Dec 20, 2010, 10:00 ET from RBC

New and extended partnerships with hockey governing bodies

TORONTO, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ - To help hockey happen in communities across North America and continue building its brand momentum in both countries, RBC today announced an extended commitment with Hockey Canada and a new multi-year partnership with USA Hockey.

As the new financial services partner for USA Hockey, the national governing body of the sport of ice hockey in the United States, RBC's support of amateur hockey now spreads across North America. In addition to being an official sponsor of the United States Men's and Women's National teams, RBC is a premier partner of the 2011 World Junior Championship, 2012 Women's World Championship and the USA Pond Hockey Championship.

"USA Hockey is thrilled to partner with RBC, an organization with such a distinguished track record in helping to grow the game of hockey," said Dave Ogrean, executive director, USA Hockey. "RBC has helped build amateur sport for decades and we look forward to their support in encouraging, developing and advancing our sport in the years to come."

Building on a partnership that began more than 15 years ago, RBC will continue to be a premier partner of Hockey Canada and the official sponsor of Canada's national men's and women's teams. RBC will also remain as the title sponsor of the National Junior A Championship, the RBC Cup, the RBC Junior A Scholarship Award and the RBC Canadian Junior A Player of the Year Award.

"RBC Play Hockey is a strong and clear message of support for our game, and of faith in its future," said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. "Uniting governing bodies and hockey stars from across North America in a single grassroots cause is unprecedented. RBC was clearly listening to our call-to-action at the recent World Hockey Summit in Toronto and today they have given an enormous boost to grassroots hockey."

These partnerships will enhance the recently announced RBC Play Hockey program which will distribute $1,000,000 in grants to help grow the game across North America. Grant applications will be accepted at beginning on December 26, 2010. All applications will be reviewed by a selection of hockey experts. Successful applications will be awarded an RBC Play Hockey Grant of up to $25,000.

Eleven RBC Play Hockey Ambassadors, including Hockey Hall of Famers Steve Yzerman and Brian Leetch, and current stars Steven Stamkos, P.K. Subban, Greg Westlake and Jayna Hefford will help encourage Canadians and Americans to take up the sport. The ambassadors will share their passion and offer support to the countless volunteers engaged in growing the game at the grassroots level. For a complete list of RBC Play Hockey Ambassadors, visit

"We are pleased to expand our commitment to hockey right across North America and play a greater role in developing the game," said Jim Little, chief brand and communications officer, RBC. "Later this month, at the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, we will begin to connect and unify our passion for hockey in both nations. And through these strategic partnerships, RBC will continue to build our brand momentum, engage our clients and employees and have a positive, social impact on the big cities and small towns where hockey happens."

RBC is committed to helping hockey happen in communities across North America. As a premier partner of Hockey Canada and USA Hockey, RBC is an official sponsor of each country's men's and women's national teams, the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, Canada's National Junior A Championship - RBC Cup - and the Hockey Hall of Fame. RBC sponsors amateur sport in communities across North America, from grassroots programs to national sport associations and elite-level athletes.