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It’s the Montana’s Brier starting in 2024 in Regina

Montana’s BBQ and Bar named as title sponsor for Canadian men’s curling championship, starting in Regina next year

REGINA - When the Brier is held in Regina next year, it will have a brand new title sponsor.

Montana’s BBQ and Bar was unveiled as the new title sponsor for Canada’s men’s curling championship. The event at Brandt Centre next March 1 to 10, 2024 will be the first known as the Montana’s Brier.

The news was confirmed at Curling Canada’s announcement at the Montana’s location on Rochdale Avenue. Curling fans can expect to see the brown and red Montana’s branding and crests in abundance next year in Regina for what will be the 95th edition of the Brier.

While all of the terms of the title sponsorship deal were not disclosed, what is confirmed is that it is a multiyear sponsorship with the ability to renew. 

Given the history of title sponsorships for the Brier, this new relationship with Montana’s has the potential to be a long one.

The Brier has had only four other title sponsors in its long history dating back to 1927: Macdonald Tobacco, Labatt Breweries, Nokia and Tim Hortons. 

After Tim Hortons announced last year they would be ending their long run as title sponsor, Curling Canada began the search for a new sponsor.

“We are pretty proud of the Brier and the brand that it is,” said Nolan Thiessen, Executive Director of Marketing for Curling Canada.

“We were excited to take it out to market and see what the market wanted for it because it had been a while. We’re pretty lucky that we’ve only had four partners in the first 94 additions of this event.”

Thiessen said they had gauged interest from about 75 different companies. It was evident early on in discussions with Montana’s that they were serious and wanted to get a deal done.

“They had a lot of passion to try and set up that deal with us,” said Thiessen, who also pointed to mutual values and interests. “It was the best offer for Curling Canada and for our sport.”

Montana’s has franchises across Canada and is best known for their ribs and barbecue-style food. The parties involved in the partnership see the potential for Montana’s to be a strong fit with the iconic Brier brand.

“It seemed like a little bit of a pipe dream to be taking over such a prestigious event,” said Yianni Fountas, Director of Marketing for Montana’s BBQ & Bar.

“The more we started discussing it, the more we saw overlaps in the demographics in the sport with our business and just the overall culture, and it fit like a glove. You know, just kind of bringing that down-to-earth personality of the sport into our restaurant and vice versa.”

In addition to the Montana’s branding on the ice, fans can expect to see their food offerings in the Brier Patch and elsewhere during the event.

“We built this around more than just a title sponsorship. We didn’t want to just throw our name on something and forgot about it. We’ve arranged our partnership to really be multifaceted,” said Fountas. “We are really focussing on the community engagement part, so starting to get involved in events like the Patch, getting involved with local curling clubs across the country, and just really starting to live and breathe curling as part of the Montana’s BBQ and Bar culture.”

Beyond the sponsor change, fans can still expect the same Brier experience. “It will look different out there on the ice, but the curling will be the same,” said Thiessen. 

“It’s like the Grey Cup on steroids,” said curler Ben Hebert about the Brier week. 

Hebert, who is from Regina and competed in the 2006 Brier looks forward to returning home to compete in the Montana’s Brier with the Brendan Bottcher team. That is one of three to prequalify for the 2024 Brier along with the Brad Gushue and Matt Dunstone teams. 

Hebert believes Montana’s will enjoy its partnership with the Brier. “I think it’s going to be nothing but upside once they actually get there… It’s the best sport in the country for my money, and I think they’re going to flourish with Curling Canada and the Brier.”

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