Ford of Canada partnership renewal with MLSE focuses on rewarding fans

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - With anticipation mounting towards puck drop on another exciting NHL season, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited and MLSE are proud to announce the renewal of a long-standing partnership that will aim to go further and reward the most passionate and die-hard fans.

The cornerstone of Ford's renewed five-year partnership with MLSE is the new Leafs Nation Ticket Program, which will award more than 9,000 free tickets to Leafs home games throughout the course of the 2014-2015 NHL season, and  each year of its five-year partnership.   The innovative program will grant unprecedented access for Leaf fans across the Greater Toronto Area with the opportunity to watch games live inside Air Canada Centre from the newly-designed Ford Fan Deck.

For each Leafs game at Air Canada Centre, 200 tickets will be made available to the public at no cost. Fans can win tickets by engaging with the "Ford Fanatic" on Twitter, @thefordFANatic, and on Facebook. The Ford Fanatic will be awarding tickets to fans who show their passion for the team through a variety of online and in-person challenges.

"Ford of Canada is committed to helping the most passionate Leafs fans earn tickets to see the team they love," said Jack Palazzolo, vice president, Marketing, Ford of Canada.

As part of the agreement, the open area outside Gate 5 at Air Canada Centre which has become home to some of the greatest fan celebrations in recent memory during Leafs and Raptors playoff runs – will be named the "Ford Fan Zone at Maple Leaf Square".  Ford is committed to elevating the overall fan experience at the Ford Fan Zone by creating the ultimate viewing destination for Toronto sports fans.  

Other elements contained within the partnership include the 'Player Drive to the Game' which gives Ford customers a chance to attend a game with Toronto Maple Leafs alumni, as well as the newly- formed Road Game Correspondent which grants select Leafs and Raptors fans the opportunity to follow the team on the road and take part as a guest writer for Leafs and Raptors social media. 

"Ford is a tremendous partner and we're thrilled that our fans will be the real winners with the new  opportunities that will stem from this relationship," said David Hopkinson, Chief Commercial Officer of MLSE. "Already this pre-season, the Ford Fan Deck in Air Canada Centre has been filled with die-hard Leafs fans and new programming outside the building will only add to the special fan experience we've seen in the playoffs the past two years."

About Ford Canada:

Ford of Canada's operations include a national headquarters, three regional offices, two branch offices, three vehicle assembly and engine manufacturing plants, and two parts distribution centres. Ford employs approximately 7,000 people in Canada, while an additional 18,000 people are employed in the more than 400 Ford and Ford-Lincoln dealerships across the country. For more information, please visit www.ford.ca.

About Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment: 

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) is one of the world's premier sports and entertainment companies that owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), the Toronto Raptors (NBA), the Toronto Marlies  (AHL), Toronto FC (MLS), Air Canada Centre, Maple Leaf Square and three digital channels — Leafs TV, NBA TV Canada and GOLTV Canada. MLSE has also invested in four of Toronto's sports facilities — Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Marlies, BMO Field, home of Toronto FC, Lamport Stadium, and the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies. MLSE operates and manages events at Ricoh Coliseum and BMO Field.

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.

For further information: Michelle Lee-Gracey, Ford of Canada, 905-845-2511 ext. 1337; Dave Haggith, MLSE, 416-815-5790

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