of weed companies for at least a couple of years.Artists are being approached to be social media influencers for things like vaporizers and other smoking accessories.It will be fun to watch the culture shift. For the first time ever, a once-banned illegal recreational substance will be made legal. Unless you count Prohibition (a ban on a once-legal substance that was eventually unbanned), the legalization of marijuana has no precedent. Music will definitely help ease the attitudinal shift.Jay Wilgar, the CEO and director of UP Cannabis (which also goes by Newstrike, its corporate name), summed up things: “If music pairs with alcohol — beer, wine, spirits— in a way that enhances the moment, our goal is to show that cannabis products can do the same. Having a good glass of wine is seen as a classy and sophisticated thing to do. We want to show that cannabis can be enjoyed and perceived the same way. And what better way to do it than through music?”Article by Alan Cross as posted on GlobalNews....
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