Ottawa Senators bank on new jersey sponsorship deal with CIBC

New Ottawa Senators jersey
Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk sports the club's new home jersey featuring the CIBC logo. Photo courtesy Ottawa Senators

New Ottawa Senators president and CEO Cyril Leeder wasted no time making good on his pledge to bolster the NHL team’s ties to the broader business community.

The Senators announced Thursday they have entered into a multiyear agreement with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce that will see the bank’s logo featured on the club’s home jersey.

The new jerseys will first appear when the Senators play their 2023-24 home opener Saturday against Philadelphia at the Canadian Tire Centre.

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It will mark the first time the Senators have worn a sponsor’s logo on their jerseys.

“CIBC is a storied and iconic Canadian brand that has been helping Canadians for more than 150 years,” Leeder, who rejoined the team’s front office in late September, said in a statement. 

“We share common values of commitment to excellence and to the community and this agreement will have a positive impact at both Canadian Tire Centre and in the National Capital Region. We are honoured to wear the CIBC logo next to our crest on our home jerseys and welcome CIBC to the Senators family.”

The agreement also includes multiple branding opportunities for CIBC throughout the Sens’ home arena. 

For example, the Club Red dining lounge will be rebranded to Club CIBC, and the bank’s signage will appear on the 100-level concourse and club seating area, as well as the Gate 2 entrance and valet parking area.

In addition, CIBC will be donating $500,000 to the Senators Community Foundation.

“We are proud to partner with the Ottawa Senators and to be part of this new chapter for the team. We look forward to standing with the Senators’ loyal fans and cheering the team on throughout the season,” Stephen Forbes, CIBC’s executive vice-president of purpose, brand and corporate affairs, said in a statement. 

“Ottawa is an important market for our bank, where we have a long history and an ongoing commitment to the community, and we’re proud to support the Senators Community Foundation to further the impact we can have together moving forward.”

The deal comes just weeks after Leeder returned to the organization he helped found in the early 1990s.

The Brockville native, who served more than 25 years on the Senators’ senior management team before being fired by then-owner Eugene Melnyk midway through the 2016-17 season, was brought back into the fold by new owner Michael Andlauer.

In an interview with OBJ two weeks ago, Leeder said one of his top priorities would be strengthening the franchise’s connections to the Ottawa-Gatineau business community and rebuilding its revenue base through measures such as corporate sponsorships.

Noting that the Senators finished in the NHL’s top 10 in annual revenues from 2005-10, Leeder said he saw no reason why the team couldn’t be among the league leaders in that category once again.

“I think we can get back there, and the only way to do that is to have everybody all in on the team,” he said. “If that happens, I know we can punch well above our weight.”

– With additional reporting from the Canadian Press

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