SBD/Issue 236/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Rogers Teams With MLSE As Supplier, Platinum Sponsor

Rogers Communications has signed a multi-year deal to become Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s (MLSE) preferred supplier for telecom services and business solutions. Rogers also becomes a Platinum Sponsor for the Maple Leafs, Raptors and AHL Marlies, as well as the expansion MLS Toronto FC, and will obtain sponsorship rights within Air Canada Centre and supplier rights to Maple Leaf Square, a development that will be adjacent to Air Canada Centre scheduled to be completed in ’09 (MLSE). In Toronto, Catherine McLean notes Rogers replaces Bell Canada as MLSE’s telecom sponsor. MLSE Exec VP & COO Tom Anselmi: “The proposal from Rogers was the most comprehensive.” McLean notes Rogers has broadcasting rights to the Leafs and Raptors for Sportsnet, and distributes Raptors TV and Leafs TV on its cable service. MLSE “aims to tap into Rogers’ expertise to deliver its content over different devices, including cellphones.” Anselmi added, “Clearly technology is going to have more and more of an impact on the consumption of sports.” Bell Canada parent BCE Inc. has a minority stake in Bell Globemedia, which has a 15% holding in MLSE (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 9/6). In Toronto, Lance Hornby notes MLSE Chair Larry Tanenbaum has the “right of first refusal” on the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan’s 58% stake in MLSE “should they look for other investments to add to their estimated $100[B] assets.” There are “whispers Teachers wishes to get out of the local professional sports picture” (TORONTO SUN, 9/6).

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