Normally, I'm 100% against hockey teams representing other sports franchises because they are their own brand. They should not be supporting another team's brand unless there is a significant reason to do so. The Regina Pats are the highest level of hockey in Saskatchewan's largest city, so it's hard to understand why, at first glance, they would promote a professional baseball team hundreds of miles away.
In their release about the promotion, the Pats made sure to highlight that "Canada's oldest junior hockey team" was joining forces with Canada's only major professional baseball team, and the jerseys came with the Blue Jays' approval in their final design. I can honestly say that I wasn't holding out hope that this merger between two sports was anything more than a "sell tickets" idea.
The Regina Pats looked like Blue Jays on the ice in their uniforms.
At this point, you might saying to yourself, "Teebz, I thought you said this promotional jersey night was different." The Pats are auctioning off their Blue Jays jerseys to help raise funds for the Jays Care Foundation. The Jays Care Foundation will, in turn, "use funds raised through the auction to create opportunities for at-risk children and youth across the country," according to Andrew Miller, Executive Vice President, Business Operations, Toronto Blue Jays.
That, readers, is an excellent cause, and one I can support despite my apprehensions about cross-sport promotions. At-risk youth certainly need a little help when it comes to their situations and lives, and to see the Pats and Blue Jays helping this segment of the population find a better way to use their time and energy is a great initiative. While I would like to see these funds used in Regina and Saskatchewan for local initiatives, helping kids anywhere across this country is a solid investment in the future.
Some went home with these promotional jerseys. More went home with autographs from Ezequiel Carrera. Everyone but the Hitmen left the rink with a win. In the end, though, many more kids will win thanks to the money raised by the Regina Pats and Toronto Blue Jays. While cross-sport promotions are entirely negative in my books, helping others is a major positive. Because of this, these jerseys score well with me, and the money raised is going to a very good organization who does an amazing job helping others.
That's truly Canadian, eh?
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!