Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
March 19, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria HarbourCats announced today that they will not be playing their 2014 games at Royal Athletic Park. Instead the team will be playing at “Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park” as the team announced a multi-year naming and sponsorship agreement with the iconic Victoria based Sports Traders franchise at a press conference on Wednesday morning.
The 4-year deal will see Sports Traders have exclusive and prominent signage in centre field and the company’s well known logo will be painted on the field in foul territory along the first base line. The HarbourCats will also utilize Sports Trader’s corporate equipment division to source some of their equipment and merchandise for the season.
HarbourCats GM Jim Swanson (left), and Director of Marketing Brad Norris-Jones (right) were on hand with Sports Traders CEO Greg Canno (centre) Wednesday to unveil the new “Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park” (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
HarbourCats General Manager Jim Swanson notes that the deal signifies a major step forward for the West Coast League franchise in working with local business partners. “We are extremely excited to take things to another level with our corporate sponsorship and I think this deal exemplifies where we are headed with regard to our profile in the community and how we plan to work with corporate partners moving forward. Sports Traders brings many beneficial aspects to the table for us and I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
HarbourCats GM Jim Swanson (left), Director of Marketing Brad Norris-Jones (right) and Sports Traders CEO Greg Canno (centre) show off the new corporate signage (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Greg Penno, CEO of Sports Traders echoed those sentiments. “We have been so happy to hear the plans the HarbourCats have to keep baseball in Victoria for a long time to come, and this agreement made a lot of sense to us because it is a true partnership,” said Penno. “It is a great chance for us to enhance our store’s image at a really great ball park. It is an opportunity to reach out to more than 40,000 people through the one venue, and we know the team’s popularity is only going to rise as the HarbourCats become more entrenched in the sports community. We will look out with pride when we see our logo placed so prominently at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park. This is a win-win-win – for us, for the HarbourCats, and for the community.”
Sports Traders CEO Greg Canno: “It is a great chance for us to enhance our store’s image at a really great ball park…We will look out with pride when we see our logo placed so prominently at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park. This is a win-win-win – for us, for the HarbourCats, and for the community.” (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
“I want to thank Greg and the rest of the Sports Traders team for the work they have done to come to this agreement, and to also thank Brad Norris-Jones, our Director of Marketing, for the many hours that went into developing the final product,” added Swanson. ” We are proud to be working with Sports Traders for production of merchandise, so it is done locally, and we know the unique and exclusive signage placement and values provided to Sports Traders will continue to give their business the profile it deserves. We also thank the City of Victoria and their staff for working so progressively with us throughout this process, understanding the opportunity to expand the visuals for a key local partner while still recognizing the history of this great old facility.”
The new Sports Traders signage will span 5 fence panels in the centre-field portion of the fence. Additional signage and field logos will also be prominently placed at the Park. (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The HarbourCats are quickly gearing up for what is expected to be a great sophomore season of play in the WCL. New seats are soon to be installed at the park and single game tickets should go on sale shortly after that. The team also recently announced 4 new 10-day contract signings, three of which were players who call Vancouver Island home.
The HarbourCats open their season June 6th in Kelowna and then have their home opener on the newly christened Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park on June 10th when the Cowlitz Black Bears come to town.