Toronto Maple Leafs to celebrate 100 years
In 2017, while Canada turns 150, The National Hockey League (NHL) and Toronto Maple Leafs will both celebrate 100 years. More than any other activity, hockey is considered part of Canada’s national fabric and identity.
Its also big business. According to a Forbes.com valuation, Toronto Maple Leafs franchise is worth an estimated $1.15 billion. The brand makes up $168 million of that. They know hockey fans are still recovering from no Canadian teams making the playoffs last season. The consolation ‘there’s always next year’ might actually be true this time. There are big plans in the works to celebrate the Toronto Maple Leafs 100 years.
Gearing up for a special Leafs Nation season in 2017
Player trades are happening, rookie training camps begin next month. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has just announced a Leafs Fashion Design Challenge in partnership with the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA).
The design contest for men’s and women’s jerseys to be inspired by the Leafs new logo and primary sweater. Auston Matthews, the Leafs’ first overall NHL Draft pick revealed the new primary sweater in June. It sports a new logo inspired by the classic Maple Leaf badge worn by the team from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. Its a power play on nostalgia for an iconic and popular time in team history.
There is a huge amount of designer talent in Ontario and we are excited to see the design entries and a whole new look for Toronto Maple Leafs fan’s fashion – Vicky Milner, CAFA president
But its not just the fashionistas who can compete for the $25,000 prize and bragging rights. Leafs Nation fans are invited to submit designs, and vote on the winning designs. MLSE knows community engagement with the brand helps keep the dream alive. It’s part of a game plan to recapture the title of the NHL’s most valuable franchise.
We hope to broaden the Leafs Nation audience. The new logo and sweater, along with this contest in partnership with CAFA and Mitchell & Ness, allows us to engage the next generation of Leafs fans. – Shannon Hosford, MLSE vice president of marketing
The deadline to submit is September 26, 2016. Voting will take place online between November 14 to 30, and a winner will be announced in early December 2016.
First ever “NHL Centennial Classic™”outdoor game to be held in Toronto
Toronto will host the first ever NHL Centennial Classic™. The outdoor game is to be held New Year’s Day between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It is expected to be popular. At the last Outdoor Classic in 2014, a record-setting 105,491 fans cheered these two “Original Six” founding teams in Michigan. Toronto will host the game at BMO Field in Toronto on Sunday, January 1, 2017.
It’s part of NHL plans to make 2017 a big year for hockey. Year-long Centennial celebrations will mark milestone anniversaries for member clubs, including the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Reaching a 100 year anniversary is a major achievement for any brand. Despite some challenges on and off the ice, both the NHL and Toronto Maple Leafs have continued to keep their fans passionate and involved in their brands for a very long time. We can only hope that in the 2016-17 100th season, The Toronto Maple Leafs and fans will not only look good, play well, and give us some playoffs to celebrate 100 years of a great unifying game…Go Leafs Go!