Connor Bedard is big business for the Western Hockey League
Connor Bedard has been taking the hockey world by storm, selling out multiple games on the Regina Pats Alberta road trip, but has the Western Hockey League (WHL) reckoned with his impact?
“If you were to look at the overall contribution that he's making, to me, it would be in the millions of dollars,” said Edwards School of Business' Dean Keith Willoughby.
That added revenue comes through enhanced ticket sales, which in turn creates more money in parking, merchandise, concessions sales and other revenue streams, says Willoughby.
Bedard sold out the Saddledome last Wednesday, bringing in over 16,000 fans.
To put that into perspective — the Calgary Flames had only sold out the Saddledome four times prior to that.
On Friday, he sold out a game in Lethbridge forcing the club to start selling standing room-only tickets, and on Saturday packed Medicine Hat’s Arena with over 6,100 fans.
“There's a tremendous impact that Connor Bedard provides, obviously to the Western Hockey League, and more specifically to the Regina Pats,” Willoughby said.
His fame has built off his success at the nationally televised World Junior Championship, where he helped Team Canada capture a gold medal. He is a projected number one pick for the 2023 NHL Draft, creating a buzz fans want to see, according to CKM Sports Management agent Cliff Mander.
“He's getting obviously an awful amount of notoriety and I think something he's experiencing that he's going to remember for the rest of his life.”
Mander represents young NHL prospects and he says there could have been more done to maximize the monetization of the young superstar.
“I think there's definitely money still left on the table,” said Mander. “There's definitely opportunities for a player like him, no matter his age, whether it's cars, insurance, food, you name it. He's quite a large brand already.”
According to Mander, NHL players can make in the millions of dollars in endorsement deals, which Bedard could be in line for with the notoriety he is creating for himself in the WHL. Bedard is allowed endorsement deals right now.
Mander wants to see the governing body for the WHL, the Canadian Hockey League, do more to help players earn endorsements.
“I think this is a new conversation where there's a next level of marketing,” said Mander. “There's a next level of endorsements and financial rewards obviously for the player and their families that the leagues I think just have to acknowledge and get ahead of it.”
Bedard signed a Western Hockey League standard player agreement contract, which provides him with league exposure, and a fully guaranteed scholarship along with many other perks.
Mander argues Bedard’s value to the league is much more.
“I would say $1.5M,” he said.
After seeing the 17-year-old Bedard help many franchises increase revenue where he played, Mander says the next Bedard might have some leverage to gain a piece of the pie.
“The onus is on the league and the team to acknowledge that, and in special circumstances like this, and that they're open to it” said Mander. “Have those conversations with the players' representation and get ahead of it.”
Bedard and the Pats come to Saskatoon to take on the Blades March 19th.
Saskatoon Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Military under fire as thousands of troops face lost cost-of-living allowance
The Canadian Armed Forces is under fire for its plan to cut thousands of troops off a cost-of-living allowance without much notice.
Twitter: Parts of source code leaked online
Some parts of Twitter's source code -- the fundamental computer code on which the social network runs -- were leaked online, the social media company said in a legal filing on Sunday.
Court hearing for Prince Harry and Elton John's privacy case against U.K. publisher
The first hearing in a lawsuit brought by Prince Harry, singer Elton John and other high profile figures against the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper over alleged phone-tapping and other breaches of privacy, is due to begin on Monday.
South Korea says North Korea test-fired another missile
South Korea's military says it detected North Korea firing at least one ballistic missile toward the sea off its eastern coast, adding to a recent flurry in weapons tests as the United States steps up its military exercises with the South to counter the North's growing threat.
Netanyahu fires defence minister for urging halt to overhaul
Tens of thousands of Israelis poured into the streets of cities across the country on Sunday night in a spontaneous outburst of anger after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abruptly fired his defence minister for challenging the Israeli leader's judicial overhaul plan.
Is 'David' porn? See for yourself, Italians ask Florida parents
The Florence museum housing Michelangelo's Renaissance masterpiece the 'David' invited parents and students from a Florida charter school to visit after complaints about a lesson featuring the statue forced the principal to resign.
Singh 'not satisfied' with confidence-and-supply agreement
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he's 'not satisfied' with his party's confidence-and-supply agreement with the Liberals — signed a year ago this week — because it's shown him he could do a better job running the country than the current government.
Ancient Egypt excavation uncovers 2,000 mummified ram heads at Abydos
At least 2,000 mummified ram heads dating from the Ptolemaic period and a palatial Old Kingdom structure have been uncovered at the temple of Ramses II in the ancient city of Abydos in southern Egypt, antiquities officials said on Saturday.
Ukraine demands emergency UN meeting over Putin nuclear plan
Ukraine's government on Sunday called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to 'counter the Kremlin's nuclear blackmail' after Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed plans to station tactical atomic weapons in Belarus. One Ukrainian official said that Russia 'took Belarus as a nuclear hostage.'
Sask. village loses arena in late night 'inferno'
The Village of Liberty is grieving the loss of its rink after it fell victim to a late night 'inferno' over the weekend.
'Be prepared to slow down': Construction on Highway 6 bridge in Regina set to begin
Construction efforts are expected to begin on the south section of Regina's Ring Road.
'Play with Your Food': Board game charitable event overachieves in raising money for Carmichael Outreach
Everyone loves a good board game night with friends. However, for a group of enthusiasts in Regina, it's become so much more.
'The next generation of climate champions': Conservation-centered spring break activities inspiring youth
School might be out for spring break for many Manitoba students, but that isn't stopping them from learning about important climate issues.
‘When are we going to see action?’ The changes needed for Manitoba’s cannabis rules
Nearly five years after the legalization of marijuana in Canada, one local cannabis retailer feels Manitoba should be more proactive and flexible when it comes to regulating pot sales in our province.
'Vinyl's actually better': Manitoba Music and Record Sale returns
Throngs of physical media collectors descended on the Caboto Centre Sunday afternoon for the 2023 Manitoba Music and Record Sale.
Big final weekend for amateur boxers, sledge hockey players in Calgary
The Calgary Scorpions sledge hockey team were victorious in their gold medal match against Team BC at the Western Canadian Sledge Hockey Tournament with a 4-0 win at Winsport Sunday.
Calgary's Buffalo Wild Wings locations shut their doors
Right in the middle of March Madness, Buffalo Wild Wings shuttered its doors Sunday.
KLM flight en route to Calgary following detour back to Amsterdam due to unruly passenger
A KLM flight bound for Calgary was delayed Sunday morning when an unruly passenger forced the airline to return to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
Fire damages storage building where non-profit that helps homeless Edmontonians stores its supplies
A fire damaged a storage building on 104 Street early Saturday morning. Water Warriors – a charity that hands out water, food and clothing – is worried its supplies were damaged.
What you need to know about the regimental funeral Monday
The procession is scheduled to leave the Alberta Legislature grounds toward Rogers Place at approximately 11:45 a.m.
Two-time organ recipient designs Green Shirt Day logo years after Humboldt bus crash
April 7 is Green Shirt Day, which also marks the anniversary of Logan Boulet's death. Boulet, who was involved in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash five years ago, signed up to be an organ donor just weeks before the crash. Today, Green Shirt Day is meant to promote organ donor awareness and registration across Canada.
Teen dead after 'unprovoked' stabbing at Toronto subway station
Police have identified a teenager who died after being stabbed in an ‘unprovoked’ attack at a Toronto subway station Saturday night, and have charged an adult male suspect with his murder.
Ontario woman's lost wedding dress found by thrift store volunteer after 'long shot' search
After making a 'long shot' plea to the public this weekend, a woman in southern Ontario has found her lost wedding dress, mistakenly donated by her father earlier this year.
Nearly 40 TTC routes changed today. Here’s what you need to know:
TTC riders may have to wait a bit longer for a bus, streetcar or subway starting Sunday.
One person dead after fire in Hull apartment that lacked working smoke alarms
Gatineau firefighters are reminding residents about the importance of smoke detectors after a fatal fire in the Hull sector early Sunday morning.
Here's a look at eight things that will cost more in Ottawa starting April 1
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at eight things that will cost you more in Ottawa starting April 1.
Talks continue ahead of strike deadline for education workers at Carleton University
The union representing contract instructors and graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants is threatening to go on strike Monday if a deal is not reached with Carleton University.
Nanny who was fired after cancer diagnosis awarded $45K in B.C. discrimination case
A temporary foreign worker from the Philippines who was fired from her job as a caregiver after a cancer diagnosis has been awarded over $45,000 by the BC Human Rights Tribunal.
Downtown Eastside crash sends 3 pedestrians to hospital
Three people were hospitalized after being hit by a car in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside Saturday evening, according to authorities.
2 seriously injured in 'targeted' Chilliwack shooting: RCMP
Two people were found with "multiple gunshot wounds" in Chilliwack Saturday, after a shooting police say may have been gang-related.
Montreal police confirm fifth body found in rubble of historic building fire
Montreal police say a fifth body has been extracted from the rubble of a heritage building that caught fire nine days ago, leaving two others still missing.
Nine-year-old girl succumbs to injuries after snow fort accident
A nine-year-old girl has died after a snow fort collapsed Sunday in the woods behind a Saint-Ubalde home, in the Portneuf RCM.
Veteran bodybuilder Roy Callender combines personal fitness and AI in workout app
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Roy Callender was at the top of the bodybuilding world. Now, at 78, he's taking on a new challenge: he's the cofounder of RC3, a fitness app that uses AI to give feedback on your workout.
Vancouver Island farmers struggle to deal with threatened elk species
Farmers in the Cowichan Valley are losing crops and dealing with property and field damage caused by Roosevelt Elk, which have become a regular fixture on some farms in the area.
Victoria police say repeat offender wanted again
Victoria police are once again looking for William Watts, who they describe as "a high risk to reoffend."
Lack of staff leads to more BC Ferries cancellations
BC Ferries cancelled several sailings because of a lack of crew Saturday, including two trips between Greater Victoria and the Lower Mainland.
Messy mix of snow, ice pellets and rain Sunday into Monday
A low-pressure system moving up the coastline of Maine will cross Nova Scotia Sunday into early Monday morning, bringing a mix of snow, ice pellets and rain.
Emergency alert issued for woman with handgun in Indian Brook, N.S.: RCMP
RCMP in Nova Scotia have issued an emergency alert to warn the public of what they call “a dangerous female with a handgun” in Indian Brook.
HMCS Montreal departs Halifax for Indo-Pacific operation
A Royal Canadian Navy frigate departed Halifax today as part of the federal government's wider strategy of boosting its presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Northern resources, the highlight of Ontario’s budget
Continuing to put the region's critical mineral supply in the spotlight, northern Ontario and its critical mineral deposits are front and centre in the provincial government's 2023 budget.
Risk of a hard landing for Canadian economy is up, former Bank of Canada governor says
Former Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz says Canada’s economy is at a greater risk of a 'hard landing' — a rapid economic slowdown following a period of growth and approaching a recession.
Hwy. 17 partially closed north of the Sault due to a commercial motor vehicle crash
A crash involving a commercial vehicle north of the Sault has completely closed Highway 17 from Highway 101 East in Wawa, Ont. to Frater Road before noon Sunday, the eastbound lane reopened around 7p.m.
London police investigating 'suspicious death'
NEW I Police in London, Ont. have launched an investigation following the discovery of a deceased man in the south end of the city on Saturday afternoon.
2 dogs rescued, tenants briefly displaced after early morning apartment fire
Residents of a central London, Ont. apartment were temporarily displaced from their units and were kept warm inside a city bus after a fire broke out early Sunday morning.
London Knights' coach sees milestone victory
Saturday night was a milestone victory for London Knights' Coach Dale Hunter. The Knights' 6-3 win over the Windsor Spitfires was Hunter’s 900th career win as an Ontario Hockey League coach.