The Lloydminster Bandits junior B hockey club has reached a three year agreement with Classic Oilfield Ltd. to become the teams major sponsor heading into the 2015-16 season. The Bandits, who will now be renamed the Lloydminster Classic Oilfield Bandits, are the first team in the Northeastern Alberta Junior B Hockey League (NEAJBHL) to have a major sponsor in their name, are made the announcement last week in order to bring more recognition to the team.
“We wanted to try something a little bit different this year in regards to (making) our team a little more noticeable in the community,” said Bandits president Bart Prochera. “There is lots going on every year in hockey for every team, and it’s time for the Bandits to take a bigger step forward.”
Logo and uniform wise, the Bandits will leave everything the same for the upcoming season, but beyond that, a change in jerseys and possible a new logo could be on the horizon. Prochera said that the Bandit colours will remain in the future, so the change won’t be a drastic one, if any.
“Next year we will bring out a new logo and a new jersey style,” said Prochera. “But I think we will try and spruce it up a bit.”
Financial numbers were not disclosed, but the money earned through the sponsorship will help the hockey club in a season that, with an economic downturn and the Lloydminster Bobcats hosting the RBC Cup, is a little more challenging to generator sponsorships.
In the future the Bandits themselves would like to host the provincial junior B championships and western provincials as well, so the added sponsorship for the next three years will put the Bandits in a position to bid on those tournaments.
“If Lloydminster pursues that route of getting provincials, we want to have a team that’s going to be very noticeable and liked in the community, plus having a major sponsor to help them out.”
Sponsorship dollars will help the Bandits down the road for the next three years and will be the first time in the Bandits history that they will be adding a sponsor in their name.
Last season, the Bandits finished 20-13-3, losing in the second round of the playoffs. Shortly after the end of the season the Bandits announced that head coach Adam Andrew was given a new three year contract, meaning for at least the next three years, the Bandits have security in both coaching and sponsorship.