Title sponsorship of the Brier by Tim Hortons will end after the 2023 tournament

For only the fifth time in its nearly century-long history, the Canadian Men’s Curling Championship will have a new title sponsor after this season.

The 2023 Brier, scheduled for March 3-12 in London, Ont., will be the last with Tim Hortons as title sponsor, Curling Canada said Tuesday. The organization said it is « currently seeking expressions of interest » for title sponsorship of the event, which dates back to 1927.

In a press release, Curling Canada CEO Kathy Henderson thanked Tim Hortons for its longstanding commitment to promoting curling in Canada. She added that they will continue to work together at the youth, grassroots and community level through regional marketing and sponsorship engagements.

« We don’t sell this property often because it’s obviously pretty big in the Canadian sport community, » said Nolan Thiessen, executive director of curling fan experience and marketing for Curling Canada.

« It’s a celebration of a longtime partner and an exciting opportunity to look forward to bringing someone on board with another new contract and someone new to the sport. »

The restaurant chain, best known for its coffee and donuts, first sponsored the Brier in 2005. Tim Hortons has been a partner of Curling Canada since 1996.

The only other title sponsors in Brier history were Macdonald Tobacco, Labatt Breweries and Nokia.

« For the past 20 years, Tim Hortons and our Restaurant Owners have been proud to support Curling Canada and sponsor this iconic, world-class sporting event in Canada, » said Hope Bagozzi, Tim Hortons Chief Marketing Officer, in a statement. communicated.

« And we look forward to continuing to introduce the game to new curlers and supporting curling programs in communities across Canada. »

It was not immediately clear why Tim Hortons had not renewed its title sponsorship. A message left with a Tim Hortons communications director was not immediately returned.

Curling Canada is also looking for a new title sponsor for the Canadian Curling Trials, a federation spokesperson confirmed in an email.

This competition is held every four years to determine the representatives of the Canadian curling team at the Olympic Winter Games. Tim Hortons has been the title sponsor for five editions of this event since 2005.

Team Wild Card One captain Brad Gushue shoots against Team Canada during the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier Semi-Finals in Lethbridge, Alberta. Gushue’s team won the who tournament. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Olympic bronze medalist Brad Gushue of St. John’s, NL won the 2022 Brier in Lethbridge, Alta. He will return to skip Canada’s entry in March at Budweiser Gardens.

In its statement, Curling Canada said the Brier is one of « Canada’s most coveted and beloved sporting properties. »

« Sometimes it’s time for a change and things take their course, » Thiessen told The Canadian Press from Madrid. « It’s more about looking forward to something new and we have great confidence in the Brier as a property, so I have no concerns that we don’t have a title partner in time to 2024.

« I think we just want to find the right partner with some sort of deal that really makes sense for all of Curling Canada’s operations. »

The organization said the Brier had an average viewership of 6.5 million people over the 10-day competition, with the average one-minute viewership for the final potentially exceeding one million viewers.

« Any event that’s approaching its 100th anniversary, you’re doing something right, » Thiessen said. « It’s the only word across Canada that people know – whether they’re a curling fan, a sports fan or just a Canadian – people know that the word Brier means curling.

« So I think that’s its uniqueness and what makes it a property that we’re excited to bring to market. It’s so ingrained in the sport. »

The Canadian Women’s Curling Championship — the Scotties Tournament of Hearts — is sponsored by Kruger Products.

The 2023 competition will take place February 17-26 at the Sandman Center in Kamloops, BC

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