Stampede and high-speed unite

Telecommunication, networking, high-speed Internet and… calf roping? That may be the marketing tag used to help bring a Western Canadian institution into the twenty-first century.

The Calgary Stampede and Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. announced a multiyear sponsorship agreement this month that will see Bell supply all telecommunication services, plus financial sponsorship, to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo.

Although unwilling to discuss the exact financial support that Bell is handing over to the Stampede, Paul Healey, president of the western region for Bell Mobility, defined the contribution as “significant.”

“Our company, Bell and the Bell Globe Media companies… are going to be able to provide all forms of communication,” Healey said from his Calgary office. “That includes wireless, long distance, network infrastructure, satellite and other offerings as well. There will be a wide telecommunications capability that Bell will bring.”

The five-year sponsorship agreement designates Bell Canada as the Stampede’s first category-wide telecommunication sponsor and exclusive provider of related services, including high-speed Internet.

Because Bell is the “leading communications and convergence company in Canada,” Healey said the deal allows them to overcome most technical challenges that might come with implementing new technology at the Stampede.

Dan Sullivan, spokesperson for The Calgary Stampede, said that while the first thing they look for is a sponsor that can keep costs reasonable for patrons, the Bell partnership offers additional benefits.

“The technology side will be things that the average person won’t see, but in terms of a service perspective, we believe we will be able to serve our customers more efficiently by having everything in the same basket.”

Sullivan said the technology also adds value to the Stampede facilities.

“This is a year-round operation and we have about 1,500 events over the year,” he said. “Technology is an important aspect, because we can have anyone from the National Petroleum Show here to car shows and all kinds of consumer shows. When you talk about the implementation of telecommunications and video services, anything we can provide will enhance all of those events.”

The Calgary Stampede is at ; Bell Canada is at w