Mark Casey (seated left) of the Maltby Casey Investment Group and CIBC Wood Gundy signs to become the major corporate sponsor of the Amherst Ramblers of the Maritime Junior Hockey League. Looking on are team president Jim Henwood (seated right), coach and general manager Jim Bottomley and team captain Kody Orr.
AMHERST – A 15-year-wait has come to an end. the Amherst Ramblers have a major corporate sponsor.
The Maltby Casey Investment Group & CIBC Wood Gundy, with Renaissance Investments, were announced Thursday as the club’s first major corporate sponsor since 1997.
“You can’t put words to what this means for our hockey club,” team president Jim Henwood said. “When I took this on a couple of years ago I don’t have to tell you the position of the hockey club. This gives us stability and brings professionalism to the organization. Everything is up from here.”
The deal is for two years, but financial terms were not released.
The Maltby Casey Investment Group is a local team of investment professionals who operate the CIBC Wood Gundy office in Amherst and service clients throughout the Maritimes.
“We see this is as a win-win relationship for the team, the community and our business,” Mark Casey said. “We think the Ramblers are an institution in Amherst and we believe it’s a positive thing for our children playing minor hockey to have positive role models. The team has been around a long time and we want to make sure the team has the financial strength to carry on many more years.”
Casey and his partner, Stephen Maltby, are very excited about the sponsorship because they view it as a way to have a direct impact on the community, especially among the youth.
“For that reason we can’t think of a better place to contribute,” Casey said.
The sponsorship comes as the team is celebrating its 45th anniversary and is planning a celebration on Dec. 1.
“This will make it easy for us, but it doesn’t mean we’re going to go out and start buying a bunch of hockey players,” Henwood said. “We feel we already have a good hockey team right now. We can make it a little bit stronger.”
Henwood said the sponsorship will not mean an end to fundraising. The team, he said, is owned by the community and fundraising is a necessity.
Coach and general manager Jim Bottomley said the support of the Maltby Casey Group and CIBC Wood Gundy will allow the team to be competitive.
“From a coaching point of view it puts us on a pretty close to an equal playing field with other teams,” Bottomley said. “Having had the privilege of owning and running a hockey team in Halifax I know how important sponsorship is. This team has great community backing and great fan support. The last year and a half we’ve seen a lot of businesses step forward.”
Bottomley said sponsorship will allow the club to add some experience.
The Maltby and Casey names go back a long way in supporting Amherst organizations. Stephen’s father Roy has been a big supporter of hockey and little league baseball. He served as president of both the Ramblers and the Metro Valley Junior Hockey League – the predecessor to the MHL.
Stephen has been active at both the minor and junior levels as a coach, player, referee and sponsor of events and teams.
Casey’s father, Dan, is a longtime Amherst businessman and his uncle, Bill, is the former MP for Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley.
“We are very pleased to be able to assist the Ramblers in their operations,” Maltby said. “Our organization both locally and nationally believe in giving back to the communities where we make our living and we quietly support a large number of organizations.”