Oct 7, 2022
Hockey Canada: These companies have pulled sponsorships
Canadian Tire and Chevrolet pull their support for Hockey Canada's men's programs
A number of high-profile corporate sponsors and organizations have dropped their support for Hockey Canada’s men’s programs for the 2022-23 season amid growing criticism on how the organization handled alleged sexual assault cases.
Here’s a look at the companies and organizations that have dropped support.
In June, the Bank of Nova Scotia said it would pause its sponsorship of Hockey Canada until steps were taken to improve the sport’s culture.
In an open letter, Scotiabank’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Porter said they are committed to making sure the sport is a “safe, inclusive and accessible” environment.
“This means holding people and organizations accountable, including Hockey Canada, in much the same way that Scotiabank is accountable to our customers, employees, shareholders, and the members of the communities in which we live and work.”
Porter added that change at Hockey Canada is long overdue.
“We call on Hockey Canada to move with a sense of urgency in order to ensure that the game we love is held to the highest standards, and can truly be hockey for all.”
In a statement to BNN Bloomberg on Thursday, a Tim Hortons spokesperson said the company officially informed Hockey Canada this week that its “pulled out of all men’s hockey programming for the 2022-23 season including the men’s world junior championships.”
“We’ve communicated to Hockey Canada on many occasions that the organization needs to take strong and definitive action before it can regain the faith and trust of Canadians,” the spokesperson said.
“We’re deeply disappointed in the lack of progress that Hockey Canada has made to date.”
The company will continue to fund Canada’s women’s, youth and para hockey teams.
On Oct. 7, NIKE, Inc. suspended its partnership with Hockey Canada.
Nike Spokesperson Sandra Carreon-John said the company is "deeply concerned" by the ongoing reports around Hockey Canada.
On Hockey Canada’s website, it said Nike has been supporting the Canadian organization for over 25 years. The company has made outfits for Canada’s Olympic and Junior teams.
Canadian Tire Corp., Ltd. ended its partnership with Hockey Canada on Oct. 6.
In an emailed statement to BNN Bloomberg, Jane Shaw, senior vice-president of communications at Canadian Tire, said it “can no longer confidently move forward together” as the sports organization “continues to resist meaningful change.”
Shaw said one of the organizations that the company will be redirecting funds to is The Respect Group, which focuses on “preventing bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.”
TELUS Corp. confirmed to BNN Bloomberg that it originally paused its sponsorship of Hockey Canada on June 28.
In a statement over email on Thursday, the company said it would “not be sponsoring Hockey Canada’s men's hockey programs for the 2022-23 season, including the upcoming World Juniors tournament.”
“We are deeply disheartened by the lack of action and commitment from Hockey Canada to drive necessary cultural change,” the statement said.
Chevrolet Canada confirmed over email to BNN Bloomberg on Thursday that it paused its sponsorship of Hockey Canada in June.
“We can confirm that Chevrolet Canada has stepped back from its sponsorship activities with Hockey Canada as we seek more clarity on what specific steps the organization has and will take following the alleged incidents of abuse,” a General Motors of Canada Company spokesperson said over email.
“We at GM have no tolerance for abuse of any kind and wish to see Hockey Canada return to setting a positive example for all Canadians in all it does.”
Esso said in an emailed statement to BNN Bloomberg Thursday that it will not be supporting Hockey Canada’s men's program for the 2022-2023 season.
Esso said it communicated to Hockey Canada that it expects tangible steps to be taken to address persisting issues in order to “ensure change and restore trust.”
“We are disappointed that we have not yet seen more significant action,” the statement said.
“We remain committed to Canada’s hockey community, as we have for more than 40 years. Our support of women’s and youth programs is unwavering, and we will continue to support local and regional grassroots programs that focus on diversity, safety and education, and that make positive impacts to the culture surrounding Canada’s game,” the statement said.
Recipe Unlimited Corp. said in a statement to BNN Bloomberg Thursday that it has made a decision to cancel its partnership support of Hockey Canada’s men’s program.
“We will continue to support women’s related events for the remainder of 2022. Our company focuses on creating inclusive and safe spaces for our teammates and guests, and we expect the same from our partners,” the statement said.
Recipe Unlimited operates various restaurant brands including Swiss Chalet and The Keg.
In a press release on Oct. 5, Hockey Quebec said it does “not have confidence in the ability of Hockey Canada” to effectively change hockey culture with its current structure.
Hockey Quebec said it would immediately withhold player registration fees from Hockey Canada. It also asked that the organization implement an external advisory committee.
ONTARIO HOCKEY FEDERATION
In a press release on Oct. 5, the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) said it is monitoring the situation at Hockey Canada.
“With regards to Hockey Quebec’s decision to withhold funding, OHF has already requested via Hockey Canada’s former Chair of the Board Michael Brind’amour (on July 29, 2022) that Hockey Canada not collect the $3 Participant Assessment Fee for the 2022-2023 season, which he confirmed he would take it to the Board of Directors,” the press release said.
“It is our understanding now that this request was never directed to the Board before his departure. Based on this information, the OHF has once again, reaffirmed our formal requested of Hockey Canada to not collect the $3 Participant Assessment Fee for the 2022-2023 season.”
-- With files from Daniel Johnson