Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors pick up BlackBerry as their official device

Toronto Maple Leafs
By Simon Sage on 25 Jun 2013 05:06 pm EDT

BlackBerry and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment announced today that the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL, the Raptors in the NBA, and the Marlies (another hockey team) are all adopting BlackBerry as their official smartphone. Obviously this means that we'll see a bunch of marketing around the teams, but it will also mean plenty of apps for fans and some BBM Channels. It looks like the Channels are already live - C000E8336 for the Raptors and C000A8B9C for the Leafs.

It's worth noting that major service providers Rogers and Bell jointly own MLSE, so this is a pretty solid fit. The funny thing is, Rogers also owns the Blue Jays, who are already very comfortable with their BlackBerry sponsorship. After talking with BlackBerry, it sounds like the arrangement was made more directly with MLSE and that the Rogers/Bell connection was really just the icing on the cake.  That said, don't expect TELUS to be shouldered out of anything because of vertical integration issues. Likewise, the kind of content we're expecting, like being able to hear from players in between periods, likely won't have any geographic restrictions. The agreement is for the next three years, and we should start seeing the content from the partnership becoming available in the late summer. 

The full press release is below. Any Raptors or Leafs fans in the house? 


Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment (MLSE) announced today that BlackBerry® will be the Official Mobile Computing Partner of the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA) and Toronto Marlies (AHL). Through the marketing relationship, the iconic BlackBerry brand will be featured prominently in andaround Air Canada Centre, and BlackBerry will collaborate with MLSE to develop a range of new platforms that will enable teams to connect with fans by sharing information and updates. With the future release of fan applications for BlackBerry® 10 smartphones and the development of a channel on BlackBerry® Messenger (a BBM™ Channel) hosted by Leafs and Raptors personalities, fans will be able to enjoy real-time engagement experiences and preferred access as they follow their teams throughout the season.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with BlackBerry and this announcement means exciting things are in store for BlackBerry customers and Maple Leafs and Raptors fans everywhere,” said David Hopkinson, senior vice-president, global partnerships and marketing for MLSE. “We look forward to bringing unprecedented access and some amazing experiences to our fans through this partnership over the next several years.

BlackBerry and MLSE share some key values: passion, determination and leadership,” said Andrew MacLeod, managing director for Canada at BlackBerry. “Together with MLSE and fans across the country, we are celebrating the spirit of ambition through excellence in Canadian sports, and we are honoured to stand behind some of the nation’s favourite sports teams that display the indomitable spirit the BlackBerry brand represents.


Topics: Marketing Devices

Reader comments

Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors pick up BlackBerry as their official device


First! This is awesome ! Hopefully this will bring up the stock price in Friday!

Posted via CB10

For you non sports fans MLSE is the biggest and greatest sport franchise in Canada. Long live Leafs Nation

Go Leafs Go Go Leafs Go

Great News :)))

BlackBerry Z10- I use it for a phone and a computer :)

They are certainly the biggest... best.. well.. we'll wait until one of the teams wins anything substantial before we jump to that conclusion.

What I find interesting is that they are calling BlackBerry their " official computing partner" Not mobile partner, but computing. Isn't that what TH has been saying all year? That BBRY is more then a phone, it's mobile computing.

Boooo. Should have been the Senators. Go Sens Go!


In all honesty, great to see BBRY making all these good moves. Let's hope it all pays off.

Posted via CB10

I don't think the contract means the players have to choose BlackBerry, I believe it is just a general partnership. The executives that are most likely already using them

Posted via BlackBerry Z10

Go BB can someone GO. Can somoen just take a pose of each sport put them together and stick Berry logo on the jerseys.BB got that global appeal so the partnerships will be good keep up the work.

We sure do have a football team in Toronto. They're called the Toronto Argonauts and they are a football team in the Canadian Football League or CFL for short. They just won the Grey Cup (Canadian equivalent of the NFL's Super Bowl) last year as hosts of the 100th Grey Cup. Let's Go #Argos!! We also have a soccer team in Major League Soccer called Toronto FC or TFC for short.

Nice!!! Go #Leafs Go!!! :-D This news couldn't come at a better time. I wonder if this will mean we should expect to see a Maple Leafs / Raptors Insider BBM channel sometime in the near future. It's possible but who knows.

That's true for now. Last year's Grey Cup victory on home turf was amazing and it felt good as a citizen of Toronto to be able to witness the victory from start to finish on TV. From what the Leafs accomplished this season, they appear to be on the brink of starting something amazing. Making the playoffs for the first time since the NHL lockout in 04-05 was the first step despite this past season was a lockout shortened season.

Cribble, I would say a couple hundred units.

BlackBerry Z10- I use it for a phone and a computer :)

Yeah that's what I figured. Good exposure anyway. Leafs are right up there being the most profitable hockey team and one of the most successful sports franchises

Posted via CB10

The Leafs and Raptors will start winning soon.

BlackBerry Z10- I use it for a phone and a computer :)

This is great news. Blue Jays and BlackBerry partnership isn't too shabby either. Hopefully they can build on that with the Leafs and Raptors.

Posted via CB10

BBM Leafs channel C000A8B9C no posts as of yet. You can also follow my Leafs Fan channel.

Toronto Maple Leafs BBM Channel C0001D318

The raptors are so irrelevant, they are considering changing their name. Any sponsorship money spent on them is a complete waste.
40,000 people watch their games on TV. Essentially, no one watches them.
The only reason they exist, is, MLSE forces leaf fans to buy raps tickets in order to get leaf tickets.
I'd bet that's why BlackBerry sponsored them.
I wish the craptors would fold! ( or move, like half the nba teams) .

Many people would say the same about the entire CFL. The NBA and Raptors are a much more global sport and brand than the CFL or NHL.

How can any of what I said apply to the CFL?

I argued that the raps are considering a name change. None of the CFL teams are considering such a thing.

I commented on the raps TV ratings being so low, Cbc dropped them and they've been relegated to thescore. The CFL has the best average TV ratings of any sport in Canada. The only single sports show better is the leafs Saturday night on CBC. Average CFL ratings are 800,000/game compared to 40,000 for raptors/nba in canada. CFL draws 2 million viewers in the playoffs and 7 million for the grey cup.

I mentioned the raps being propped up by the leafs. No CFL team is being propped up by another league's team.

As of 2014, every CFL team will be profitable. Can the NBA say the same?

This is an extremely incorrect and uniformed comment. The raptors get 17,000 fans a game which puts them right I'm the middle of the league. Thats pretty good considering they suck. If you took the raptors vs leafs anywhere else other than Canada the raptors are going to be better know. Basketball is a world sport

Posted via BlackBerry Z10

Interesting considering the raptors had the 13th highest attendance record in the league last year.

Posted via CB10

Wow drummer that was some post. Obviously the Leafs are the reason BlackBerry wanted this.

BlackBerry Z10- I use it for a phone and a computer :)

Folks, the new Nasdaq Dissemination Numbers are out and the shorts have added ANOTHER 10 million shares bringing the total to 182.6 million shares shorted! For comparison, Apple has 2.57% of it's total shorted while Blackberry is at 37%! The shorts are the only thing keeping the stock price down and it's like a rubber band waiting to spring back in a massive squeeze. So, don't give up your shares when you read bs announcements like Deutsche Bank (they have an agenda) and their ridiculous assertion that Blackberry is an $8 stock. They are simply trying to get the price lower so the shorts can cover. At these levels the shorts are almost $2 billion in the hole! Don't give up your shares! Buy more at these levels!

Don't forget to add the 14 million short shares on the TSX as well.
That brings it to 197 million short shares.

Let's see if the shorts can top 250 million short shares.

Does that mean BlackBerry can under perform as well, and still make money? (go Oilers!)

Sent from the future on my Z10.

Excellent initiative. I wish every other NHL team did the same, most notably the Canadian ones.

And this is the way BlackBerry ought to keep moving! Next mile stone: move Chicago & Miami to Canada :)

[...] and new hero's coming:

Well, if it's good enough for the Laffs, then that's one strike against it. If we get reports of a guaranteed BB10 success only to see a total collapse and choke in the 3rd we'll know why

Oh come on, SOMEONE had to say it.

I'm a BlackBerry and a Habs fan. But if push came to shove...go les glorieux !

Posted via CB10

Co-incident Jim announces his Chairmanship and BlackBerry announces the Leafs partnetship.
Jim loves Hockey

Posted via CB10

Reenee Lmfao

That was funny lolololooololooolooL

BlackBerry Z10- I use it for a phone and a computer :)

And Leaf players will have their BB10 phones pre-loaded with a rotating wallpaper of the last 45 years Stanley Cup champions!

Posted via CB10

You can't quite say the same about the Toronto Argonauts football team. They just won another Grey Cup last year and they did it with home field advantage as hosts of the event.

Leafs suck? If you think that then you should take a look at TFC - the worst sports disaster in the history of mankind. Montreal is in its second season in the MLS and they have achieved more than TFC could ever dream of. TFC: Stop playing old English style soccer and start playing like the Italians or Spanish.

This advertising speaks volumes. I have friends that are only interested in BlackBerry because they can't get through a Jays game without seeing the brand name throughout the telecast or while actually attending the game. Probably the most effective way to get the word out on a consistent basis. Perfect!

Posted via CB10

I'd love to see BlackBerry keep it going and branch out to non Toronto based teams as well.

As an aside, I seem to remember Jose Bautista thanking BlackBerry for a free Z10 via Twitter. Seeing as he is posting Instagram videos of Kawasaki dancing I assume he doesn't use it. While I love BlackBerry and don't really care about Instagram I am starting to worry a bit about not having it. I also start to get worried when I hear adds on Sirius for companies offering apps for iOS, Android, and Windows 8 devices but no BlackBerry.

I joined both channels...just waiting for some content. Keep moving forward BlackBerry fans appreciate the effort.

Posted via CB10

I can't stand the Leafs but might pay a little more attention to them thanks to this, and, in Canada there are few brands that get more exposure than the Toronto Maple Leafs so being on board with them means you will have your name seen by millions and millions of people every week.

Great news for BlackBerry :)

Posted via CB10

Awesome, my favourite team (leafs) and my favourite phones are now partnered. Great news.

Kick'n it with my Z10. #BB10believe

I can just see the BlackBerry name advertised on the side of the Hockey boards at the ACC on Hockey Night in Canada

WOW, this will be Huge!!!!

Go Leafs Go

BlackBerry Z10- I use it for a phone and a computer :)

I bleed blue and white, love my Maple Leafs. Now there is more reason to be proud of owning a BlackBerry AND to cheer for the Leafs.

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Z10

The obvious choice of course, seeing how BlackBerry 10 is currently the best mobile platform out.
Great Choice Boyz in Blue...

Where is the official Jays BBM Channel??

And they can use a less blurry pic for the official Leafs Channel no?

Well... it is a nice hockey puck, bit expensive but nothing but the best for our non winning blue smurfs.... LOL

Posted via CB10

They picked a team that's on the up. Also with the biggest fan base and following not just in Toronto but the entire country.

Toronto Maple Leafs BBM Channel C0001D318

Nocturnal... at least the Leafs know how to make money :)))

BlackBerry Z10- I use it for a phone and a computer :)

Ya, ya, ya. We can all have good reasons for making fun of the Leafs. I get it. It doesn't change the fact that they could lose every game next season and still get the most viewers. This is the best way to get the BlackBerry Brand Name out. Bar None.

Posted via CB10

Looks like Terrance Ross of the Raptors is going to be giving out swag from the BlackBerry keep moving van tomorrow according to the @raptors twitter feed.

CB10- BlackBerry Z10

By now after all these years with no Stanley Cup it should be "Go Party Go" "Go Drinks Go" "Go Bartender Go"

Sorry most sports fans in Toronto that love the leafs I think realize its all about the party and going out for drinks more than anything else ;) Just an observation for 30yrs.

Auto Racing, Baseball, Hockey, Basketball awesome stuff... They should also consider adding the sport of Horse Racing to the portfolio. They'd make a great key Sponsor of the historic Queen's Plate Stakes, and Woodbine as a whole. Would be another opportunity for two great Canadian companies to work together.

Horse Racing? Seriously??? Not nearly the kind of reach or fans as say BaseBall, BasketBall, Soccer, Hockey, F1 or even Tennis.

Can't argue that but you'd be surprised of just how much reach it truly has.. plus I'm sure they could get a lot of bang for the buck.

Aside from stock prices etc this is a smart move for BlackBerry. Torontonians love their sports and its great exposure and could help possibly win back former BlackBerry users and bring in new ones. Good stuff BlackBerry.

If TO love their sports, why is it that they hardly support the Argos? Selective pride.

Posted via CB10 / Z10

Meh. It's not as if this news will make people worldwide buy BBs or invest in BBRY. The impact on financials and market share from this "news" will be nil.

I can see the leafs giving BB a fanbase bump, but the Raptors?
Seriously, they are one of the heels of the NBA. It been said in the past, the Raps are like a farm team. Just there for development of a few good players that go on to successful teams. The rest are garbage.

New leafs fan after visiting Toronto in March. Always nice to have brands that you do like associated with each other. Plus nice to have another channel (I only follow a few) to keep me on my BlackBerry a little longer.

Posted via CB10

Hmm, an unfinished phone for unfinished teams ... seems appropriate especially the when fans of all of them pay the highest prices in all catagories!

I don't think any of them will ever be in 1st or 2nd place. Just sayin!

Posted via CB10

Well BB will most likely never be #1 like Android and IOS because they simply dont have the app support, but I'd love to see them take the 3rd place from Microsoft. I detest that smug little prick Bill Gates.

This is rather surprising considering Android and IOS are world dominant. It's a nice step in the right direction for Blackberry to get the 3rd spot from Microsoft.

This is great step forward. Lets see what Blackberry can do against the MLB and Apple and the NBA with Android and Apple.

Kinda sad that Crackberry was almost 8 hrs late on posting this news vs MobileSyrup! That said good research by Simon on the links between the MLSE with Bell & Rogers and Rogers and Jays ... Toronto is getting a HUGE boost with this and I'm glad for it ... Love T-Dot!

The Jays have a 15-0 winning streak that I pray can transcend onto the Raptors as they just plainly suck! Every star we get we loose in less than 4/5yrs: Stoudamire, Carter, Bosch ... keeps happening.

They have that Barclay's deal too, the Brooklyn Nets arena with a BlackBerry lounge and prominent advertising. So, if the Raptor's also have BlackBerry advertisements, cool. More the better.

Posted via CB10

Leafs and raptors suck, mls is bush league soccer. Argos, who actually won something aren't even know in their own city.

Posted via CB10

So Blackberry can sponsor sports teams, but the can't update the Playbook!

I'd rather see the company quit this pathetic streak of bad advertising attempts and get back to spending their money on improving their products.