The Ottawa Senators’ home arena will have a new name by the time the puck drops on the 2013-14 season as the team announced Tuesday it has sold the naming rights to Canadian Tire.
© Courtesy Freestyle Photography/OSHC
An artist's rendering of the re-branded Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata.
The facility, known since 2006 as Scotiabank Place, will now be called the Canadian Tire Centre.The team decided on the name change because certain components of its 15-year agreement with Scotiabank were set to expire next year, said Eugene Melnyk, the Senators’ owner.
“What we were looking for is actually taking a direction more towards sports, knowing full well that their direction was in financial services,” said Mr. Melnyk.
Scotiabank will remain a sponsor of the team in other capacities, he said.
Neither side disclosed the financial terms of the deal, which will initially be for eight years. After that Canadian Tire will have the option of renewing it following each ten-year period.
Canadian Tire views the sponsorship deal as a chance to further cultivate its image as a purveyor of sporting goods.
The new arena is different from other sporting facility names – such as the Bell Centre in Montreal or the Rogers Centre in Toronto – because the company is so closely associated with sports, said Duncan Fulton, senior vice-president of corporate affairs for Canadian Tire.
“I think the difference for us is we’re not a company trying to use sport to build our brand,” he said. “Our brand is built from the DNA of sport.”
Canadian Tire has broadened its reach into the sporting goods market recently. In 2011 it announced it was purchasing the Forzani Group, which owned Sport Chek and Hockey Experts.
The company wouldn’t have been interested in making the deal if the Senators were only interested in selling the naming rights, said Mr. Fulton, so there are several other components to the agreement.
Canadian Tire will become the title sponsor of Senators broadcasts on Sportsnet. It will also have more promotions in the arena, such as a test kitchen that will allow people to try out new kitchen appliances while at a hockey game.
The name change will formally take place on July 1, the team said in a news release. The new signage will be in place before the start of the 2013-14 hockey season.
Previous names of the NHL arena in Kanata:
1996-2006: Corel Centre
2006-2013: Scotiabank Place
2013-: Canadian Tire Centre