The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967. The Toronto Raptors have never even been to the NBA Finals. Still, the power of the Leafs’ fanbase and history helps Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns both franchises, wield a lot of power. Being associated with these teams remains a much sought-after right that many companies are more than happy to pay for.
Just ask Scotiabank, who inked a 20-year sponsorship agreement with MLSE on Tuesday for naming rights on what has been known as Air Canada Centre since 1999.
The facility popularly known as the ACC will be known as the Scotiabank Arena as of July 1, 2018.
The agreement, which is worth about $800 million (Canadian), is believed to be the biggest annual building and team sponsorship in North American sports history. The purported $40 million/year deal eclipses the $30 million/year (U.S.) deal that JPMorgan Chase has with Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. JPMorgan also agreed to pay $15 to $20 million (U.S.) per year for naming rights to the Golden State Warriors’ new arena.
For perspective, Air Canada purchased the naming rights to the arena for $30 million (Canadian) over 20 years ($1.5 million/year) when it first opened.
— Mark McQueen (@markrmcqueen) August 29, 2017
Scotiabank Arena will now join Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary and the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax as the company expands their naming rights dominion over the nation. In fact, the deal means that every major Canadian sports arena has now been sponsored by at least one of three corporations.
With the ACC -> Scotiabank Arena change, every single active NHL Arena in Canada has now had a Bell, Rogers, or Scotia name at some point. pic.twitter.com/eXx1o4l5Bl
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) August 29, 2017
Don’t cry too much for Air Canada. The outgoing arena sponsor will remain a major sponsor of both the Raptors and Maple Leafs for at least eight more years.
Maple Leafs and Raptors fans now have a little less than a year to figure out a good nickname for their home. The Scotia? Scarena? We’re gonna need to workshop this.