The GLOBE & MAIL’s Simon Houpt notes some of the NHL’s "most vocal critics on the concussion controversy are keeping quiet in the wake of the league’s moves this week to confront the issue with a new set of initiatives." Air Canada and Via Rail, which last week sent letters to the NHL “insisting it act immediately to curb the growing number of head injuries, both failed to return requests for comment” yesterday. Reebok Canada, “whose vice-president and general manager had suggested in a media report that new rules might need to be adopted to manage the game’s faster speed in the post-lockout era,” also declined to comment. Hyundai Canada VP/Marketing John Vernile, whose company sponsors the CBC's "Hockey Night In Canda," said, “We’re delighted that the NHL is taking this seriously, and they’re trying to put some steps in place to reduce head injuries in the game” (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/16).
GETTING SCHOOLED: BROADCASTING & CABLE’s Jon Lafayette notes Farmers Insurance, the “once-quiet insurer” that recently acquired naming rights to AEG’s proposed downtown L.A. stadium in a deal valued at $600-700M, is now a “more aggressive advertiser.” Farmers Insurance Exec VP & CMO Kevin Kelso said, “We made a decision a few years ago that the category had changed in terms of marketing, and that there were competitors who were spending quite a bit in the media and on sponsorships. And we had never really been a terribly big advertiser.” He added, “It became clear to us that to succeed in what is a changed category environment, we needed to operate a little bit differently. Our University of Farmers campaign is having good success. We’ve stepped up to several sponsorship opportunities, including the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament and now Farmers Field” (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 3/14 issue).
BALANCING ACT: In Boston, Thomas Grillo reports New Balance “has stomped out the competition for a swath of land next to its Brighton headquarters and taken the first steps toward building a proposed $235 million development off the Massachusetts Turnpike.” The company paid $26.5M “for two properties on Guest Street” (BOSTON HERALD, 3/16).