Canada: record naming rights deal

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

Naming Rights of arenas and stadia have been an important part of the sports marketing mix for many years, bringing financial and other benefits both to the owners of them and those who sponsor them.

They are an effective means of promoting brands, especially those identifying consumer goods and services, and are also a relatively inexpensive way of advertising them.

For more on the subject of stadia naming rights, see Chapter 9 of ‘Sports Marketing Agreements: Legal, Fiscal and Practical Aspects’ by Ian Blackshaw.

A record naming rights deal has just been announced involving the Canadian-based Banking Group, Scotiabank, and the Air Canada Centre, the home of the NBA Basketball franchise, the Toronto Raptors, and the NHL ice hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The cost of the deal, which is for a term of twenty years, has not been officially disclosed, but it is widely and unofficially believed to be around C$800 million (US$639 million and €534 million)!

The arena, which, according to its owners MSLE (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment), is Canada’s premier entertainment venue, holds 19,000 fans for basketball games, and 18,800 for ice hockey games. Like many other such venues, the arena is also used for staging highly popular music concerts.

Brian Porter, President and CEO of Scotiabank, stated that this naming rights deal represents “an extension of Scotiabank’s unwavering love of sports and our commitment to help young people reach their potential.”

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’