Playing in the big leagues: Kinaxis inks helmet sponsorship deal with Sens


Kanata-based software giant Kinaxis didn’t have to look far to find its newest business partner.

The Ottawa Senators announced Tuesday that the publicly traded tech firm’s logo will appear on the NHL club’s white road helmets for the next three seasons. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The firm’s logo will make its debut on Thursday, Oct. 13 when the Senators open their regular-season schedule in Buffalo against the Sabres.

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“This represents an exciting new partnership with a local success story that operates on the global stage,” Senators president of business operations Anthony LeBlanc said in a statement.

The new agreement – Kinaxis’s first with a professional sports franchise – would seem to be a natural fit for the two organizations, which are practically next-door neighbours. 

Kinaxis recently moved into a new 160,000-square-foot headquarters at 3199 Palladium Dr., just a few hundred metres west of the Senators’ home arena, the Canadian Tire Centre. When the Sens approached Kinaxis officials a few weeks ago about becoming the team’s road helmet sponsor, the firm jumped at the opportunity.

“We loved it immediately,” Megan Paterson, the company’s chief human resources officer, told OBJ. “That hometown connection was really, really important to us.”

Paterson noted that CEO John Sicard has been striving to achieve “greater brand awareness” for Kinaxis, which has seen demand for its supply-chain management software soar during the pandemic. 

Now, the company’s logo will appear on TV screens across Canada and the U.S. every time captain Brady Tkachuk and his fellow Sens get a closeup during a road game. Kinaxis will also receive ad space on the boards and the digital display ring at the Canadian Tire Centre as part of the deal.

That kind of exposure will go a long way to raising the firm’s profile among both potential customers and employees, Paterson said. 

“All of these people that are going to be watching and seeing our logo and maybe Googling Kinaxis after seeing it,” she said. “It’s a little bit to measure ROI, but I can tell you, today since the press release went out, my phone is blowing up.”

The deal is yet another sign of Kinaxis’s rising status in the tech world. 

Hundreds of global enterprises, including multinational brands like Cisco, Ford and Unilever, use the Kanata firm’s software to ensure they have enough inventory on hand to get their products to market on time. About one-third of Kinaxis’s 1,600 employees live in the Ottawa area.

The company generated more than $80 million in revenues in the second quarter ending June 30, a 35 per cent increase from the previous year. Kinaxis is now projecting revenues of between $355 million and $365 million for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, up $10 million from its previous forecast in May – marking the second time the firm has revised its projection upward in 2022.

The company’s shares closed the day up $2.09 at $140.78 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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