Welcome to the ‘new’ home of the Ottawa Senators

As the details behind the re-naming of the Ottawa Senators arena to the Canadian Tire Centre from Scotiabank Place were being discussed in a press conference Tuesday, an ice resurfacing machine bearing the Canadian Tire logo owned a prominent spot in the meeting room.

 As the details behind the re-naming of the Ottawa Senators arena to the Canadian Tire Centre from Scotiabank Place were being discussed in a press conference Tuesday, an ice resurfacing machine bearing the Canadian Tire logo owned a prominent spot in the meeting room.

That was no accident. Far from it.

The name change on the outside of the building is only the start.

Get set for an explosion of product placement from Canadian Tire and its many other retail properties – including Sports Experts, Sport Chek, Mark’s Work Wearhouse – inside the walls of the 19,153-seat arena and everywhere else in the community where the Senators have a presence.

Everything from the sponsorship of Sportsnet’s television broadcasts to Frank Finnegan’s restaurant within the building to partnering with the Senators’ hockey development camps is included as part of the sponsorship deal. Even the game day staff will be sporting clothes from Mark’s.

It’s an eight-year agreement with no financial terms released. Canadian Tire holds the option to renew for another 10 years when that term expires.

Under the previous agreement with Scotiabank Place – a 15-year, $20 million deal originally signed in 2006 – the Senators had an opportunity to opt out after a fixed number of years. The club exercised that option to marry up with Canadian Tire.

“They just kept rattling off things they would like to do, everything from (commercials for) kitchens to hockey programs, everything from community programs and how they’re going to make such an effort and they have so many layers of companies that can do things,” Senators owner Eugene Melynk said of the discussions leading up to Tuesday’s official agreement. “The possibilities kept growing and growing and growing. They made up their mind pretty quickly. After that, they moved so fast. In the end, it’s very extensive. You’re going to see a lot of big changes.”

It’s the first time Canadian Tire has put its name on the outside of a sports building, but it’s a natural fit according to Duncan Fulton, Canadian Tire’s senior vice president of corporate affairs.

“If it was just a (naming the building) deal, we would have said no,” said Fulton. “But seeing that we could actually get so many of our different (retail) families…with the parking lot, for instance, we can put coupons on the back of ticket stubs, like exclusive deals for 48 hours. We’ll be able to shoot a kitchen commercial at the Canadian Tire Centre. It ties the whole business together.”

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