TORONTO, Sept. 22, 2016 /CNW/ – CIBC (TSX:CM) (NYSE: CM) and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) are proud to announce an exciting new partnership, as CIBC becomes the Official Bank of the CHL, and its three regional leagues, Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).

This new five-year deal includes sponsorship of 23 CHL teams, title sponsorship of the Canada Russia Series, and associate sponsorship of the Mastercard Memorial Cup and the CHL Top Prospects Game. As part of its partnership with the world’s largest development league, CIBC is also providing financial management, advice and banking resources to the CHL  and will support the CHL’s scholarship program.

“The Canadian Hockey League is proud to welcome CIBC to the CHL family,” says CHL President David Branch. “It’s exciting to partner with an organization who shares our goals of supporting youth and being active in communities across Canada. CIBC’s commitment to our teams and to the CIBC Canada Russia Series will help us showcase some of the best Major Junior players in the world to hockey fans across the country.”

Leveraging the CHL’s national scope and local in-market presence, CIBC will activate the sponsorship at various opening week games in 23 communities across Canada, beginning September 22-30 and continuing throughout the season. CIBC will also work with KidSport, a national non-profit that encourages kids to get active, as part of the sponsorship activation.

“What attracted us to this organization is its community focus and ability to bring Canadians together in passion and spirit and we’re excited to be part of that energy in 23 markets from Kelowna to Cape Breton,” says Stephen Forbes, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, CIBC. “We are proud to welcome the CHL as a new CIBC client, and look forward to working with them to continue building strong Canadian communities.”

The 2016-17 CHL season begins on Wednesday September 21 in the OHL, with the QMJHL and WHL opening action on Thursday and Friday nights respectively. The 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series takes place November 7-17 and features regional league teams of Canadian National Junior Team candidates competing against the Russian National Junior Team. The six game series includes stops in Prince George, BC, Edmonton, AB, North Bay, ON, Hamilton, ON, Chicoutimi, QC, and Baie-Comeau, QC.

CIBC sponsored CHL teams:

WHL                    OHL                                    QMJHL
Kamloops           Windsor                            Rouyn-Noranda
Lethbridge         Peterborough                  Cape Breton
Red Deer            Mississauga                     Charlottetown
Regina                 Sault St. Marie                 Val-d’Or
Vancouver         Owen Sound                    Sherbrooke
Victoria               Oshawa                            Drummondville
Moose Jaw
Prince George

CIBC has a long history of supporting its communities through sponsorship programs such as CIBC Run for the Cure which, in its 20th year on October, 2 will impact over 60 communities across Canada. CIBC’s partnership with the CHL will also complement other recently formed partnerships including Connor McDavid, who earned CHL Player of the Year honours in 2015, and Ottawa2017, a yearlong celebration for Canada and CIBC’s shared 150thbirthday in 2017.