The Penguins and FedEx extended their successful partnership on Wednesday with a special announcement: the second rink at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry is now named FedExRink.
"We are global sports marketers and we have the FedEx brand on facilities around the world, but I'm proud to say this our first rink sponsorship," said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president of integrated marketing and communications at FedEx Services.
While most associate the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex as the world-class practice facility of the Pittsburgh Penguins, it's so much more than that. As Penguins chief operating officer Travis Williams pointed out, FedEx's official sponsorship title is the 'Official Delivery Company of the Pittsburgh Penguins,' which couldn't be more fitting.
"I think there's nothing more apropos than what we're doing as a natural extension of that relationship because FedEx is delivering," Williams said. "Not only do they deliver packages to your home; they're really delivering to a community. They're delivering to Butler County, they're delivering to Cranberry Township, they're delivering to everybody that is able to take part in what UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex means and stands for."
This building delivers Little Penguins Learn to Play Programs; youth hockey programs through the PAHL and PIHL associations; clinics, camps, open skates and community skates; and hosts non-profit programs like the Steel City Icebergs, Pittsburgh I.C.E. and the Mighty Penguins. That giving back to the community is what FedEx is looking forward to the most about the FedExRink.
"We're particularly proud because the FedExRink will be used for so many community events," Fitzgerald said. "We really hope that it will continue to be a location where adults and kids from the greater Pittsburgh area can come together for a wide range of events and programs. The other great thing about it for us is that it is used by a number of local nonprofits and charitable organizations."
It's also special because Pittsburgh is such an important community for FedEx. They made a global commitment last year to give $200 million to 200 global cities and communities by the year 2020, and as part of that commitment, they are already partnering with the Penguins and Penguins Foundation. In addition, the area is home to two FedEx operating companies - FedEx Ground and FedEx Supply Chain.
"We're very committed at FedEx to giving back to the communities where our team members live and work and the communities where we provide service every day." Fitzgerald said. "We have thousands of team members that live and work here, and we are so proud to call Pittsburgh home and so proud of all of our team members and employees that do so much for the community. We are committed long-term to Pittsburgh and the greater Pittsburgh area."
And in return, the community couldn't be more grateful.
"I grew up in rinks, obviously," said Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin. "Hockey rinks were a huge part of my life. Had a huge impact. I spent a great deal of time there. I made the best friends of my life in hockey rinks, learned how to be a good teammate, learned how to work with others. So to have a place like this in your community and the backing of a massive company like FedEx is really unheard of. The rinks I grew up in, they were great, but they didn't look like this. And we didn't have corporate sponsors. So this is pretty amazing to have. And to have all the different programs, in this rink we're going to have kids, adults, every shape, size, ability level, whatever, but they're all going to be able to get the same experience out of it that I got and my friends got. On behalf of a hockey player and the hockey players that are going to be using this rink, thank you very much. It's incredible to have a company like this get involved at the grassroots level and in this community and there are so many kids that are going to benefit from this."