Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Air Canada Threatens to Pull Sponsorship

Air Canada, the leading air travel company in Canada, has issued a stern warning to the National Hockey League that they intend to pull their league sponsorship unless the NHL does something immediately to curb the rash of injuries.

Said Denis Vandal, Air Canada's director of marketing/communications:
"From a corporate social responsibility standpoint, it is becoming increasingly difficult to associate our brand with sports events which could lead to serious and irresponsible accidents; action must be taken by the NHL before we are encountered with a fatality.

"Unless the NHL takes immediate action with serious suspension to the players in question to curtail these life-threatening injuries, Air Canada will withdraw its sponsorship of hockey."
This is some pretty serious threats that have now been leveled against the League. Before, the League had become intent on living by their own code of conduct that the players have followed, believing that the solution can only come from themselves. Now, the pressure by other outside sources look as if they will be hitting the Leagues collective wallet. Would pro-"skirt" hockey consumers choose not to fly Air Canada because of their sponsorship?

I want to call this story a knee-jerk reaction, believing that Air Canada is possibly using this recent on-ice tragedy as a means of shameless self-promotion. To interject themselves into a situation that does not directly involve them, shows just how much they are hurting for attention.
Not only does Air Canada own the naming rights to Toronto's Air Canada Centre, it's believed they're a major corporate sponsor behind all six Canadian teams. Air Canada's head office is also located in Montreal.
So... this may actually sound like a little bit of homerism going on here too.

[Via: SLAM! Sports]
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