Rogers Expands Deal With Oilers To Include Naming Rights For New Edmonton Arena
The Oilers yesterday announced that the new downtown Edmonton arena complex, expected to be built by '16, "will be called Rogers Place, joining Rogers Centre stadium in Toronto and Rogers Arena in Vancouver in the list of venues under the telecom giant's brand," according to Dave Lazzarino of the EDMONTON SUN. The agreement "extends the 13-year telecommunications sponsorship deal already in place to cover advertising and signage, as well as concourse, rink, in-ice, in-bowl and in-game applications." Rogers in October made a C$700M "commitment over the next four years that included expanding their network coverage in Edmonton." Neither Oilers President & COO Patrick LaForge nor Rogers Exec VP & CMO John Boynton offered details about how much of the investment goes toward naming rights, but they did say it was "not in the ballpark" of the C$1M recently paid for the naming rights of the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary. The Katz Group, per the contract with the city, "gets all revenue from the naming rights" (EDMONTON SUN, 12/4). Boynton said Rogers Place will be "the crown jewel" in the company's investment in sports, hockey broadcasting and wireless technology in Canada. In Edmonton, John MacKinnon notes the Oilers will "continue to earn significant TV money" from their regional deal with Rogers-Sportsnet that runs through '20 (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 12/4).
CULTURE SHOCK: In Edmonton, David Staples writes, "The arena's new lame name has nothing to do with Edmonton." It has "no link to local culture, as it would if it had been called the Rogers Oil Dome, or with our rich hockey history, as it would if it had been called the Rogers Coliseum." Also, there is "already a Rogers Centre, the old Toronto Sky Dome, and a Rogers Arena, Vancouver’s downtown hockey rink." This new arena essentially is "just another Rogers outlet." It "could be anywhere." Staples: "Yes, Rogers is paying untold millions to Oilers owner Daryl Katz to call the building what it wants, but surely it would have been wise to pay some homage to Edmonton, especially given the city's crucial role in financing and constructing the building" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 12/4).