Skate Canada, the governing body of figure skating in Canada, is hoping that it will find some new title sponsors, perhaps before Skate Canada international Grand Prix next year.
The association announced on Sunday that the 5,000-seat Windsor Family Credit Union Centre near Windsor will stage next season’s event from Oct. 26 to 28.
William Thompson, chief executive officer of Skate Canada, said the organization is getting quite close to finding new title sponsors.
Many sponsors jumped onto the Vancouver Olympic bandwagon, Thompson said, but after the event was over, there was “clearly a drop in sponsorship generally for sports and they are all struggling.”
A weak economy that followed didn’t help, he said.
But now that Skate Canada has a stable 10-year deal with the CTV/TSN network to cover figure skating at the Skate Canada Grand Prix and the Canadian championships, it is easier to attract sponsorships into the fold, Thompson said.
“We’re really able to go to market and we’re really getting quite close with a number of sponsors” he said.
While it used to take only three to four months to land a deal, companies are being much diligent and careful about where to put their sponsorhip dollars, wanting to know how it will work. Now it can take nine months to a year from initial contact with a company to the signing of the deal, Thompson said.
Neither the Skate Canada Grand Prix nor the Canadian championships have a title sponsor at the moment. The Bank of Montreal’s agreement expired after the Olympics. And the Homesense deal expired some time ago.
Canada will stage the 2013 world championships in London, Ont., but the International Skating Union is responsible for sponsorship deals for that event.