SBD/October 29, 2013/NBA Season Preview

Raptors, BMO Ink Deal Featuring Court Ads Amidst Upswing For Franchise

BMO will serve as the Raptors' first bank sponsor in three years
The Raptors and BMO today will officially announce a five-year agreement "in which the bank becomes the club’s presenting sponsor and the Raptors use an NBA pilot program to feature the bank’s logo on the team’s home court," according to Morgan Campbell of the TORONTO STAR. The Raptors "haven’t had a bank sponsor since their previous deal with BMO expired three seasons ago." With the NBA All-Star Game coming to Toronto in '16 and the Raptors "in the midst of an on-court rebuilding ... and an off-court reinvention," BMO "felt even more confident about the timing of its return to Canadian basketball." BMO Senior VP & Head of Brand, Advertising and Sponsorships Justine Fedak said, "It’s not an instant overnight transformation. We sponsored [the Blackhawks] when they weren’t on television and they had no Stanley Cups. Now they’re a double Stanley Cup winning team." The Raptors under the deal "will become the second team in the NBA to sell on-court ad space to a corporate sponsor," with a BMO logo "painted on the sideline in front of each team’s bench." The Pacers earlier this month signed a deal with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. BMO during its "three-year estrangement from the Raptors ... increased its investment" in Canada’s MLS clubs. Its logo "adorns the jerseys" of both the Impact and Toronto FC, and the bank also sponsors the Whitecaps. BMO in '07 paid a reported $27M "for the naming rights to BMO Field" (TORONTO STAR, 10/29).

BEAR NECESSITIES
: In Memphis, Michael Sheffield reported the Grizzlies' sponsorship deals this season will put the name of local clothing retailer City Gear "on the back of the chairs players sit in on the sidelines, while Mednikow Jewelers will have its name on the floor seat holder lounge, the first time that area has had a title sponsor." Other sponsors also are "raising their profile this year." Jet’s Pizza "will serve its pizzas in FedExForum and have gameday specials in its restaurants." Lexus of Memphis is "giving away a trip to the April 6 road game" against the Spurs. First Tennessee Bank "will offer ticket deals." C-Spire Wireless "will host Fan Friday giveaways that will include tickets and promotional items." Artisent Floors "will give away floor seats to home games beginning Nov. 22." Chiwawa will be "the road game watch party site." Ashley Furniture "will sponsor Military Night Nov. 9" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/28).
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