SBD/June 3, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Rogers Making The Most Of Vancouver Arena Naming Rights Deal

Rogers acquired naming rights to arena after GM's deal was cut short

With the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final, Rogers Communications “could not have picked a better hockey season to acquire naming rights” to the team's arena, according to Scott Simpson of the VANCOUVER SUN. The Canadian exposure “has been robust for the Rogers wireless brand via CBC game broadcasts from Rogers Arena and lavish pre-and post-game coverage on TV and radio networks” across the nation. Rogers acquired the arena naming rights in July '10, “when the previous sponsorship deal with General Motors was cut short.” For Rogers, the deal includes “branding Canucks’ mobile digital content,” as well as “exclusive discount offers during games to Rogers mobile customers on merchandise in the Canucks’ retail store -- plus Canucks branding tie-ins at Rogers retail outlets.” Rogers Senior Dir of Sponsorship Peter King said that the company “won’t fully assess the value of its investment," estimated to be more than C$1M annually, until the season is over. King noted that during the '09-10 season, “100,000 mobile users had downloaded the Canucks app." He indicated that by last week, the app “had reached nearly 300,000 downloads and qualified as the top app in the entire NHL, not just Canada.” Langara College marketing professor Aziz Rajwani said that he and “many other observers did not anticipate Rogers’ decision to intensify its sports branding when Ted Rogers, an avid Blue Jays fan, was succeeded in March 2009” by new CEO Nadir Mohamed. Rajwani: “The business community at the time probably felt that he wasn’t overly interested in the sports properties. When you look at the time since he has come on, to the present, Rogers has really increased its presence on the sports-business side of things” (VANCOUVER SUN, 6/3).
NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin cites sources as saying that Rogers "plans to expand its brand this year with the production of a sports magazine, the first such domestic mainstream attempt.” The first issue of the unnamed magazine, which will feature Sportsnet in its title, “could appear as soon as four days after the end" of the Stanley Cup Final. Rogers is “well positioned to distribute and rack a new publication via its established networks.” Dowbiggin reports an editor has not yet been hired, but Sportsnet “does have a range of available staff writers to fill the space around the staples” (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/3).

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