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RONA Teams Up With Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

Thursday, 03.09.2009 / 8:59 AM / Press Releases
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RONA Teams Up With Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
Boucherville, Quebec -- RONA Inc. (TSX: RON), and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE), announced today a new five-year corporate partnership agreement.

RONA, Canada’s leading distributor and retailer of hardware, home improvement and gardening products, will become the Official Home Improvement Retailer of the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA) and Toronto Marlies (AHL). RONA is already the Official Home Improvement Retailer for MLSE’s soccer club Toronto FC.

The exclusive partnership rights include permanent, camera-visible RONA branding at these teams’ home games at Air Canada Centre and Ricoh Coliseum, including on-ice RONA logos during Maple Leafs and Marlies preseason, regular and postseason home games. RONA will also gain hosting opportunities, in which its in-store customers can win exclusive tickets to Leafs, Raptors and Marlies games.

RONA has been a corporate partner of Toronto FC since 2007 as their Official and exclusive home improvement partner. In Spring 2009, RONA signed an extension with Toronto FC by two-years to continue its exclusive game and permanent signage at BMO Field.

The partnership will have RONA team up and engage in MLSE’s community and city building initiatives including the Toronto Maple Leafs Outdoor Practice, Toronto Marlies Outdoor Practice and the Leafs Hockey Legacy Rink Refurbishment program. RONA and its employees will contribute supplies and volunteer labour to support the rink refurbishment.

“We are thrilled to associate our winning RONA team with these important Canadian sports teams,” said Robert Dutton, president and CEO of RONA. “The Maple Leafs, Marlies, Raptors and Toronto FC are an inspiration and source of pride for so many people, not just in Ontario, but all across Canada. In addition, the Raptors and Toronto FC are the only Canadian teams in their respective leagues, so we are especially proud to give them our support.”

“Above all, RONA encourages the youth of Canada to live active lives, pursue their dreams and become winners—no matter what field of endeavour they are competing in,” Mr. Dutton said. “Our sports sponsorships and community initiatives allow us to promote Canadian values of fair play, social responsibility and perseverance.” “We’re excited to work with a proudly Canadian company like RONA that’s a leader in its industry”, said David Hopkinson, MLSE’s senior vice-president of corporate and community partnerships. “RONA has a great reputation in the home improvement industry. Its commitment to athlete and sports development through its partnership with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams is second to none. We’re pleased to extend our relationship with RONA to our hockey and basketball teams to further complement their existing partnership with Toronto FC.”

From a marketing perspective, RONA’s new partnership with MLSE will boost RONA’s brand exposure in the highly-competitive Ontario market, where RONA has 180 stores and 6,600 employees. The fan bases and broadcast audiences for MLSE’s four sports team represent a wide demographic spectrum.

RONA’s partnership with MLSE is a continuation of its long-standing commitment to Canadian sports, both professional and amateur. RONA is already a National Partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as a National Partner of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams through the London 2012 Summer Games.

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