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Bruins and Garden get small businesses into the game

The building the Bruins play in against the Coyotes Saturday afternoon will not be renamed “Bay State Cruise Company Garden” but virtually everything else at TD Garden will belong to the local company as the Bruins and TD Bank do their part in recognizing small businesses.

For the third consecutive year, the two business partners will team up for “TD Bank Small Business” games this season.

One local small business — Saturday it’s Bay State Cruise Company, on March 28 it’s Day’s Jewelers — will take over TD Bank’s considerable corporate presence at the Garden.

Any TD Bank logo or presence on dasher boards, video walls, concourse digital blades, and LED fixtures in the arena will flash the Bay State Cruise Company’s name and logo, and the company will have use of TD Bank’s corporate suite as well.


The impetus for the donation came out of an annual meeting between the bank and the team as one way to jointly make a “meaningful impact,” said Glen Thornborough, chief revenue officer for the Bruins.

The donation idea was the solution, and the partners believe in it.

“One, we want to support our partners, and two, we love to embrace the small business community as well,” said Thornborough. “We partner with hundreds of them through ticket campaigns, advertising campaigns, and other initiatives.

“We want to make it an opportunity not just for companies the size of TD, but companies of all sizes to come participate in some meaningful way.

“It’s a wonderful promotion for both us and them that small businesses can get into the building and take over the assets with the presence that TD Bank has in a very meaningful way.”

In the previous two seasons, the small businesses that “took over” TD Garden were Agawam Crossing Dental, Heritage Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Electric, and SunBug Solar.


MLS gets labor deal

With the season beginning next month, Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Association struck a tentative accord on a new labor agreement that would extend into the 2024 season and include at least one initiative that can be considered player-friendly.

Starting in 2023, when the league will have struck a new broadcasting rights deal, players will receive a portion of the new media revenue stream: Whatever portion of the new deal exceeds $100 million, 25 percent of it will go back to the players in salaries.

The annual spending allowance for each club will rise slightly each season, from the current $8.49 million to $11.64 million in 2024. The minimum salary for senior players will increase from $70,250 to $109,200. The number of charter flights per season will double from eight to 16.

At the starting line

Besides the launch of the XFL football league, this weekend marks the first games of a couple of other seasons with local ties.

The Boston Uprising click off their Overwatch (esports) season Sunday in New York City, where they will face the New York City Excelsior at 3 p.m. The brand-new Helix Esports Gaming Center at Patriot Place is hosting a watch party. Before the Uprising sit down to play, viewers can take in the London Spitfire vs. Paris Eternal match at 1. Doors open at noon.

For the first time, the Uprising will host matches this season, with a two-weekend slate — April 25-26 and June 27-28 — at the Boston Opera House.


The New England Free Jacks, the new local squad from Major League Rugby, will kick off their season on Sunday as well, against Rugby United New York. NESN will carry the game at 4 p.m. The Free Jacks’ home slate begins March 14 at Union Point Sports Complex in Weymouth with a match against the Houston SaberCats.

XFL announcers, by the way, will not shy away from speaking about betting lines on their broadcasts.

Social value

The Patriots did not reach their ultimate goal of another Super Bowl win, but they did place first on the NFL social media front during the regular season. According to Sports Business Journal and Zoomph, the Patriots generated $12.37 million in value to their sponsors with their social media posts this season, far ahead of the New Orleans Saints at $10.38 million. The Patriots posted factoids such as scores, predictions, and injury information with presenting sponsors on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Each of their 433 posts was worth an average of $28,600 . . . The disintegration of the Mets sale to investor Steven Cohen this week gave new life to the team’s reputation as the New York sports franchise with the most impressive collection of dysfunctional story lines. The Knicks had not reclaimed the title when this story went online.

Michael Silverman can be reached at michael.silverman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeSilvermanBB