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Volume 24 No. 154
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Canadian Tire's Naming-Rights Deal With Senators Reportedly Eight Years, "Massive"

The total value for the Senators' new arena naming-rights deal with Canadian Tire will be "massive," well in excess of the team's current 15-year, C$20M agreement with Scotiabank, according to a source cited by Bruce Garrioch of the OTTAWA SUN. Canadian Tire will have naming rights to the venue for "at least eight years." Neither Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk nor Canadian Tire Senior VP/Communications & Corporate Affairs Duncan Fulton would "comment on the terms of the agreement, but it's safe to say it's more" than the C$1.36M Scotiabank was paying per season. A league exec said that he "believed it was worth" in the C$1.5-2M range per season. Melnyk said, "It's very important for us to have somebody not only this committed to the fans, but also to the community." He added, "In the end, it turned out to be a very extensive deal and you're going to see a lot of big changes (to the building). They'll get a lot out of this, especially with the various fans." Melnyk started "working on the deal two months ago." Scotiabank will "remain the 'official bank,' of the Senators, but won't have the brand on the building." Canadian Tire has been a "sponsor of the Senators since the club launched its bid for an NHL team" in '90. An official NHL sponsor, the company has been "working hard to increase its visibility in sports." Fulton said, "The last couple of years you've really seen Canadian Tire go on the offence in sports. We're just embedding sports in everything we do" (OTTAWA SUN, 6/19). The GLOBE & MAIL's Susan Krashinsky notes the deal is "one more step in Canadian Tire’s strategy to cement its association with sports -- and to strengthen its brand image as 'Canada’s store.'” Fulton said, "This is really going to advance our thinking on how to activate the whole family of companies." In addition to arena naming rights, the deal "also gives the retailer naming rights and advertising time during games broadcasts, which will now be called Canadian Tire Ottawa Senators on Sportsnet, broadcast in most of Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada." The signage "will be changed" in time for next season. Meanwhile, Bank of Nova Scotia yesterday announced it would continue to be a Senators sponsor (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/19).

Naming rights to the building, digital, scoreboard and on-ice signage.
A redesigned "Sport Chek Sports Bar and Grill" on the main concourse.
Fans will be able to purchase tickets for all events at the Canadian Tire Centre at Capital Tickets kiosks at select Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Sports Experts and Mark's stores in the region.
Title sponsor on Senators' broadcasts on Rogers Sportsnet.
Mark's will be the official outfitter of the employees at Canadian Tire Centre with outfits from Denver Hayes.
The arena's kitchens will be known as the official "Canadian Tire kitchens." The company will test new equipment and produce commercials in the building.
Canadian Tire will also be involved in several community outreach programs with the Senators and their charitable foundation.
CASINO ROYALE: In Ottawa, Derek Spalding notes Melnyk in a meeting with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson yesterday "expressed his frustration with the latest political push to limit the city’s planned casino expansion to Rideau Carleton Raceway." Melnyk said that he worked "extensively with three other partners to create a thorough business plan for a casino to operate out of the Kanata arena." Melnyk: "I played by the rules and all of a sudden you’re saying those rules don’t really count. I’m very disillusioned right now, and it’s not a pleasant thing to deal with and I’ve got to deal with it because you can’t operate in a one-way street and that’s what this is right now" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 6/19).