Timbermen hanging tough, but they'll need help
The Nanaimo Timbermen say they're tough enough to handle a little off-season adversity.
The city's senior A Western Lacrosse Association club is looking for new financial backing after Coastal Windows ceased its corporate sponsorship last week, a month before training camp opens.
"The split is an amicable one and we're very happy to move on on our own…" said Farren Ferguson, the club's new director of operations. "The timing could have been better. It would have been a lot better if this would have happened a couple of months ago. We're in a time crunch, for sure."
The senior A Timbermen – along with their junior A counterparts, who are also affected – held a press conference Monday at Beban House to stress that they can continue to operate, but also to appeal to new sponsors.
Ferguson said it's "not a question at all" whether the Timbermen will be able to put a team on the floor for the 2014 season, and said there is no chance of the team relocating.
"This is the Nanaimo Timbermen. We're here to stay," he said.
Thanks to Coastal Windows and the Atlas Sports Group, Ferguson said the Timbermen have paid all their bills to date. He suggested the team is in a better position than it was when it joined the WLA as an expansion franchise in 2005. Ferguson said there are potential sponsorship deals in the works, and he will continue to pursue partnerships in the community as the club works toward short-term and long-term stability.
Earl Nicholson, general manager of the senior A T-men, said the club's finances haven't affected recruiting and that things have proceeded as usual on that front.
"This gives us a good opportunity to rebrand ourselves and rebuild…" added Kaleb Toth, the team's coach. "It's going to be really entertaining to watch us play and I truly believe if we can put a good product on the floor, the fans will come out."
Attendance may become more important this season as the T-men might have to rely more heavily on season ticket sales and gate receipts. It could mean added pressure on the teams to put a winning product on the floor.
"There's always pressure to win," said Jon Nicholson, general manager of the junior A Timbermen. "That's our goal whenever we step on the floor and it's going to be no different this year. We want to be in every game and we want to win."
LACROSSE TALK … For information about corporate sponsorship packages or season tickets, please visit www.tmen.ca. Ferguson can be reached at 250-619-7700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.