Extended partnership to focus on building initiatives to grow the game of soccer in Canada and streamlining pathways for girls and women in the sport
TORONTO, June 22, 2022 /CNW/ - With the second half of the Toronto FC season underway, the club and BMO Financial Group (BMO) are proud to announce a 10-year renewal and expansion of their foundational partnership. This agreement ensures BMO is featured prominently on the Toronto FC kit and that the home of Toronto FC will continue to be named BMO Field. BMO Field will also proudly host matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup with Toronto being recently announced as a host city. As both organizations look ahead to the next decade, a key priority of Toronto FC and BMO at the grassroots and professional levels of soccer will be promoting equity in the sport and developing more avenues for women and girls to learn, play and coach.
"BMO has been a foundational partner of Toronto FC's since day one of the franchise's history and have played a pivotal role in the growth of the club, and its many successes, in those fifteen years," said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. "It is fitting that we announce a long-term renewal with BMO as we not only set our sights on delivering another championship for the city and our fans, but also a long-term ambition to grow the game and create opportunities for women and girls in soccer across the country. We are grateful to BMO for their continued support and excited about all that we will be able to accomplish together over the next ten years."
"BMO is proud to share more than 15 years of history with MLSE. This renewed partnership with Toronto FC demonstrates the strength of our commitment to the franchise and to increasing gender equity in soccer and beyond," says Cameron Fowler, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, BMO Financial Group. "Our Purpose is to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life and our commitment to an inclusive society drives us to partner with leading organizations like MLSE to create and expand programs that tackle barriers to inclusion."
Toronto FC has long invested in player development through the Academy and TFC II that trains and prepares top-tier talent at BMO Training Grounds for a professional career. BMO shares the club's passion for developing and growing young talent and continues to be a presenting partner of KickStart, an MLSE Foundation program also in association with Toronto Public Housing, which introduces youth to the game of soccer with a focus on physical literacy and fundamental skill development.
"We're thrilled to continue our partnership with BMO as one of our most vital supporters of Toronto FC for another ten seasons," said Jordan Vader, Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships at MLSE. "BMO's commitment to providing equity in the sport for girls and women through programs on and off the pitch reflects our own goals at MLSE, and the importance to reach more of our fans in different and exciting ways will be an integral part of our collaboration together."
BMO's investment in the KickStart program enables the foundation to provide equitable access and opportunity for youth, and for the first time, a portion of BMO's TFC Kickstart Program will be built and delivered specifically to self-identified girls and will feature women leaders in sport, ensuring a strong generation of women in soccer for years to come.
This season, KickStart provided valuable learning experiences to over 180 youth across seven locations and, in partnership with BMO, MLSE Foundation aims to augment its reach ever further over the next three years. Participants also receive opportunities to attend special events, including KickStart Girls Day: Presented by BMO at MLSE LaunchPad, focused on self-esteem and skill development as well as celebrating girls through sport.
Toronto FC's next match takes place tonight at BMO Field when the club takes on CF Montreal in the 2022 Canadian Championship Semi-Final.
SOURCE BMO Financial Group
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