It's something that has been in the works ever since Harvest Meats opted not to re-negotiate their sponsorship deal of the Yorkton Midget AAA hockey club at the end of the 2013-14 SMAAAHL season.
The change was swift, with the club dropping the Harvest name and logo and opting, not for something new, but for something tried and true.
Welcome back a nationally known and respected name, the Yorkton Maulers. "Officially we are rebranding and we are adopting a new logo and at our marketing meeting on July 7 we're getting redesigned jerseys," mentioned Yorkton Rawtec Maulers President Glen Fafard following the Maulers AGM on Monday. "We'll be moving forward with the Mauler name and the reason we're moving forward is because the community in Yorkton and the midget AAA community in Canada coast-to-coast, as well as the Junior leagues, recognize the name Maulers.
"They're familiar with it so rebranding is 90% done for us. Everybody is going to relate to the new name even though the spelling is different as the name 'Maulers' is synonymous with this club."
With a new name and new look comes a new main sponsor. Taking over the reins from Harvest Meats will be Rawtec Consulting (www.rawtec.com). Rawtec, who had previously assisted the Yorkton Harvest, now Maulers, in designing their webpage, is now the main sponsor of the hockey club, dedicating 50-thousand dollars over the next five years.
In addition to the sponsorship money that Rawtec is putting forth to assist the Maulers will be the continued services that began last year. "We were really heavily involved last year from a web development standpoint, where we built a new website," mentioned Rawtec representative and Maulers assistant coach Kevin Rawlick, himself a native of Yorkton. "We put together a database for the marketing and for the camps and things like that and part of that will continue. We want to get some games online, do some of this digital stuff and things like that were we can have parents watch their kids play hockey on the internet if they can't make the game and stuff like that."
Rawlick also mentioned that the technological services are completely separate from the sponsorship money and that it too is a form of Rawtec's sponsorship of the Yorkton Maulers. "The one thing that we are really adamant about is that we didn't want to come in and say 'okay we're going to donate this but we're going to pull this much out in services'," mentioned Rawlick, continuing, "No, what we are doing is saying that it is two separate processes. One is we'll continue to take care of the website and continue to drive our technology, video, all that kind of stuff and second we know the team has operating costs that they needed to be paid and we wanted to make sure that from a budget standpoint that it was done.
"That being said it is a 50-thousand dollar commitment financially over the next five years as well as services."
The Yorkton Rawtec Maulers also named 80-year-old Wayne Henley the first lifetime member of the hockey club due to his outstanding services and dedication to the Maulers over the past 30-plus years.
Henley began volunteering/working for the Maulers in the 1980s before being named General Manager of the hockey club in 1987, a post he held until recently when health issues forced him away from the daily operations of the club.
Henley has been called the heart of the Maulers hockey club and the reason that it has been around for so long and no one knows better than new General Manager Garth Simms as to how valuable Wayne Henley has been to the Yorkton Maulers organization throughout the years."I would say that there is no one else within the organization that comes close to the contribution that has been made by Wayne," offered Simms. "He has no peers and he has no replacement so that's why we need to have him continue to be a part of the club.
"He is the pulse of the club. He is the driving force of the team for over 30 years and we wish we had him involved on an everyday basis. But we're going to take advantage at every opportunity to steal some of that knowledge that he has achieved over the years."
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