It’s a partnership five years in the making and like any good pairing; both sides have reaped the benefits of a solid relationship.
This weekend when the Brooks Bandits take on the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, they will be vying for an AJHL championship.
That championship took on added prestige in 2007-08 when Enerflex came on board as a major league corporate sponsor, and as such, the company became the namesake of the title hardware.
The ongoing relationship between the league and the energy-sector company is just another example of how the AJHL has worked with the corporate community to develop and share brand recognition.
“The AJHL is proud of how its brand has evolved over the past five seasons and a major contributor to that progression has been our relationship with Enerflex,” says AJHL VP of Marketing Ryan Bartoshyk.
“Their commitment as our Championship partner and League provided us with a recognizable and credible association and an opportunity for the League to prove its’ value to their organization,” he added.
Only three teams have their name on the prestigious trophy. In fact, only four clubs have had a chance at engraving their signature. Brooks has added its name to the roster of an elite class this season. Looking back, the Camrose Kodiaks downed Fort McMurray in 2008 in a series that went the full seven games. In 2009, the Grande Prairie Storm beat the Spruce Grove Saints in four straight games, and it has been Saints’ property since with wins over Fort Mac (4-3) in 2010 and Camrose (4-1) in 2011. With an overtime loss Tuesday, the three-peat hope comes to an end.
Having its corporate name attached to such high level, competitive hockey, in communities where their AJHL teams take centre sporting stage, is what draws Enerflex to the partnership.
“As the battle for the AJHL Enerflex Cup heats up, we congratulate each of the sixteen teams for their season-long hard work and determination’ said J. Blair Goertzen, President and CEO, Enerflex.
“We are proud supporters of the AJHL and we have found the five-year relationship has been mutually beneficial as we at Enerflex are continually inspired by the talent and commitment demonstrated by the student-athletes and their coaches. It is to the AJHL’s credit that opportunities for excellence in athletic and academic endeavours exist for many young Albertans,” he added.
So building strong hockey teams, strong leaders with an emphasis on education, and thus strong communities – that has been the mutual benefit of the partnership.
“Over the past three decades the Canadian energy industry, and all the people associated with it in communities across western Canada, have helped shape the success of Enerflex.” says Goertzen.
“We welcome the opportunity to support the youth in these communities capitalize on their athletic and academic abilities as they participate in a great Canadian tradition and we are very pleased to be involved with the Alberta Junior Hockey League.”
Enerflex is a leading supplier of products and services to the global oil and gas production industry. Enerflex’s core expertise lies between the wellhead and the pipeline.
Headquartered in Calgary, Enerflex has approximately 2,700 employees and subsidiary interests in affiliates and joint-ventures operated in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, the United States, Germany, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The on-ice battle for this year’s Enerflex Cup gets underway Friday and Saturday in Brooks at 7pm.
ENERFLEX CUP SCHEDULE
Game 1 – Friday, April 6 @ Brooks 7:00PM
Game 2 – Saturday, April 7 @ Brooks 7:00PM
Game 3 – Monday, April 9 @ Ft.McMurray 8:00PM
Game 4 – Tuesday, April 10 @ Ft.McMurray 8:00PM
Game 5 – Thursday, April 12 @ Brooks 7:00PM*
Game 6 – Saturday, April 14 @ Ft.McMurray 8:00PM*
Game 7 – Monday, April 16 @ Brooks 7:00PM*