In Toronto, Scotiabank Deal Kicks In

New signs are up, but 'it’s not just a simple naming-rights arrangement'

  • by Brad Weissberg
  • Published: July 10, 2018

Scotiabank Arena is the new name for the home of Toronto's Maple Leafs and Raptors.

After nearly a year in the making, the home of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and the NBA's Toronto Raptors finally has its new name.

The official renaming of the building to Scotiabank Arena on Canada Day, July 1, ended a nearly 20-year run by Air Canada as naming-rights holder and marked the end of an era for Canada's busiest sports and entertainment venue. Scotiabank's naming-rights deal, announced in August, is worth a reported $800 million over 20 years, making it the highest-priced sponsorship deal in North American sports history and and more than 10 times what Air Canada paid for the rights nearly two decades ago.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment owns the building as well as its two tenants, the Leafs and Raptors.

Scotiabank signage, with some logos only temporary, has been placed outside and inside the building. 

“This marks a new era for our building,” said Nick Eaves, MLSE chief venues and operating officer. “It’s going to take some getting used to, especially for our core fans, but when everyone sees the improvements that this partnership will produce, we’re sure it will be embraced.”

“This is a true partnership,” he said. “It’s not just a simple naming-rights arrangement. Scotiabank is going to be involved in many aspects of making this the greatest venue in Canada.”

John Doig, executive vice president of Scotiabank, said: "Our goal is to ensure, working with MLSE, that when you come down here in the fall for first puck drop or tipoff, you feel different. We have major changes in place to make sure this building delivers the best fan experience.”

Doig recognizes that "change is difficult" for Toronto fans, but firmly believes that Scotiabank Arena will win over any skeptical fans. “We are rebranding everything, both inside and outside, and it already looks terrific.”

ScotiaClub_-_Construction_2.jpgNick Eaves, MLSE chief venues and operating officer, and John Doig, executive vice president of Scotiabank, in the soon-to-be-remodeled Scotia Club.

One area getting a complete makeover is the former Air Canada Club, now to be known as the Scotia Club. The newly remodeled space will hold 250 people and is the only premium club that faces the indoor action.

“The club is getting redone from the floors up,” Eaves said. “We’re adding in new concrete flooring and exposing the walls and ceilings over the summer. It’s going to be top notch, and the renovation will reflect the new brand and energy of the building."

A renovation of the main gates to improve the flow of people and enhance security to help fans take their seats faster is also on Scotiabank's to-do list. Another improvement will be a rehab of the jumbo videoboard.

Outside, the marquee sign is just a stand-in for a permanent sign that will be in place for the start of the hockey season Oct. 3.

Scotiabank is also getting involved in MLSE’s foundation, specifically in the LaunchPad project located in Moss Park, designed to improve the lives of the city’s youths through sports.

“LaunchPad has provided resources to help over 100,000 kids recognize their potential,” said Eaves. “There are sports courts, classrooms, an adventure wall, and we emphasize healthy eating habits through our Nutrition Hub.”

Doig said the bank was thrilled to be part of LaunchPad. “We want the community to know we’re investing not only in the arena, but in them as well,” he said.

 

 

  • by Brad Weissberg
  • Published: July 10, 2018