(TORONTO) -- Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI) and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) today announced plans for a multi-year strategic partnership that will see Rogers become MLSE's preferred supplier for telecom services including wireless voice and data, landline telephone, cable television, Internet access as well as telecommunications business solutions.
Under terms of the agreement, Rogers will also become a Platinum Sponsor for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors and Marlies as well as the recently launched Toronto FC, and will obtain sponsorship rights within Air Canada Centre and supplier rights to Maple Leaf Square, a sports and entertainment development that will be adjacent to Air Canada Centre and completed in 2009. Financial details of the relationship are confidential.
"We're thrilled to team up with MLSE," said Ted Rogers, President and CEO of Rogers Communications Inc. "We look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate, as their preferred communications partner, that Rogers' reputation for unparalleled innovation in communication, entertainment and information services is well-deserved."
According to Stephen Graham, Executive Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Convergence Officer for Rogers, the relationship with MLSE cements Rogers' position at the vanguard of Canada's leading sports marketers: "With this partnership the Rogers brand will become increasingly synonymous with Canadian professional sports and entertainment."
Our experience with the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, and as the title sponsor of the Rogers Cup, has demonstrated for us the enormous power of leveraging our passion for sports to forge even closer ties with consumers," Graham added. "Putting the horsepower of the Maple Leafs and the Raptors behind us will turbo charge our sports marketing efforts. And Air Canada Centre is a great venue to showcase our brand and products, so we couldn't be more excited about this deal."
The sponsorship agreement provides Rogers with significant branding, advertising and promotional rights to all MLSE teams, as well as Air Canada Centre.
"Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is recognized for its successful partnerships with well-known brands and Rogers Communications certainly falls into this category," said Richard Peddie,
President & CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. "Rogers is a Canadian success story not only in the telecom and cable industries, but also as broadcasting and sports marketers. The company has built a strong brand that resonates with its loyal customers."
The addition of Rogers as a corporate partner will mutually benefit both companies. Rogers' innovative products and services will support our constantly changing business telecom and communications needs, while Rogers' association with the Leafs, Raptors, Marlies, Toronto FC and Air Canada Centre will further extend their reach to millions of Canadians and new audiences."
Rogers will also serve as title, associate or partner sponsor for many of the Leafs Fund and Raptors Foundation community development initiatives that raise and disperse money for charitable causes promoting youth, healthy living, access and opportunity to sports for at-risk youth and children.
"We're excited to have Rogers as a sponsor and community partner. MLSE is committed to remaining a strong community leader and we demonstrate this commitment through our many initiatives that raise more than $2.5 million dollars for worthy causes and charitable initiatives each year," said Tom Anselmi, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of MLSE. "Rogers' sponsorship of some of our popular community programs further support our efforts to connect with the community and make a positive difference to ten of thousands of children and charities. We look forward to a long and successful sponsorship with Rogers Communications."