Junior ‘A’ hockey in HRM is about to take on a much different look this season with the Metro Marauders set to begin play out of the Dartmouth Sportsplex starting this September. The announcement was made by the team’s current executive, ownership group and major sponsors at a press conference today at their new home.
The Marauders are making the move across the harbour after having played the past two seasons at the Halifax Forum as the Halifax Lions.
“The Halifax Forum has been very good to Junior ‘A’ hockey over the years and our relationship with their management group has been rock solid,” said John Patterson, spokesperson for the ownership group. “This isn’t an instance of us running from the Forum but rather we feel like this is a great opportunity to move to the Dartmouth Sportsplex. The Dartmouth Sportsplex is the perfect sized facility for Junior ‘A’ hockey here in Metro. We have had our eye on moving to the Sportsplex for a long while now.”
As part of the move, game times have been moved to Friday night at 7:00 PM.
The Marauders also announced today the addition of some very recognizable brands as corporate sponsors. The presenting sponsor for the upcoming season will be Molson Coors, with other notable sponsors including McDonald’s, Gatorade & McInnes Cooper.
“Corporate sponsorship was one area we wanted to improve upon this off season,” said Matt Hill, President & Governor of the Marauders.
“We have been in discussions with Molson Coors for some time now and we are tremendously excited to have come to a partnership agreement where they will be our presenting sponsor for this upcoming season and seasons to come. Molson Coors reputation speaks for itself and we feel honoured to have them on-board. We’re also ecstatic to have such other notable companies as McDonald’s, Gatorade and McInnes Cooper offer their support to our organization.”
Hill noted additional sponsorship announcements will be forthcoming.
In a further move, the Marauders have partnered with Donnie Oram and his Black Dog Marketing + Advertising firm, who were responsible for the new team name and logo. Oram has put together a whole brand strategy that is going to revolve around the new name and logo starting this summer and leading into the season which starts near the middle of September.
“This brand is unique to Metro and the MJAHL and one that we can build a whole brand strategy around. It is going to be fun to watch it evolve into what we really believe it can. Our goal is to make it a recognizable brand in and around Metro in the hockey community and one that becomes synonymous with Junior ‘A’ hockey in Metro,” explained Oram.
Changes to the Marauders ownership group were also announced with Marco Chiarot, an oral surgeon in Dartmouth who is a partner in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Consultants, joining current team owners John Patterson, Rodi Saarloos and John Keizer.
“Marco has expressed a keen interest in becoming involved in our franchise and believes in the direction we are going. He brings to our team a wealth of knowledge and strong passion for success that will be part of the backbone of our hockey team. We are really excited to have Marco on-board as we move forward as the Metro Marauders,” added Hill.
In commenting on the move to Friday night games, Hill noted that it offered a great opportunity to attract local minor hockey players out to the games.
“With home games moving to Friday night, we can get minor hockey players involved in our team and begin to form relationships with each of them. We are going to be very active in the community and schools, but most importantly with minor hockey teams. We want these minor hockey players to feel as if they are part of our organization.”
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)