The Orillia Terriers Jr. C hockey club has helped to secure its future thanks to a five-year sponsorship deal with McLean & Dickey.
The team will now officially be known as the McLean & Dickey Orillia Terriers after the local insurance company's senior vice president of sales and marketing, Mike Holenski, inked a new deal with the team.
McLean & Dickey has supported the team since the rebirth of junior hockey in Orillia.
“The reason we wanted to become the lead sponsor was I myself have kids in hockey and I see how much the game has been missed during COVID. So, we thought McLean & Dickey could do more because we want to see the team do well,” Holenski said.
“We don’t want to see this team fold, and with the owner dumping in a lot of money into it we don’t want him to pull the plug because it’s hard to get these franchises. We want to help build a team that the community wants to come out and watch," Holenski told OrilliaMatters Wednesday.
Holenski has spent many years coaching with the Orillia Minor Hockey Association, which also motivates him to help ensure local players have a local junior team with which to continue chasing their dreams.
“For the young kids to have the opportunity to come out, watch, and know they have a place to play after their Grade 11 or 12 year is important. And to allow them to do it in front of a hometown crowd and have that hometown support is exciting,” he said.
Holenski says the five-year partnership will help the Terriers drum up more community support for sponsorships.
“It takes time to get more people out and to get more sponsorships, but once you do you can bring in more talent and become more competitive, and I’d really like to see this team win a championship,” he said.
Terriers owner Jamie Clarke says the partnership with McLean & Dickey works well because Holenski understands the importance of giving back to the community through the game of hockey.
“He gets it. Mike gets it from when he played junior hockey and from when his kids played hockey. Giving back to the community that got us to where we are in business and life is important,” Clarke said.
In the past, multiple local businesses have stepped up to be the lead sponsor of the Terriers, but until McLean & Dickey, the team had never had a long-term commitment from a lead sponsor. The commitment will help the Terriers become a better team on and off the ice, Clarke says.
“It helps us find better players, it takes the pressure off of myself and other people to know that we have money to run a proper training camp. If there is a player that we know we have to go sign in August, we know there is money there to make a commitment. It’s a good feeling,” he said.
“It’s been a tough go the last eight years that we’ve been here, but this helps us finally get toward a better financial future.”