Cineplex has scraped a deal to bring Sunday Night Football and the Super Bowl to its cinema theatres.
The company said Friday that a three-year sponsorship contract with the National Football League will begin Nov. 12 and be cognizant of as NFL Sundays at Cineplex.
Games will be broadcast live to 15 VIP spheres and then expand to 50 locations for the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, 2018.
“It’s no different than when we started oeuvre and some of the other things that we’ve done to create and bring a contrary demographic, a different group of people, into our theatres,” said Cineplex president Ellis Jacob, pointing to other divertissement events the chain has featured, including NHL and NBA games, the Olympics, and UFC and WWE events.
Travails at reinvention
Seven games leading up to the Super Bowl will be hosted in the adults-only VIP cinemas, which special attraction wider recliners and in-seat food and beverage service that covers beer, wine and spirits.
Jacob said it’s all part of Cineplex’s deeds to reinvent itself as “an entertainment destination” that is far more than honourable popcorn and Hollywood films.
Hence, a growing roster of “event-cinema” presents such as live opera and theatre broadcasts, as well as investments in the esports stand WorldGaming and various entertainment centres including the upcoming Topgolf venues, the eats-and-entertainment splash The Rec Room, and a relaunch of the Playdium arcades.
Weak summer of movies
An strikingly weak summer in movie profits didn’t help the bottom coordinate b arrange for, Jacob acknowledged, calling it “a hard year at the box office.”
“I wouldn’t fear because we’ve always had these cyclical events,” said Jacob, foretokening a bounce-back in the fourth quarter.
“This is part of our focus to try and balance that out in excess of a period of time. Because as we’ve seen with the Hollywood product, you’ve got high-mindedness periods and then you can basically run into some slow growth eras. (But) with the NFL, we are committing and getting three years worth of content so it’s not fellow I’m waiting for the next movie to come out.”
NFL Canada’s managing director David Thomson also saw an possibility to broaden the league’s audience, stating in a release that the partnership aims the next generation of fans, in part through online tournaments on Cineplex’s WorldGaming party line.
Tickets will be $5 and are available at participating VIP theatres in Abbotsford, B.C.; Coquitlam, B.C.; Vancouver; Edmonton; Saskatoon; Winnipeg; Kitchener, Ont.; London, Ont.; Markham, Ont.; Oakville, Ont.; Ottawa; Toronto; and Brossard, Que.