BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

August 17, 2015 11:00 ET

BMO Teams Up With Canada's Hoops Stars: Announces Endorsement Deals With Basketball Players Andrew Wiggins, Kyle Lowry, Kelly Olynyk, and Tyler Ennis

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 17, 2015) - BMO Financial Group today announced endorsement deals with four of the biggest names in Canadian hoops: NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves; Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors; Kelly Olynyk of the Boston Celtics; and Tyler Ennis of the Milwaukee Bucks.

The endorsements enhance BMO's sponsorship of basketball as it continues to develop the sport in Canada at the grassroots level.

"BMO has a longstanding commitment to supporting sport in communities across Canada. The partnerships with Andrew, Kyle, Kelly and Tyler are an evolution that fits well with our brand platform, bringing a human touch to everything we do," said Connie Stefankiewicz, Chief Marketing Officer, BMO Financial Group. "Sport is inspirational, with individuals working together as part of a team. We're excited to welcome these outstanding ambassadors of the game to the BMO team."

The first step began yesterday, Sunday, August 16, where the stars led a youth basketball clinic at the Air Canada Centre consisting of 50 players from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Wiggins, Lowry, Olynyk, and Ennis led the players through development drills to improve their teamwork and fundamentals.

"I am honoured to be teaming with a prestigious Canadian organization committed to the game I love," said Mr. Wiggins. "Without important mentors and people who've supported me - coaches, community groups and sponsors - I would never have had the opportunities to develop my abilities. I want other young Canadians to have the chance to enjoy playing the game the way I do."

The clinic included a special connection: the majority of young players were drawn from four areas in the GTA related to each star. Andrew Wiggins played in Vaughan throughout his childhood and invited the Vaughan Basketball Association. Kyle Lowry leads the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre and invited the downtown club, the Toronto Lords. Kelly Olynyk played in Scarborough while living in Toronto and invited the Scarborough Basketball Association. Tyler Ennis played in Brampton as a youth and invited the CIA Bounce.

"Toronto is my adopted home and I jumped at the opportunity to give back to the kids playing the game in this great city," said Mr. Lowry. "Partnering with BMO is another way for me to show Canadians how much basketball in this country matters to me."

The growth of basketball in Canada has been marked in the last five years. According to NBA Canada, 4 million Canadians play the game with nearly one-in-two (42 per cent) Canadians aged 12-17 years old. Canada's growth in the sport has been most on display in the NCAA where 105 Canadians suited up for NCAA Division I schools last year, an increase of 50 per cent from five years ago.

BMO is the team sponsor of the Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks, the premier sponsor for TFC and Montreal Impact of the MLS, as well as a sponsor for a number of other major sporting leagues events in Canada, including the Nations Cup, and a number of Canada's largest marathons.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of approximately $633 billion as of April 30, 2015, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

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