U Sports launches national strategy to attract corporate funding
The body that runs Canada’s university sports system has signed up a U.S. marketing powerhouse to work on a national strategy to secure millions of dollars from Canada’s corporate giants.U Sports, the governing body for athletics at 56 Canadian universities, hopes to pull in tens of millions of dollars via the partnership with International Management Group (IMG). The effort is part of a years-long overhaul of university sports in this country under Graham Brown, a former Rugby Canada executive who has been chief executive and president of U Sports since 2015.Mr. Brown shut down the Ottawa office, moved the headquarters to Richmond Hill, Ont., and shed the organization’s former name, Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). Now, with IMG’s help, U Sports is looking to consolidate sponsorship opportunities across schools and athletic conferences into one package. Their asking price is $7-million a year, for five to seven years, and their first targets are banks and financial institutions.Currently, the efforts of Canadian university sports are fragmented – with individual schools finding their own sponsorships.“No university athletics department is getting any sponsor for more than six figures,” said Sam Galet, head of Canadian operations for IMG.That stands in contrast to the kinds of sponsorship deals U.S. schools get – such as a deal between Under Armour Inc. and the University of California, Los Angeles, that goes for 15 years and US$280-million.In the United States, Mr. Galet’s colleagues at IMG market college sports to national sponsors, and those lucrative deals funnel millions of dollars back into athletics departments and their young athletes.Mr. Brown and Mr. Galet agree that marketing for Canadian university sports has been weak on a national level – despite efforts from individual athletic departments. Pure corporate sponsorship of Canadian university athletes – where a company pays for marketing and exposure – is only bringing in about $4-million or $5-million a year, by Mr. Brown’s most recent estimate. But that doesn’t include philanthropy, procurement deals or other local sponsorship, which brings the total closer to $15-million.Money is only one reason Canada’s top high school athletes tend to pursue their dreams south of the border. For example, R.J. Barrett, the Mississauga teen and MVP of Canada’s FIBA under-19 World Cup basketball team last summer, will be playing for Duke University this fall. “The blue-chip athletes don’t see Canadian university sports as a pathway,” Mr. Brown said.Still, some talent does stay north – athletes such as Andrew Buckley, who came up through the University of Calgary’s football program before beginning a pro career as a quarterback for the Calgary Stampeders.Mr. Buckley said that staying in Canada meant an opportunity for high-quality academics at a generally lower cost. But being a student-athlete was still expensive.“As a football team, we’d be at the stadium from 3:30 until 9:30 at night, and we wouldn’t have a meal provided or anything like that,” Mr. Buckley said. “It’d make for some long, hungry nights.”During the summers, training and extra course work meant limited time to get a good job, straining finances further.Another benefit to larger sponsorships could be TV exposure. It could boost the profile of Canadian athletic programs and allow far-away family to watch games. Although some marquee events are televised nationally, the broadcasting profile of university sports is far smaller in Canada than in the United States, where events such as college basketball’s March Madness tournament draw massive audiences.Financial institutions are the first target for U Sports because “it’s probably the category that’s spending the most money, is most competitive and has the most resources to spend on something like this,” Mr. Galet said. “And we also know that every financial-services company is looking to talk to millennials.”Mr. Galet and Mr. Brown aim to have one sponsor signed on by Sept. 1. Eventually, they’ll turn their sights to the automotive industry, professional services, technology and telecom as well. And, both men assert, they aren’t looking for philanthropy.“This is about a real marketing campaign, real money, being accountable, putting a proper framework where you’re going to be monitored, monetized and you’re going to be evaluated on it,” Mr. Brown said.“And that’s a whole different concept.”Article by Victoria Gibson as posted on The Globe and Mail....
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First #movethedial Global Summit Aims to Rally Business Leaders to Inspire and Advance Women in Technology
TD Bank Group extends its support as the event's title sponsor#movethedial, a movement dedicated to advancing the participation and leadership of women in technology, is hosting the first annual #movethedial Global Summit in Toronto on November 7, 2018. With generous support from TD Bank Group (TD) as the title sponsor, the event aims to inspire powerful action to advance women to leadership roles in the global technology community and encourage young girls to pursue careers in STEM."To achieve our vision, we need to move the dial on gender in the tech market at a much faster pace, and encourage businesses and individuals to take immediate action to advance women in STEM. The #movethedial Global Summit will bring together corporate leaders and youth, inspiring and empowering them to unlock this country's potential as the most inclusive technology ecosystem in the world," said Jodi Kovitz, founder and CEO of #movethedial. "This is both a moral and economic imperative, and more important than ever since machines are now learning from the minds that are designing them. As the first event of its kind taking place in Canada, it provides a tremendous opportunity for leaders to unite with a singular focus on advancing women in tech, today and in the future, and model our country's strength of diversity and set a strong example for the rest of the world."Held at Toronto's Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, the summit will bring together 600 decision makers from corporate Canada and the brightest minds in the country's tech ecosystem, alongside 300 emerging talent and youth across all genders, aged 14-24, from underserved markets – enabling attendees to learn, connect, and grow together.   "TD is proud to support this important and timely event," said Rizwan Khalfan, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital and Payments Officer, TD. "Having a diverse and inclusive work environment is essential to our future success. Our ability to meet the needs of our customers means ensuring that we have a wide range of perspectives that allow us to approach innovation in ways that are meaningful for all of our customers. Women are already playing a leading role in defining and developing our customer experiences and we are dedicated to cultivating a culture that enables them to thrive."The morning sessions will gather senior executives and emerging leaders focused on technology and driving innovation. They will share concrete strategies, tools, and best practices to attract, support, and retain women in tech and other areas of diversity and inclusion. The afternoon sessions will feature stories from female leaders (and those of other genders that support them) with the goal of encouraging all in attendance to "be what they can see." Summit organizers have partnered with TKS, Toronto's leading high-school innovation program, and Plan International Canadato ensure an effective and engaging youth experience."At our core, both Plan International Canada and #movethedial are working toward the same thing: a world where everyone has the right to realize their fullest potential," said Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Plan International Canada. "When we are able to engage girls and young women in emerging economic sectors like STEM, there are fewer entrenched gender norms. This new economy presents an opportunity to level the playing field and drive leadership opportunities for women, both locally and globally. Incorporating a youth component in the #movethedial Global Summit is a great example of how together we can make a difference."Speakers at the #movethedial Global Summit -- including top executives, and tech founders and funders from around the world -- will be announced in the coming weeks. To sign up to receive information on summit registration, speakers, agenda, and more, please visit www.movethedial.com. Inclusivity and a welcoming and safe environment are required for fruitful discussion and are top priorities for the #movethedial summit organizers and its "Project Belong" initiative to co-design an inclusive, safe, and accessible gathering where every person belongs, alongside tech community leaders.To date, the growth and power of #movethedial to connect people through storytelling has led to an estimated 6,000 people joining the movement across Canada and in the United States, including more than 60 champions and advisors who are leading the way in the technology industry.In addition to support from founding partner and title summit sponsor TD, #movethedial has received generous support from additional founding partners including Ceridian, CIBC, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, PwC, TWG, and Wealthsimple....
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NBA 2K League Sponsorship Guide
Despite its struggles to find its audience, the NBA 2K League has remained in the news due to its high volume of team and league partnerships. Nearly every team in the league has secured at least one brand sponsorship and the league itself currently has more brand partners that the Overwatch League.The league consists of 17 teams, each affiliated with an existing NBA franchise. The Esports Observer has created a comprehensive guide detailing the teams and their current partners, and will update this article sponsors come and go.NBA 2K League In addition to various partnerships with teams, the league itself has secured a number of sponsors, naming an official partner for nearly every piece of equipment used by players.The NBA 2K League’s current partners include:Scuf Gaming—official controller partnerHyperX—official gaming headsetTwitch—exclusive broadcast partnerDell—official PC hardware and monitor partnerIntelState FarmNew Era76ers GC NBA Franchise: Philadelphia 76ersPartners/Sponsors:The Raynor Group—official gaming chair partnerHyperX—existing partner of the Philadelphia 76ersBlazer5 Gaming NBA Franchise: Portland TrailblazersPartners/Sponsors:Secretlab—official gaming chair partnerBucks Gaming NBA Franchise: Milwaukee BucksPartners/Sponsors:Vertagear—official gaming chair partnerHyperX—official gaming headsetGamers HQ—esports event organizer in the MidwestCavs Legion GC NBA Franchise: Cleveland CavaliersPartners/Sponsors:Hot Pockets—founding partnerRocket Mortgage—founding partnerThe Raynor Group—official gaming chair partnerSteelSeries—official peripheral partnerCeltics Crossover Gaming NBA Franchise: Boston CelticsPartners/Sponsors:Alley Powered By Verizon—training facility providerVertagear—official gaming chair partnerSplyce—official esports partnerDunkin Donuts—official coffee partnerGrizz Gaming NBA Franchise: Memphis GrizzliesPartners/Sponsors:HyperX—official headset partnerAmerica’s Navy—jersey partnerFedEx—existing partner of the Memphis GrizzliesHeat Check Gaming NBA Franchise: Miami HeatPartners/Sponsors:Vertagear—official gaming chair partnerJazz Gaming NBA Franchise: Utah JazzPartners/Sponsors:Spacestation Gaming—official esports partnerHyperX—official headset partnerKings Guard Gaming NBA Franchise: Sacramento KingsPartners/Sponsors:Unikrn—esports betting platformPlaywire—monetization platform, partnered with Unikrn for esports initiatives.Knicks Gaming NBA Franchise: New York KnicksPartners/Sponsors:Turtle Beach—official headset partnerMSG Networks—developing a Knicks Gaming reality showChase—existing partner of the New York KnicksSquarespace—existing partner of the New York KnicksMagic Gaming NBA Franchise: Orlando MagicPartners/Sponsors:No brand partnerships at this timeMavs Gaming NBA Franchise: Dallas MavericksPartners/Sponsors:HyperX—official headset partner5miles—jersey sponsorPacers Gaming NBA Franchise: Indiana PacersPartners/Sponsors:Indiana Army National Guard—sponsoring video contentLyftPistons GT NBA Franchise: Detroit PistonsPartners/Sponsors:Findamortgagebroker.com—jersey sponsorRaptors Uprising GC NBA Franchise: Toronto RaptorsPartners/Sponsors:WorldGaming—hosting NBA 2K events in conjunction with Raptors UprisingIBM Canada—sponsor of team’s “Scouting Report Powered By IBM” on TwitterAxe—sponsor of “Axe Pro Tips” video seriesOntario Lottery—jersey sponsorWarriors Gaming Squad NBA Franchise: Golden State WarriorsPartners/Sponsors:NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming—sponsor of “Play of the Week” video seriesWizards District Gaming NBA Franchise: Washington WizardsPartners/Sponsors:Giant Food—regional grocery store partnerEvents DC—partnership through Washington Wizards parent company, Monumental Sports & EntertainmentBud Light—video content and watch party sponsorLeidos—official season presenting partnerHyperX—official headset partner...
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Cheers to all! LCBO Announces First Official Partnership With Pride Toronto 2018
As Pride month kicks off, the LCBO is thrilled to announce its first official partnership with Pride Toronto 2018, celebrating the LGBTQ2S community and the organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion. Running through June 24 at select stores in the Toronto Pride area, the "Cheers to all" campaign includes in-store creative that mirrors Toronto Pride's official design, fundraising for Casey House, and sensitivity awareness sessions for staff."As the largest celebration in North America, we are extremely proud to partner with Pride Toronto to promote unity, individuality and compassion through this month-long campaign," said George Soleas, CEO & President, LCBO. "This marks an important step in our year-round commitment to building an inclusive, equitable and respectful work environment and strengthening our presence in vibrant communities in which we operate across the province.""We are proud to be partners with the LCBO who are demonstrating their leadership in committing to LGBTQ2S equality year round," said Olivia Nuamah, Executive Director, Pride Toronto. "Social responsibility means committing to the fight for equity and inclusion as well as celebrating Pride."Paramount to the LCBO's commitment to responsible retailing and keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors is the company's Check 25 program, in which all staff check government-issued identification for customers that appear to be 25 years of age or younger. In an effort to ensure that LCBO stores are a place where all customers see themselves reflected, photos used in the Check 25 creative will be updated to include members of the trans community. Supported by The 519, a City of Toronto agency committed to the health, happiness and full participation of the LGBTQ community, staff of participating LCBO locations will take part in sensitivity awareness sessions to ensure the customer experience is respectful and inclusive."The Education and Training department at The 519 has delivered inclusion training to over 10,000 people and 300+ organizations last year," said Laura Gibbon, Manager Education and Training, The 519. "We are excited to partner with the LCBO and are looking forward to working together to promote gender and sexual diversity in the retail and service industry."Rounding out the campaign is the opportunity for customers to make a donation alongside their purchase towards Pride Toronto's charity of choice, Casey's House.The "Cheers to all" campaign was designed and executed by LCBO's in-house Corporate Social Responsibility, Marketing, Merchandising and Retail teams alongside Bensimon Byrne....
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Hyundai Returns as an Official Sponsor of Festival International de Jazz de Montréal for Third Year in a Row
Hyundai is once again an official sponsor of this year's annual Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presented by TD Bank Group in collaboration with Rio Tinto. This marks Hyundai's third year of sponsorship of the festival, taking place from June 28 to July 7, 2018.    "We're pleased to be a sponsor of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal," said Don Romano, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. "Recognized as the world's largest jazz festival, Hyundai remains incredibly supportive when it comes to helping to make music as accessible as possible to fans and musicians who visit from Canada and around the world. We are also excited to showcase some of our newest vehicles to the public – Some for the first time."As part of the sponsorship, Hyundai will be the co-host to one of the concert stages, which will provide daily performances that audiences can enjoy free-of-charge.The company will also have three vehicle displays at the festival situated in high-traffic areas to showcase 1) the all-new Kona Electric Vehicle, 2) the all-new Veloster N and Veloster Turbo, 3) Kona, Tucson, and the all-new 2019 Santa Fe. These displays will enable visitors to view the vehicles and engage with brand ambassadors. Hyundai is also providing the official vehicle fleet for use during the festival, made up of Sonata Hybrids and Santa Fe XLs, to support the transportation of artists and organizers of the event.The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal has been welcoming music fans from around the world for nearly 40 years. At the festival, concert-goers can enjoy 10 days and nights of music performed by more than 3,000 musicians from 30 countries, in addition to access to 150 indoor shows. Throughout the festival, more than 2 million people visit the heart of Montréal's downtown core to celebrate and immerse themselves in some of the best that the jazz world has to offer....
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The changing landscape of Formula 1 team sponsorship
McLaren stands out as one of Formula 1’s most successful and biggest teams, winning a total of 20 world championships working with the likes of Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Lewis Hamilton. But in recent years, its fortunes have taken a hit. The team has not won a race since the end of 2012 or even recorded a top-three finish since 2014. A new relationship with Japanese manufacturer Honda that started in 2015 was intended to restore the team to its former glory, only for the fraught partnership to end after just three years with McLaren second from bottom in the F1 standings. The departure of Honda was agreed to secure a more competitive engine supply, yet it left a big hole in the team’s finances. Honda was understood to be injecting around $70 million per year into the McLaren team, and the loss of this, combined with a drop in prize money as a result of the lack of performance, meant McLaren entered the 2018 season facing an even greater task to balance the books. Sponsorship has been a growing challenge for F1 teams. Gone are the free-spending days of the 1990s and 2000s, when tobacco money resulted in big budgets. The ban on such advertising has meant a big squeeze on spending for teams. McLaren raced with title sponsorship from Vodafone between 2007 and 2013 and, despite attempts to secure a replacement, it failed to find a company willing to pay the top rate. This prompted former team boss Ron Dennis to say that title sponsorship did not “exist anymore as a concept”. Dennis left McLaren at the end of 2016, and the task of turning round the team’s fortunes was handed to Zak Brown. Brown was the founder and chief executive of Just Marketing International, the world’s largest motorsport marketing agency, making him the ideal candidate to boost the team’s commercial fortunes. Brown remained a realist after Honda’s departure, admitting it was “not going to be easy” to make up the lost investment from the manufacturer. However, he was confident of filling the gap: “I’ve done it before. We’ve got a great commercial team, we restructured the commercial department, so it won’t be easy, but it’s possible,” he said. Brown is encouraged that the market is ripe for bringing in fresh sponsors under F1’s new owner, Liberty Media: “I think the sport is in a great place to sell it. TV ratings are up, live attendances are up. The vibe in the pits is good. So I think the sport is in a good selling environment now.” The off-season saw Brown work hard to bring new sponsors into McLaren, with several deals being announced. The most notable partnership was signed with technology giant Dell. Smaller agreements came courtesy of CNBC and Kimoa, the brand of McLaren driver Fernando Alonso, understood to partly compensate for a reduced contract fee. Despite the agreements, McLaren still has no title sponsor – six of the 10 F1 teams do – and its new car for the 2018 season has a lot of blank space. But Brown is not worried about the financial outlook for the team. “We don’t want a title sponsor per se,” he said. “What we would like is a principal partner, so title-level branding as everyone in here would think of it. But we want to retain our name McLaren, so we are not really interested in selling the name to the team. “Sponsorship takes a long time to get. We brought on five new partners during the off-season, which is more than any other team, so I’m quite happy with our progress. “It’ll take time. Obviously the more money we have brought in we can put into the racing team but we haven’t budgeted for [a title sponsor] this year, so we are on course financially.” In the ever-changing landscape of F1 sponsorship, the typical sponsor agreement is becoming increasingly rare as more technical partnerships akin to the deal between McLaren and Dell emerge. The deal will see McLaren harness Dell technical solutions across its organisation, including design and manufacturing, trackside operations, telemetry, safety-critical ecosystems and storage, and aspects outside of racing, including eSports, simulation, fan engagement and guest experience. “McLaren’s agreement with Dell Technologies expands beyond the traditional sponsorship model,” Brown said. “We are like-minded organisations led by the key principles of technical innovation and human progress at the cutting edge of data-driven technology.” He added: “F1 is a relentless environment, and partnering with Dell provides us with class-leading capabilities and support to drive invaluable efficiencies that will enable McLaren to perform at the highest possible level across our entire business operations. “Dell is the perfect partner and our two brands share the same ethos, which will propel us towards our business objectives for 2018 and beyond.” As F1’s sponsorship landscape continues to shift, more and more of these technical partnerships that reach beyond a commercial agreement are becoming commonplace. But as Brown recognises, there is still lots of work to be done to bring brands into F1 in the future. Now teamed up with Renault, McLaren expects a boost in its on-track performance. Getting the ripple effect to reach its off-track fortunes will be the real challenge though.Article by Luke Smith as posted on Raconteur....
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Rwanda defends $39 million sponsorship deal with Arsenal
Rwanda’s government on Tuesday defended its $39 million sponsorship deal with the Arsenal football club as some aid donors and rights activists raised an outcry.“Visit Rwanda” will be emblazoned on the left sleeve of players in Arsenal’s first, under-23 and women’s teams.President Paul Kagame is an Arsenal supporter. The deal was not approved by Rwandan lawmakers.Deputy Foreign Minister Olivier Nduhungirehe told The Associated Press that the money for the sponsorship deal came from tourism, which is the small East African country’s top foreign exchange earner.“Donors’ aid is specific and well accounted for in Rwanda,” Nduhungirehe said in response to criticism from British lawmakers in UK media.Rwanda remains one of the poorest countries in the world and continues to recover from the 1994 genocide that killed more than 800,000 people. Over a third of its population lives in poverty.Local political analyst Robert Mugabe called the Arsenal deal elitist, saying many Rwandans did not know how it will benefit them. “Many people in Rwanda are kept in the dark and don’t know the actual money invested. Rwandans are learning this through foreign media,” Mugabe said.The country’s goal is to double tourism receipts from $404 million by 2024, the Rwanda Development Board said in a statement.The board’s CEO said anyone who criticizes the Arsenal deal because Rwanda is an aid recipient either wishes the country to remain poor or doesn’t understand the key role marketing plays.“The more Rwanda earns from tourism, the more we can invest in our people. That’s the connection,” the CEO, Claire Akamanzi, said on Twitter.One Rwandan Arsenal fan, Olivier Muhizi, said people who criticize the deal don’t understand.“Many Asian and Western countries do this routinely, marketing their brands to develop. Rwanda does not deserve criticism; it has done nothing wrong,” Muhizi said.Article by Ignatius Ssuuna as posted on The Associated Press....
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Sault Ste. Marie's Essar Centre to be renamed GFL Memorial Gardens
Sault Ste. Marie City Council will be asked Monday to award a 10-year naming, advertising and sponsorship agreement for the Essar Centre to GFL Environmental Inc.Brent Lamming, the city's director of community services, will recommend our pre-eminent sports and entertainment venue be renamed GFL Memorial Gardens.GFL Environmental Inc. has 140 facilities and 5,000 employees across Canada and Michigan, all headed by former Saultite Patrick Dovigi, who tended goal for the Erie Otters in the late 1990s and was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers.Canadian Business magazine estimates Dovigi's net worth at $1.08 billion, ranking him #97 on its list of Canada's richest people.Here in the Sault, a GFL team created to launch the new Essar Centre name will be headed by Chris Dovigi."GFL will actively involve the community for the reveal and will continuously strive to educate and lead the City of Sault Ste. Marie about waste and waste recycling," Lamming says in a report to Mayor Provenzano and City Council.GFL will pay the city $75,000 a year for 10 years in exchange for the naming rights, starting August 1.That compares to $130,000 received by the city annually from Essar Steel Algoma Inc. under a similar sponsorship deal.The proposed new deal has GFL giving the Essar Centre a 50 per cent discount on all waste and recycling containers.That will save the city about $3,600 each year.GFL's bid was selected over two other others by a committee comprised of Lamming, purchasing manager Tim Gowans and Tom Vair, deputy chief administrative officer for community development and enterprise services.Article by David Helwig as posted on SooToday....
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Vanilla® Prepaid to Support Athletic Dreams of World-Class Canadian Athletes Through New Partnership
Running, swimming and triathlon talents will be sponsored for two years  Kick-off will take place during the Caledon 18th Annual Kids of Steel TriathlonVanilla® Prepaid, the perfect gift for any occasion, has announced the sponsorship of eight Canadian high-performance athletes through a partnership with C3, the Canadian Cross-Training Club. The non-profit organization, located in Caledon, ON, provides opportunities for individuals of all athletic abilities to achieve improved health and personal fitness objectives.Vanilla Prepaid will provide C$40,000 over the two-year agreement, which will help support the athletes' costs for rigorous training, equipment, therapy and travel to competitions taking them one step closer to realizing their athletic career ambitions. During this time, the athletes will use Vanilla Visa* Prepaid Card to help pay for their training expenses."Excellence in sport takes many years to be built and proper support for it to become strong and world-class," said Barrie Shepley, coach and founder of C3. "Having spent 35 years helping young prospective Olympians, I know that the biggest hurdles have consistently been lack of funding for athletes who are in their development years," the founder of the Kids of Steel annual triathlon continued, "the seeds that are being planted in our 2018 workouts will undoubtedly generate amazing athletes in the years to come, and Vanilla Prepaid is a major reason why."The highly-motivated Vanilla Prepaid sponsored athletes are:Kira Gupta-Baltzar, 16, triathlete and swimmerTristen Jones, 17, triathlete and runnerHaley Sturrock, 17, triathlete and swimmerCassandra Dalbec, 18, runnerNicholas Lambert, 17, runnerKristen Marchant, 25, triathleteBob Knuckey, 70, triathleteThe kickoff of the partnership will take place during the 18th Annual Caledon C3 Kinetico Kids of Steel & Adult Pool Triathlon, on May 27th in Caledon. Over the years, nearly 15,000 boys and girls of all ages have participated, along with their parents, making this event a big family day."Vanilla Prepaid empowers several initiatives in Canada with the intent to foster community engagement, teamwork and innovation. The C3 partnership offers InComm the opportunity to be a small part of the amazing journey of developing young athletes, humbling our company while staying true to our values," said Felipe Papaleo, General Manager of InComm Canada....
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The NBA jersey sponsor patches are working
Corporate sponsors spent an estimated $1.12 billion on the NBA this season, fueled by the new sponsorship patches on team jerseys. The figure comes from IEG/ESP, which owns sponsorship.com and tracks sponsor spending and ROI on the major US sports leagues.The figure is 31% higher than the $861 million in NBA sponsor spend last season, a much bigger increase than was projected. Sponsorship spend in the big four pro leagues typically gets bigger every year, but the NBA spend grew by far more than anyone expected.The huge jump in spend was driven by the jersey patches.This is the first season that the NBA has experimented with letting teams sell real estate on their jerseys: small patches (2.5 inches by 2.5 inches) on the upper left side. So far, 21 of the 30 teams have done it. These nine teams haven’t yet: Chicago Bulls; Houston Rockets; Indiana Pacers; Memphis Grizzlies; Oklahoma City Thunder; Phoenix Suns; Portland Trailblazers; San Antonio Spurs; and Washington Wizards.The brands that have jumped in range from big, publicly traded American corporations (General Electric, Goodyear, Disney, Harley-Davidson, Western Union, eBay-owned StubHub) to private tech startups (dating app Bumble, Utah software “unicorn” Qualtrics) to one foreign company: Japanese gaming giant Rakuten (sponsor of the Golden State Warriors, of course: Silicon Valley’s sports team.)Some of the patch deals were made long before the current season started (StubHub and the 76ers were first, announcing their deal way back in May 2016) while the latest ones happened as recently as March (Bumble and the LA Clippers, and 5Miles and the Mavericks).The jersey patches only account for $137 million of this year’s total, IEG/ESP says. That’s a small chunk of the $1.12 billion, but it’s $137 million that is entirely new this season, since the patches are new. The average patch deal pays a team $6.5 million per year, and most are two-year deals.The lion’s share of the $1.12 billion comes from league-level sponsors: big blue-chip consumer brands like Anheuser-Busch InBev, American Express, Frito-Lay and Gatorade (both part of PepsiCo), Nike, and State Farm, which IEG/ESP says is the No. 1 most active NBA sponsor.“Our partners continue to activate with us at extraordinary levels and integrate into our platforms year-round,” says the NBA’s SVP of global partnerships Kerry Tatlock.While the NBA is reaping new revenue from the patch deals, the sponsors also sound happy with the experiment. GumGum Sports, which values sponsorships, estimated halfway through the season that each participating brand is getting $350 million in social media exposure from the patches, which is so much more than they’re spending that it looks like a no-brainer. (GumGum told Forbes it arrives at this figure by analyzing logo exposure in game footage that appears on social media.) The only better logo placement, GumGum says, is Nike’s full-league apparel deal, which puts the swoosh on every single jersey.In other words: the patches are likely here to stay, like it or not—by next year, it would be surprising if they aren’t on all 30 teams. And the patches are likely only the beginning.“The NBA’s foray into jersey patch advertising should serve as a wake-up call for other U.S. pro sports leagues,” says William Chipps, an editor at IEG/ESP. “The patches can drive significant revenue with zero repercussions on fan affinity.”Well, maybe not zero repercussions—there are certainly fans who simply don’t like the idea of ads on their favorite team’s jerseys. To alleviate some of that distaste, the majority of the patches match the team’s existing jersey colors (even when the official corporate logo is normally a different color) and the patches do not appear (yet) on the replica jerseys sold to fans.With the NBA teams and the sponsors both happy, the patches aren’t likely to go away. And after all, supporters argue: international soccer, Major League Soccer in the US, and Nascar athletes have all had their uniforms covered in ads for years.Article by Daniel Roberts as posted on Yahoo Finance....
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