Uber rides with MLSE

Who: Uber Canada and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

What: A new three-year partnership making Uber Eats the official meal delivery app of the four MLSE teams (Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Argonauts). Uber also becomes the “exclusive” ride-share provider to the MLSE venues Scotiabank Arena and BMO Field.

Wait, “exclusive” ride share provider? So I can’t take a Lyft to the Raptors game? Turns out, that’s more of a marketing and branding designation. “We welcome fans to choose the transportation that best suits them for getting to and from the venues safely,” says an Uber spokesperson.

Got it. What else?: MLSE and Uber are marking the new partnership with a new ad campaign featuring the Leafs’ Nazem Kadri and the Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas using the two services on game night. The campaign currently features three spots: “Nazem’s Houseguest,” “Game Day” and “Ordering In.”

Where: The ads began running on Sportsnet on Dec. 17, targeted to Uber/Uber Eats’ 12 Canadian markets. They will also air on the Scotiabank Arena billboard on Toronto’s Bremner Boulevard until the end of the season. The campaign is expected to garner 90 million impressions.

Also noteworthy: This is the first time that Uber and Uber Eats have ever collaborated on a marketing initiative. According to Uber, the company sees “delivery spikes” on game nights, with burgers, chicken tenders and pad thai the most ordered items.

Okay, just one more question: One spot shows Jonas and Nazem watching the game together, but which game, exactly, are they watching? Must be Monday Night Football.

Chris Powell