Corporate Sponsorship of Bombers Has Never Been Better

Article excerpt

THEY said it couldn't be done. They couldn't have been more wrong.

A year ago at this time, as the trucks with Georgia licence plates were unloading hockey equipment at the MTS Centre and Winnipeg hockey fans were in the fullest throat of their delirium, the general consensus around town was the reincarnated Jets were going to hoover up every last dime of corporate money in the city and there was going to be nothing left for the other two pro sports teams in Winnipeg.

Well, flash forward a year and the Winnipeg Goldeyes are saying publicly they are doing just fine, thank you.

And the Winnipeg Blue Bombers? At a news conference in the Bombers locker-room Wednesday afternoon, the club reported corporate sponsorships have never been better.

"Our sponsorships are at the highest level they've ever been for the Winnipeg Football Club right now," club CEO Garth Buchko told reporters after Wednesday's news conference. "They've already exceeded last year's sponsorships for the entire year, which was our best year ever."

Now, that's not to say the Bombers have not had challenges in taking on the Jets behemoth for what is a very finite corporate dollar in this town.

"We have seen some attrition from some sponsors who've cut back," said Buchko. "I think we've maybe lost two or three sponsors in total. But we've had a significant number of new sponsors who've come on and increased their spending levels quite a bit."

That latter category would include the likes of Pizza Hotline's Jerry Cianflone, who became a big Bombers sponsor this season for the first time.

Cianflone said the Bombers sponsorship he bought wasn't significantly less expensive than what a similar sponsorship might have cost with the Jets. …