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Hockey Canada loses CAN$23.5m in sponsorships amid sexual assault fallout

National governing body confirms ‘significant’ commercial impact from mass partner exodus.

15 November 2022 Ed Dixon

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  • Canadian Tire among brands to cut ties
  • Hockey Canada CEO and entire board quit last month
  • Organisation says demands for leadership change ‘have been heeded’

Hockey Canada has lost CAN$23.5 million (US$17.7 million) in sponsorships, as the beleaguered national governing body continues to be rocked by sexual assault scandals.

Since the allegations emerged, a host of commercial partners have either paused or withdrawn sponsorship funds for Hockey Canada since the allegations emerged. The likes of Scotiabank, Tim Hortons and Telus, for example, have decided not to fund any men’s hockey programme run by the organisation for the 2022/23 season.

The exodus has continued, with Canadian Tire cutting all ties last month, saying that the organisation was resisting “meaningful change”.

According to a list compiled by the Canadian Press on 11th October, up to a dozen sponsors had either paused or cancelled their deals with Hockey Canada.

Hockey Canada confirmed the sponsorship income loss figure in a statement to the Financial Post, adding that the impact had been ‘significant’.

The Canadian financial outlet also noted that the tally of Hockey Canada’s sponsorship losses came from the organisation’s business development and partnerships department, which accounted for 43 per cent of Hockey Canada’s revenues during the 2020/2021 fiscal year, according to its most recent annual report.

Hockey Canada also told the Financial Post that the percentage of corporate sponsorship funding lost following the revelations surrounding the settlement of sexual misconduct claims will not be calculated until the current fiscal year ends on 30th June 2023.

The mass exit of sponsors came after it emerged in May that Hockey Canada had reached a settlement with a young woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted in 2018 by eight unnamed Canadian Hockey League (CHL) players. Hockey Canada has also been accused of failing to address systemic abuse within the association and condoning a ‘culture and environment that glorified the degradation and sexual exploitation of young women’.

Last month saw the chief executive of Hockey Canada and its entire board of directors quit amid criticism over how they handled the allegations. The organisation stated that the board had recognised ‘the urgent need for new leadership and perspectives’ and a new slate of directors will be selected no later than 17th December.

Hockey Canada told the Financial Post that the ‘demands of Canadians, echoed by sponsors, for leadership change have been heeded’.

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