Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005
SENATORS EXPAND GATINEAU REGION PROGRAMS
Popular dinner for fans moves to Hilton Lac-Leamy
GATINEAU, Quebec - In addition to the five-year $250,000 commitment announced today to the Fondation du CSSS de Gatineau, the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and Ottawa Senators Foundation announced a series of community and fan initiatives focused on the Gatineau-Region.
"With the cooperation and commitment of community and corporate partners, we are pleased to be announcing today our increased initiatives in the Outaouais region," said Cyril Leeder, chief operating officer of the Ottawa Senators and Corel Centre and member of the Ottawa Senators Foundation board of directors. "We believe Senators fans in the Gatineau region will be excited with our increase in club initiatives, including redefining our most popular team event, our relationship with all of our Francophone media partners, and the opportunity to provide their feedback, opinions and views through a substantive fan survey."
The Senators and their foundation have changed the name, format and venue of their premiere team event - previously knows as ‘Senators At Your Service'. The newly christened Ice & Dice event, which has been held at the Corel Centre most recently, is moving to the Hilton Lac-Leamy in Gatineau on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006.
Ice & Dice, presented by Ernst & Young, will attract more than 1,000 guests. They will join Senators players and coaches, and their partners, for a gala evening. The event is expected to raise in excess of $100,000 for pediatric palliative care and other foundation initiatives in the Ottawa/Gatineau region.
With its key media partners, the club has increased its commitment with the daily French newspaper, Le Droit, and renewed their broadcasting agreement for two years with Radio CJRC 1150 for 63 regular season games plus the playoffs. Radio CJRC has been the voice of the Senators in the Outaouais since the team's return to the NHL in 1992.
The Senators also entered into a two-year promotional partnership agreement with radio Rock Détente 94,9 and RadioÉnergie 104,1. As part of this relationship, centre Jason Spezza joined RadioÉnergie 104,1 for an autograph session at Sports Experts at Promenade de L'Outaouais this past August.
The Senators have also expanded and targeted community programs to the Gatineau region, including educational programs such as Spelling with Spezza, Scotiabank Read to Succeed, and minor hockey programs like T.E.A.M. Hockey Country, Esso Minor Hockey Festivals, Chevrolet Future Sens, Tim Hortons Coaches Clinic, Bell Skills First Challenge, Girls Hockeyfest and Canadian Tire Honourary Captain contest.
For the 2007 Bell Capital Cup, which anticipates the participation of more than 500 atom and peewee teams from around the world, Hockey Outaouais has expressed interest in getting involved. Through its six years of operation, the hockey festival has raised more than $850,000 for minor hockey and local charities.
The Senators have also renewed their relationships with the Gatineau Chamber of Commerce and le Regroupement des gens d'affaires de la Capitale nationale (RGA).
"We were especially pleased at the results of a recent survey completed by Decima Research on our behalf of Gatineau area residents 18 years of age and older," added Leeder. "An overwhelming majority of respondents, 85 per cent, rated the image of the Senators in the community as either good or excellent.
"Even with the storied history of the Montreal Canadiens, the Senators were the favourite team of 40 per cent of residents - the same as for the Tricolore," said Leeder, "and this is a community where seven out of 10 residents are NHL fans. We would have to believe, and sincerely hope, that younger hockey fans are growing up to be Senators supporters."
Leeder indicated the survey showed that Outaouais hockey fans prefer weekend games on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and that two of their favourite Senators' opponents were the Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins. "We responded to fans' views expressed in the survey by creating a three-game special package for Outaouais residents featuring the Canadiens, Penguins and Florida Panthers.
"The fan survey also highlighted the fact that we have to increase our efforts in awareness of the affordable ticket prices for Senators' games and the variety of points of purchase available in Gatineau residents, specifically Sports Experts. All of which we are doing and hope to make strides in these areas in the weeks and months ahead," said Leeder.
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