Tim Hortons teams with Hockey Canada

In addition to supporting the country's national men's and women's teams, the brand will now also reach 100,000-plus youth hockey players.

It’s no surprise that Tim Hortons has signed a four-year sponsorship deal with Hockey Canada, with the brand and the sport both synonymous with the country (and each other).

“Hockey is completely connected to our brand,” Derek Kent, head of brand communications with Tim’s parent company RBI told MiC, referencing the various Tim Hortons campaigns that have used both professional and amateur hockey as a theme – including the famous “Proud Fathers” spot.

Like “Proud Fathers,” Kent said this partnership is designed to be especially family-friendly.

“We do have relationships with the NHL clubs, but if you think about Hockey Canada, it’s all kids – so we’re not just able to connect with young hockey players of a particular age, but also extend to both boys and girls,” he said.

The new four-year partnership will see Tim’s support the country’s national teams competing in the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship and the IIHF Women’s World Championship.

It will also act as the title sponsor for Hockey Canada’s Initiation Program, which serves as the “entry point” into hockey and helps the country’s youngest players develop their skills. According to the company, more than 100,000 children are part of this program. Alumni of the Initiation Program includes seven-time Team Canada player and current Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

Besides on-ice activations – Tim’s imagery will be visible through elements such as hockey jerseys and rink boards – Kent said the brand’s communications and media strategy will also incorporate content from the partnership. While he did not have any specific campaign plans to share, he noted that “there’s a big range of media opportunities with this partnership to tell a deeper story.”

RBI worked directly with Hockey Canada through its in-house media and sponsorship team.