GM entertainment complex creates `host’ of opportunities

General Motors of Canada's title sponsorship of what will become Vancouver's General Motors Place offers a 'host' of marketing opportunities and signals the car maker's commitment to the West Coast, a company spokesman says.Title sponsorOn March 29, Northwest Arena, of Vancouver,...

General Motors of Canada’s title sponsorship of what will become Vancouver’s General Motors Place offers a ‘host’ of marketing opportunities and signals the car maker’s commitment to the West Coast, a company spokesman says.

Title sponsor

On March 29, Northwest Arena, of Vancouver, announced that gm had signed on as title sponsor of the sports and entertainment complex for a period of 20 years.

Dave McCall, manager of product public relations for gm, says the downtown arena, which is still under construction, lends itself to any number of promotional activities for the manufacturer such as dealer meetings, for example, as well as increasing awareness of the Oshawa, Ont.-based company.

McCall says the West Coast is gm’s third most important market, noting the company maintains a zone office and a parts distribution operation in b.c.

He says, as far as he knows, gm’s title sponsorship of the $160-million, 20,000-seat arena is a first in Canada, although there are about a dozen examples in the u.s.

Tara Milburn, marketing co-ordinator of Northwest Arena, which is building and will operate General Motors Place, says since private money is funding the new complex, it was ‘imperative’ to tap into fresh sources of revenue.

Canucks

As well as getting title sponsorship, the deal also means gm will sponsor the Canucks, Vancouver’s National Hockey League team that will play in the arena once it is completed in the fall of 1995.

McCall says details of the Canucks sponsorship have not been determined, but adds gm has been involved with the team before with rinkboard signs in 1989-90.

A little known element in the 20-year agreement is gm’s link to the Canuck Foundation.

Milburn says, in the future, gm will help support the foundation, which aids children and their families.

The director of the foundation is Vancouver Canucks owner Arthur Griffiths.

No active plans

Richard Peddie, president and chief executive officer of SkyDome, says the downtown Toronto entertainment palace’s ownership consortium is aware of title sponsorship opportunities, but adds there are no active plans to change anything at his facility.

Peddie says there is five years’ equity in the SkyDome name.

Milburn says one of the most recent arena title sponsorships is The Pond in Anaheim, Calif., home of the nhl’s Mighty Ducks.

It is now known as the Arrowhead Pond. Arrowhead is a u.s spring water firm.