Scotiabank struck a deal with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) this past week for the naming rights to the Leafs and Raptors Arena. Currently known as the Air Canada Centre, the complex will be renamed Scotiabank Arena as of 2018. The deal is worth an astounding $800 million over 20 years making it the highest paid annual naming sponsorship in North American sports history.
Some are skeptical of the deal because Scotiabank is paying a whopping 10x more than the $4 million Air Canada was paying MLSE annually for the naming rights to the complex; However, Scotiabank’s investment is going to pay incredible dividends in the long run and its because of their genius marketing strategy.
Scotiabank has worked tirelessly to market themselves as Canada’s hockey bank and has already invested millions of advertising dollars to portray the image of being the ultimate place to finance a young hockey family. People don’t seem to understand that by attaching their brand to one of the most highly touted young cores in the NHL that the Maple Leafs have they are only cementing their brand identity further.
Scotiabank will undoubtedly play up the fact that they are the sponsor for some of the brightest young stars in the league. The Leafs are going to gain a ton of new fans looking to watch the young stars shine and because of this Scotiabank is going to get brand exposure to thousands of customers.
The naming rights deal may be a stretch in some people’s mind but when you look at the immediate impact this will have on Scotiabank’s name as the hockey bank of Canada it’s hard to say it was a waste of financial resources.