By Dwayne Tingley
The London Lightning will celebrate their long-time successful relationship with Oxford Dodge, a full-service dealership on Hyde Park Road.
The National Basketball League of Canada team will hold Oxford Dodge Night on Saturday, Feb. 1, when the Lightning host the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans at Budweiser Gardens.
Oxford Dodge has been a supporter of the Lightning for several years and the company's presence has been very visible. The dealership provides players with three vans, which are colorfully wrapped in Lightning and Oxford advertisements.
The players use the vans to get around town for practices, games, community events, recreation, shopping and running errands. The vans have helped raise the profile of professional basketball in London and the surrounding area.
Jake Beckett, the sales and marketing co-ordinator of the Lightning, said Oxford Dodge has always worked closely with the team, including giving fans an opportunity to win a new Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler vehicle in its Shoot 2 Win contest every year.
The Lightning pick a fan, who has registered, at random every year. The selected fans has to knock down five free throws in 60 seconds in order to be registered. If they hit the five free throws then they get two tickets to the last home game of the regular season and a swag bag from Oxford Dodge.
During the last game, all winners from the season will have their names placed in a hat. One will have his or her name drawn. The lucky fan will have a chance to shoot a layup, free thrown, three-pointer and a half-court shot. If every shot is made, the fan will win a 2020 Jeep Commander Rubicon.
Oxford Dodge's new dealership features three buildings – a 42,000 square-foot main showroom, a 17,000 square foot body shop and a 3,000 square-fppt mobility showroom.
"As far as the importance of sponsorships and partnerships for NBL of Canada teams go, I think they are all important," Beckett said.
"We tend to feature the big ones like Oxford Dodge for the Lightning, but they're all really important," he continued. "We're fortunate to have a large enough city and a venue downtown where we can take advantage of a great range of potential partners from big time corporations to thriving mom and pop businesses."