2018-02-08
Canada's Olympic team gets help crunching data to project gold medal potential through its sponsorship with Canadian Tire
The Olympic team’s sponsorship agreement with Canadian Tire gives athletes and coaches access to seven analysts, who can help determine their potential for success.The odds on 178 different shots have been calculated for Canada’s curling teams. Short-track speedskaters know what position they must be in with 10 laps, five laps and two laps to go.Data analysts crunched numbers and built projection models for Canada’s athletes for the first time at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.They went deeper for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.“What we have done for several sports in Pyeongchang that we did not do for Rio was the second-generation of analytics where we’re starting to get into tactics and strategy,” said Mark Merritt, chief credit risk assessor for Canadian Tire.The Olympic and Paralympic teams’ sponsorship agreement with the retail chain gives athletes and coaches access to seven analysts who predict consumer behaviour for the company’s financial services arm.They went 8-for-12 in Olympic medal predictions for the Canadian team in Rio and foretold five world records that were set, Merritt said.As was the case in Rio, their work doesn’t encompass every sport at the Winter Olympics. They’re not forecasting a total number of medals for Canada in Pyeongchang.With limited staff, they focused on sports where analytics would be the most beneficial for Canadian athletes.Merritt says his team is projecting 32 medals coming from bobsled, skeleton, luge, freestyle skiing, figure skating, short and long-track speedskating, curling, snowboard and cross-country skiing.Analysts were in the field in December at both the luge World Cup in Calgary and the Olympic curling trials in Ottawa.“If analytics can show you (that) you might really want to make call A, but maybe call B leaves your opposition shot C, which he misses all the time, then you’ve got a better chance to win,” Curling Canada consultant Nolan Thiessen explained.Pyeongchang threw a couple of wrinkles into the prediction game for Merritt’s team.The bobsled, skeleton and luge track at the Alpensia Sliding Centre is so new, there haven’t been enough runs down it to produce a large sample size of data.“We do have the World Cup data from last year and also some training runs,” analyst Scott Hunt said.“If the weather conditions are similar to what they were for the World Cup last year in Pyeongchang, then we can make reasonable predictions.”Also, which Russian athletes the International Olympic Committee will allow to compete in Pyeongchang is a variable in Canada’s medal chances.How the information is delivered to coaches and athletes — so their eyes don’t glaze over — has changed in the months since Rio.Business intelligence tools communicate the information graphically “as opposed to spreadsheets and numbers, which helps them understand it much quicker and easier,” Merritt said.Luger Kim McRae has no interest in looking at it, however. She understands its importance, but leaves it to her coaches and high-performance director to interpret the information for her.“I just get the big picture,” she said. “I don’t like the detail and the coaches know that. A lot of times they just change things and do things and I say ‘I trust you. I’ll just follow the plan you guys have set in place for me.’”But teammate Sam Edney likes to see for himself what the data says once in awhile.“There are moments when you definitely want to look at that data and you want to sit down and really analyze it and go over it in depth,” he said.Data analytics is another tool that’s emerged in the sports tech race, but a required one in order to be a world power, according to Own The Podium’s chief executive officer.“It truly is a competitive advantage,” Anne Merklinger said. “There’s no doubt.”The Canadian Olympic Committee’s recent partnership with SAS, an international analytics and software company, will expand the reach of analytics for Canada’s sport community.“SAS is going to be doing more of the data collection and data management,” Merritt explained. “We’ll focus more on the pure analytics of it.”What’s next? Third-generation analytics for the 2020 Summer Games.“We are very excited about what we call gold-medal profiling,” Merritt said. “Being able to take a very specific athlete and helping them figure out how to become a gold-medal winner. That’s everything from diet to biometrics.“We are just starting into that. You will see that in Tokyo.”Article by Donna Spencer as posted on TheStar.com...
2018-02-07
RBC signs multi-year sponsorship deal with Dustin Johnson
#1 world ranked golfer joins elite group of players on Team RBCToday, RBC is announcing its newest brand ambassador – professional golfer Dustin Johnson. Ranked #1 in the world and sitting 5th in all-time PGA TOUR Career earnings, Johnson is the latest high profile golfer to join Team RBC, including players Matt Kuchar, Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker and Brooke Henderson.Johnson has had an incredible career to-date, including 17 tournament wins on the PGA TOUR, and being named 2016 PGA Player of the Year. He is also only the third player in PGA TOUR history to win a title in all of his 11 seasons since his debut.Team RBC was established in 2009 and is now comprised of 14 elite male and female golfers who embody the pinnacle of golf performance. Along with wearing the RBC branding on his apparel and golf bag, Johnson and his RBC teammates support many of the bank's marketing initiatives and client experiences.In addition to being the title sponsor of the RBC Heritage and RBC Canadian Open, RBC is also proud to be the Official Banking and Financial Services partner for all Team RBC ambassadors....
2018-02-06
Toronto Wolfpack plot financial path to Super League rugby
With the new rugby league season about to kick-off, the sport's most exotic club is ready to take to the skies again for a campaign of trans-Atlantic battle.Canadian club Toronto Wolfpack created a stir when they joined the third tier of the English rugby league system last year, as it meant round trips of around 7,000 miles for away games.The club and its main sponsor, Canadian airline Air Transat, paid - and will do so again this season - for their European opponents' eight-hour flights to and from Canada for away games against the Wolfpack.After running away with the title last year, the Wolfpack will play in the second-tier Championship league this season, competing against a host of powerful English clubs, plus Toulouse in France.The club admits it made a financial loss last year, but insists that was expected as part of a longer-term business plan designed to reach the riches of the top tier of rugby league.'Right trajectory'"It is a five year plan to get to the Super League," the Wolfpack's general commercial manager Scott Lidbury, an Australian who grew up watching rugby league, tells me."We are in year two of that plan, we are in the Championship and things are on the right trajectory. Promotion this year is obviously the goal. We would be disappointed if we did not finish in the top four."Coming among the top quartet would give them a chance at promotion via the Qualifiers Super 8s playoffs.Mr Lidbury adds: "It would not be the end of the world if we did not go up, but we feel confident, particularly with the players we have signed."He says if they were not promoted the business can sustain its various outgoings, from travel and stadium hire to player salaries and media operations.But promotion to the Super League would bring a huge financial boost in terms of TV rights money from Sky, and more and bigger sponsorship deals.Last season's budget was 3.4m Canadian dollars ($2.7m; £2m), and is set to be more this year as the club has moved out seven players from last season, but brought in 10 more.Centre of excellenceThe Wolfpack's main financial backer is Australian mining tycoon David Argyle, who grew up playing rugby."David is 100% in it for the long term," says Mr Lidbury. "He has a very strong vision, he is a big driver of Toronto as a regional centre of rugby excellence, for both codes."The Wolfpack play their games in blocks of away matches followed by home ones in the summer, to cut down on criss-crossing the Atlantic and also because the harsh Canadian winter extends into the start of the season.This year they will play 11 away games, then two at home, then two on neutral English grounds, then eight at home.Chief executive and club founder Eric Perez secured the use of 10,000-seater Lamport Stadium in Toronto, and last year average home gates were a healthy 7,000 (though half of those attending had complimentary tickets).The team wants bigger gates this season, and to boost its 650 season-ticket holders by at least 50%.A UK-based business development manager has also been appointed to bring in British commercial deals, and to deal with things like new Toronto player registrations and obtaining relevant visas for visiting players.In addition, the club has now made the Platt Lane Sports Complex in Fallowfield, south Manchester, its full-time UK base.Each away team can travel free via Air Transat when they play in Toronto; being able to take a full squad, coaches and ancillary staff, at what has been promised by rugby league authorities as no cost.However, last season Barrow Raiders, which played in Canada twice, found there was a financial price to pay.It had to pay for things like coach travel to and from the airport, extra baggage, visas for some players at £80 each, and food and drink for 25 players and staff. It cost the club around £4,000 for the regular League One fixture in Canada.When the teams played again in the Super Eight playoffs in Toronto, fans set up a funding page and raised nearly £3,000 to cover the club's expenses. And while 30 fans made the trip for the first game, none went for the second.The clubs will play home and away again in the Championship this season.'Major partner'Principal sponsor Air Transat, signed on a three-year deal, provides 540 airline seats a year, which sees the club fly with 35 people when it visits Europe, and opposition clubs offered 25 free transatlantic return flights.Air Transat owns Canadian Affair travel website, which offers away team fans weekend packages in Toronto, including hotel and match ticket."They are a major partner for us and play a crucial role in our operations," says Mr Lidbury. "They are the perfect example of a brand who can benefit from association with ourselves."Like one of our other major partners, Maple Leaf Diamonds, they are a Canadian brand looking to be stronger in the UK."Conversely, the club's UK sponsors such as Manchester Metropolitan University get coverage in Canada.'TV revenues'The Wolfpack has an unusual TV arrangement whereby it films its own home matches and gives the footage free to CBC Online and cable channel Game TV.Although they lose money on the operation they feel it is vital in generating wider awareness."Our goal is to grow our reach, and develop our revenue streams, and broadcast is something we are working on all the time, developing Wolfpack TV platforms," says Mr Lidbury."We hope that in year three we would be able to start driving some TV rights revenues. We believe we have a very bright sporting and business future."Article by Bill Wilson as posted on BBC News...
2018-02-05
Up Cannabis readies a music sponsorship strategy
Up Cannabis has signalled it’s eager to get into music partnerships and related sponsorship marketing spaces by naming The Feldman Agency as its newest partner.In addition to representing talent in the music and entertainment industries such as Alessia Cara, Alvvays and Daniel Ceasar, The Feldman Agency helps build brand-integrated events around that talent, such as Molson Canadian’s Live at the Lake. The deal could see Up sponsoring music-related events.Up already has some credentials in the music space, having officially partnered with the Tragically Hip and calling music a “fundamental element of everything we do” in a press release.But as consumer marijuana brands wait to see how the Canadian government will regulate cannabis marketing, Up has committed to invest in a space it feels it can reach an audience in a unique way.“It’s definitely the case that licensed producers such as Up Cannabis are very much looking forward to what Bill C-45 will look like in its final form,” said Up’s new SVP of sales and marketing Jean Richer who previously worked as a market manager for beermaker AB InBev and as a business development SVP at Mosaic North America. “And it’s paramount for us that we market within the regulatory guidelines that will come into focus.”But in this time when regulations are still being formalized, Richer said Up wants to ensure the company has “the exclusive relationships in place to be able to market to our core adult demographics. [Feldman] is going to work with us to create new, innovative, and meaningful ways to reach our customers.”...
2018-02-01
Canadian speed skater Ted-Jan Bloemen becomes the first athlete sponsored with cryptocurrency
Two-time world record holder makes history again with innovative partnershipCanadian speed skater and double world record holder Ted-Jan Bloemen has teamed up with ONG Social and CEEK VR in a unique sponsorship. The terms of the agreement include cryptocurrency compensation, which Bloemen will use to achieve his speed skating goals.In return, Bloemen will share his journey to success on the ONG Social network and will be featured in a 360 Virtual Reality Experience on CEEK VR.The cryptocurrency sponsorship will allow Bloemen to take advantage of exciting opportunities for trade. No longer constrained by a fixed sponsorship amount, Bloemen can earn cryptocurrency rewards to help finance his podium goals.   Bloemen will be competing for Canada next month at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in the 5,000 metre, 10,000 metre, and Team Pursuit events in PyeongChang, Korea. A dual Canadian-Dutch citizen, the Netherlands-born Bloemen's father was born in New Brunswick. Ted-Jan Bloemen moved to Calgary in 2014 to compete for Canada."Speed skating success is all about progression – building and building to peak at the right time. I'm excited to step into the future with ONG and CEEK. Their progressive approach to social media and VR paired with crypto currencies bring a whole new perspective. A perspective that, I believe, has a lot of potential! I feel like I just got two new teammates to help put me over the top, at the most important point in the season."-Ted-Jan Bloemen, Canadian National Team Speed Skater, Double World Record Holder"As the VR Entertainment and VR Education market leader, we are thrilled to partner with Speed Skating's category leader, world record holder Ted-Jan Bloemen. His support for cutting-edge technologies is reflective of his proclivity for pushing the boundaries. We believe Virtual Reality isn't just great for our audience (Ceekers) but will ultimately be used for training and maximizing player performance and potential."-Mary Spio, CEO and Founder, CEEK VR, Inc."OneName Global (ONG) is honored to partner with speed skating world record holder, Ted-Jan Bloemen. He is a classic example that, with hard work and determination, you can achieve your dreams. ONG is pleased to be able to highlight Ted-Jan's athletic journey on social media and award a dedicated athlete with a new form of digital gold through the ONG cryptocurrency sponsorship."-Christopher J. Kramer, CEO, ONG, Inc."I believe this cryptocurrency sponsorship is a first for any athlete. This is really a whole new frontier. It will be exciting to see how cryptocurrency can work for Ted-Jan, in particular, but also the impact it will have on the sport marketing industry as a whole."-Lawrence Baslaw, President, Baslaw + Associates Inc., and Bloemen's agent...
2018-01-31
Tangerine to become the official bank of the Toronto Raptors in July
Scotiabank and MLSE announced that Tangerine will become the official and exclusive bank of the Toronto Raptors beginning July 1, 2018, rounding out the deal previously announced by Scotiabank and MLSE, which will see the home of the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs renamed Scotiabank Arena this summer."This future partnership between Scotiabank's subsidiary, Tangerine, and the Toronto Raptors is a natural one as we look forward to July and Scotiabank Arena being a focal point of Toronto's sports and entertainment action," says John Doig, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Scotiabank.More details about the Toronto Raptors and Tangerine partnership and Scotiabank Arena will be available beginning July 1, 2018.Backgrounder:The previously announced deal and agreement between Scotiabank and MLSE encompasses both sponsorship and philanthropic opportunities, in addition to the Tangerine sponsorship of the Toronto Raptors.Tangerine to become the official and exclusive bank of the Toronto Raptors on July 1, 2018Exclusive naming rights of 40 Bay Street (Air Canada Centre)Scotiabank continues to be the Official Banking Partner of the Toronto Maple LeafsMLSE Incubator at the Scotiabank Digital Factory - A digital centre of excellence to help drive fan and customer engagement programsScotiabank and the MLSE Foundation will expand their partnership focused on helping young people in the GTA, changing lives through the power of sportScotiabank and MLSE will collaborate with SCENE to develop fan-centered promotions for sports and entertainment enthusiasts...
2018-01-30
Tomorrow is Bell Let's Talk Day! Make your voice count as Canada leads the growing worldwide conversation on mental health
Talk, text and join in on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and take part in Bell Let's Talk Day events nationwideYou can help fight the stigma around mental illness while driving Bell's donations to mental health at no extra cost to youLearn 5 simple ways to help end stigma at Bell.ca/LetsTalkBell Let's Talk Day is tomorrow, and Canadians and people around the world are invited to talk, text and engage on social media and become part of the growing discussion that is driving awareness and action in mental health."It's been amazing to see how people have responded, on social media and in person, to our stories of living with mental illness," said Andi Sharma, who discusses her struggles with addiction and mental illness as part of this year's Bell Let's Talk Day awareness campaign. "I can't wait to add my voice to the conversation tomorrow and I hope all Canadians will join me in making this year's Bell Let's Talk Day another record-setting conversation about mental health.""Bell Let's Talk Day has become a social movement driven by the commitment of Canadians in every corner of the country to end the stigma around mental illness," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "I invite everyone to join in tomorrow to help those who struggle with mental illness. Through their growing engagement in the cause, Canadians are really making a difference. I'm very excited to see what we achieve tomorrow."Mental health affects us allThis year a diverse group of Canadians living with mental illness or supporting those who do have passionately shared their personal stories and experiences with mental illness. They're making clear that mental health affects us all, fostering greater understanding of mental illness, and encouraging all Canadians to join the movement on Bell Let's Talk Day.Sharing their stories again this year are Bell Let's Talk spokespeople Howie Mandel, Marie-Soleil Dion, Serena Ryder, Michael Landsberg, Michel Mpambara, Stefie Shock, Mary Walsh and Étienne Boulay, all of who share their own lived experience, along with Bell Let's Talk ambassadors Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock, pro golfer Andrew Jensen, comedian Kevin Breel, retired CFL player Shea Emry, musician Robb Nash, singer-songwriter Séan McCann and Royal Canadian Navy veteran Bruno Guévremont. This year, we welcome 3 new ambassadors to the team – comedian and actress Jessica Holmes, musician and author Florence K and actress Véronique Bannon.BELL LET'S TALK EVENTSJANUARY 30Michel Mpambara and Myriam Lecousy in MontréalMichel and Myriam participate in a discussion about mental health at Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal. Jonathan Thériault in MontréalJonathan meets with university students and participates in a conference at the Polytechnique de Montréal.Andrew Jensen in HalifaxAndrew visits with military personnel at CFB Shearwater. Robb Nash in WinnipegRobb sings the national anthem at the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Talks game in support of mental health.Séan McCann in VancouverSéan visits with youth and presents a Bell Let's Talk Community Fund donation to FamilySmart.JANUARY 31Bell Let's Talk Day primetime specialThe Social's Marci Ien hosts In Their Own Words, A Bell Let's Talk Day Special. The one-hour primetime event premieres at 7 pm ET/MT on CTV and CTV Two, and features stories from a diverse group of Canadians living with mental health challenges.Facebook Live event Following In Their Own Words, Marci Ien, Bell Let's Talk Chair Mary Deacon and Dr. David Goldbloom participate in a live Facebook event.Jessica Holmes in TorontoJessica joins The Social as fifth chair for a special Bell Let's Talk Day episode.Strike A ChordA discussion about mental wellness in the entertainment industry will take place at The Lounge at Live Nation in Toronto.Documentary screening at Hot DocsIn partnership with Hot Docs and Workman Arts, a special free screening of Michael Landsberg's documentary Darkness and Hope: Depression, Sports and Me takes place at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan MontréalBusiness leaders take part in a panel discussion about mental health in the workplace from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth.Bruno Guévremont in OttawaBruno participates in the Canadian Armed Forces panel discussion on mental health at 12:00 noon with Cmdre Chris Sutherland, Col Collen Forestier, MWO Shelley Lamothe and Natasha Khattar, Senior Manager, Total Health Management at National Defence Headquarters, moderated by CTV Ottawa News Anchor Graham Richardson and Captain Nadia Broadbent. The panel discussion will be live-streamed on Twitter, Periscope and Facebook.Andrew Jensen in HalifaxAndrew visits with military personnel at CFB Halifax, speaks to students at the Nova Scotia Community College Ivany Campus, and drops the puck at the Dalhousie Tigers men's hockey game at the Halifax Forum at 7:00 pm.Étienne Boulay in Québec CityÉtienne hosts the second edition of the Festival d'été de Québec mental health awareness concert at Imperial Bell.Florence K at Garrison Saint-Jean – Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School Florence K meets with members of the military at the Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu military base.Raptors 905 game in support of Bell Let's Talk TSN's Michael Landsberg is at the Raptors 905 game at 11:00 am at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, where more than 5,000 young people will receive Bell Let's Talk/Raptors 905 toques.Soo Greyhounds support Bell Let's Talk Fans will receive Bell Let's Talk toques at the game.Shea Emry and Robb Nash in WinnipegShea and Robb participate in the True North Youth Summit at the Burton Cummings Theatre.Winnipeg celebrates Bell Let's Talk Day at The ForksTo mark Bell Let's Talk Day, the WINNIPEG sign at The Forks National Historic Site goes blue all day.Bell Let's Talk Day at Studio Bell in CalgaryA full day of programming at the National Music Centre includes a mental health exhibition featuring regional community partners, specialty tours, music and presentations. Séan McCann in VancouverSéan visits with City of Vancouver first responders.BC Place Stadium lights upIn partnership with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, BC Place Stadium lights up in blue to support Bell Let's Talk and mental health.University sport games in support of Bell Let's Talk130 universities and colleges around the country host 200 events and varsity games to encourage the campus mental health conversation.Get engaged all day long tomorrowBell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions at no extra cost to participants:Text and talk: Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and Bell MTS customersTwitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk which includes a new Bell Let's Talk emoji and Bell Let's Talk Day video viewFacebook: Every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk and use of the Bell Let's Talk frameInstagram: Every Bell Let's Talk Day video viewSnapchat: Every use of the Bell Let's Talk filter and video viewBell Let's Talk Day 2017 set all new records with 131,705,010 total messages, growing Bell's funding for Canadian mental health by $6,585,250.50. #BellLetsTalk was Canada's top hashtag in 2017, and is now the most used Twitter hashtag ever in Canada.With approximately 729,065,654 interactions by Canadians over the last 7 Bell Let's Talk Days, Bell's total commitment to mental health, including an original $50-million anchor donation in 2010, has risen to $86,504,429.05. Bell expects its donation commitment to reach at least $100 million in 2020.The 5 simple ways to help end the stigma around mental illnessTogether, we can all help end the stigma around mental illness with the 5 simple ways developed by Dr. Heather Stuart, the Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair at Queen's University:Language matters – pay attention to the words you use about mental illnessEducate yourself – learn, know and talk more, understand the signsBe kind – small acts of kindness speak a lotListen and ask – sometimes it's best to just listenTalk about it – start a dialogue, break the silenceTo learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk....
2018-01-29
Canadian welterweight Rory MacDonald riding cryptocurrency wave with new sponsor
In a sport traditionally synonymous with beer and motorcycle sponsors, Canadian welterweight Rory MacDonald is adding some cutting-edge sizzle.The 28-year-old mixed martial artist from Kelowna, B.C., will be a walking billboard for cryptocurrency's Dash Network when he enters the cage Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., to challenge 170-pound champion Douglas Lima (29-6) at Bellator 192.MacDonald, who fights out of Montreal, has been using and investing in cryptocurrency -- digital or virtual currency -- since 2014 after being turned onto it by his coach."This will be hopefully the first of many sponsorships with Dash and me," MacDonald said in a recent media conference call."It's not just for me but it's going to a big opportunity for many other fighters and even Bellator itself ... there's tons of fighters interested in it," he added.Pairing up with Dash is one of the reasons MacDonald left the UFC when his contract expired. The UFC, the sport's largest organization, is far more restrictive when it comes to fighter sponsorships. Fighters have to wear Reebok gear in the cage and share sponsorship dollars according to their ranking."It's been a huge benefit to get sponsors," MacDonald said of the move to Bellator."You get to kind and show a bit of personality also, with not having to wear a uniform. (You get to) work with other companies," he added. "And with cryptocurrency, there's so many different possibilities as a fighter now that you can get into these different markets and get yourself out there, other than just being in a cage and wearing a uniform and being like everybody else."MacDonald (19-4) won his Bellator debut in May 2017 when he submitted England's Paul (Semtex) Daly in the second round.Prior to that he had gone 9-4 in the UFC, losing via fifth-round TKO to then-welterweight champion (Ruthless) Robbie Lawler in a bloody battle at UFC 189 in May 2015. He followed that with a unanimous loss to Stephen Thompson in June 2016 before leaving for Bellator.Lima defeated Rick Hawn at Bellator 117 in April 2014 to win the vacant Bellator welterweight title, only to lose it in his first title defence against Russian Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 140 in July 2015. The American-based Brazilian knocked out Koreshkov at Bellator 164 in November 2016 to regain the title.The 30-year-old Lima has since defended his crown, earning a decision over Lorenz Larkin last June."His biggest strength is his power. He can hit hard from pretty much anywhere," MacDonald said. "But I fought a lot of power hitters before and been very successful against those guys so I'm not too stressed about it."Tyron (The Chosen One) Woodley is the reigning UFC welterweight champion. MacDonald is the last fighter to beat Woodley, via unanimous decision at UFC 174 in June 2014."I already feel like I'm the No. 1 in the world," said MacDonald. "It's just getting it down now. We'll find out Saturday what Douglas is made of. But in my head I'm already No. 1.""I plan on going in there being aggressive and taking him out early," he added.Saturday's card also features the first instalment of Bellator's heavyweight Grand Prix with Quinton (Rampage) Jackson (37-12) taking on Chael Sonnen (30-15-1) in a matchup of former UFC stars.Jackson-Sonnen will be the main event with MacDonald-Lima second on the card, which will be shown on the new Paramount Network, formerly Spike TV.The other participants in the Grand Prix are Roy Nelson, Frank Mir, Muhammed (King Mo) Lawal, Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Mitrione and Bellator light-heavyweight champion Ryan Bader.The tournament bracket has Emelianenko versus Mir, Mitrione versus Nelson and Bader versus Lawal on future cards.Sonnen says the storyline for his fight against Jackson, a hard-hitting former UFC light-heavyweight champion, is simple."I've got one way to win, which is to be on top of him and annoy him for 15 minutes," he said. "And he's got one way to win which is to put me to sleep."I've taken a lot of people down. He's put a lot of people to sleep. This one isn't rocket science."Article by Neil Davidson as posted on CTV News...
2018-01-26
PepsiCo, NHL and NHLPA Ink Multi-Year North American Strategic Alliance
Renewed partnership among the largest in League historyPepsiCo, the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL®) today announced a multi-year extension of their North American partnership, securing its place as one of the largest partnership agreements in League history.PepsiCo will maintain exclusive NHL North American rights in the non-alcoholic beverage, sports nutrition and savory snack categories. PepsiCo's wide portfolio of brands includes Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Mtn Dew, Gatorade, Aquafina, LIFEWTR, Lipton iced tea, Tropicana, Naked Juice, Lay's, Tostitos, Ruffles, Doritos, Cheetos, Rold Gold and Miss Vickie's.  Through this sponsorship, PepsiCo maintains access to robust activation and heightened exclusivity around promotional opportunities. Enhanced strategic customer marketing and partnerships are an integral part of the agreement as well. During the 2018 season, Pepsi Zero Sugar will activate during the NHL Winter Classic® and NHL Stadium Series™. "The NHL is a valued PepsiCo partner and we have a long-standing history of supporting hockey and its fans, especially in Canada," said Richard Glover, PepsiCo Beverages Canada President. "Leveraging the power of our snacks and beverages allows us to give hockey fans unmatched experiences and our customers unique promotional opportunities. This partnership renewal highlights the value of our vast product portfolio and the strength of the PepsiCo and NHL brands working together across North America.""PepsiCo is a best-in-class brand and partner, with an exceptional ability to extend the NHL brand to fans across many channels throughout North America. Renewing our decade-long partnership is a testament to the power and reach of both brands," said Keith Wachtel, NHL Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President. "We've come to expect PepsiCo's outstanding 360 degree sports marketing programs, such as their most recent successful Centennial programming, which included collectible product offers, unique branded content across multiple platforms, and tremendous retail theater and fan appreciation promotions. We look forward to continuing our partnership and working together to create more opportunities for deeper engagement and emotional connections with hockey fans, as well as celebrating our game, our future.""We are excited to continue our strong relationship with PepsiCo through our new multi-year agreement," said Don Fehr, NHPLA Executive Director. "We look forward to building on our already successful player activations, and expanding into new opportunities with PepsiCo over the course of the next few years."PepsiCo brands will continue to be integrated into NHL media assets, including NHL.com, NHL Network™, SiriusXM NHL Network Radio™, the NHL® App and others, in addition to having strong presence around major League event platforms, such as the NHL Scouting Combine™, NHL Draft™, NHL Winter Classic®, NHL Heritage Classic™, NHL Stadium Series™, NHL® All-Star Game, NHL Awards™ and Stanley Cup® Playoffs. ...
2018-01-24
Castrol Alley to offer eclectic mix of AutoShow attractions
Art & the Automobile, Hot Wheels track and Cars and Jobs exhibits will be in the spotlight as Castrol, AutoShow mark 23 years togetherWhen the Canadian International AutoShow distributed a Media Release about the classic cars to be found in the Art & the Automobile exhibit, it included a passing reference to Castrol Alley.What, you may ask, is Castrol Alley, which will be located on the 700 Level in the South Building of the downtown Metro Toronto Convention Centre, site of the 2018 AutoShow Feb. 16-25.In a nutshell, it’s one of the most interesting areas of the annual consumer show that is the largest in Canada, attracting nearly 340,000 attendees in 2017. And it’s been that way for the last 23 years."Castrol is excited to present the total automotive journey in Castrol Alley, showcasing power, performance and entertainment," said Natalee Davis, Sponsorship Manager, "ranging from a large indoor track where the 'child-in-us-all' Hot Wheels die-cast models can be raced to the ultra-sophisticated and historic Art & the Automobile display of classic cars that has an emphasis this year on mascots and badges.“Castrol and the AutoShow have enjoyed a wonderful relationship for the past 23 years,” Natalee said, “and we hope to be able to continue this partnership for many years to come.”As well as being the site of one of the biggest Hot Wheels tracks in the country, Castrol Alley will also be the site of the eSports Arena, where the AutoShow will present an eSport Motorsport Gaming competition featuring Xbox and Forza7 Motorsports.“One of the fastest-growing international hobbies is motorsport gaming,” said Natalee. “Even Formula One drivers are competing these days and specialty digital channels and electronic magazines are popping up to provide coverage. We’re delighted that the eSport competition is part of Castrol Alley because it is cutting edge, and Castrol as a brand has always been cutting edge.”Also on Castrol Alley, the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) is launching AutoLife, an online engagement platform with a focus on automotive lifestyles.  And a "Cars and Jobs" display is also being planned for Castrol Alley, where the TADA will highlight the diverse career opportunities available in the automobile industry.Castrol Alley is one of a number of special added attractions that help to set the Canadian International AutoShow apart from some other North American shows. Among them:- Auto Exotica: Lamborghinis, McLarens, Bugattis, Aston Martins and other magical marques will again form the basis of the most exotic and valuable collection of cars showcased anywhere in the country. A record $100m worth of exotics were on display in 2017 and 2018 is set to top that tally with additional aspirational brands scheduled to participate.- Tuners: Tuner Battlegrounds, AutoShow edition, will see the most elite, tricked out, slammed to the ground and modified cars ever seen at the AutoShow. This online bracket-style fan-voted competition will be created and hosted by PASMAG giving Canada’s top Tuner enthusiasts a chance to show their stuff at the biggest automotive showcase in the country.- Art & the Automobile: The ever-popular Art & the Automobile exhibit presented by the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance will, for its fourth edition, feature rare cars seldom seen anywhere, with a focus on the brands and mascots that made the classics the icons they are today.Additional details about these and other all-new exhibits for 2018 will be issued as showtime approaches....