Brier gets new title sponsor ahead of 2024 event in Regina

Nolan Thiessen, Curling Canada executive director of marketing and fan experience speaks during a press conference where Curling Canada announces their title sponsor MontanaÕs BBQ and Grill ahead of 2024 Brier on Friday, September 15, 2023 in Regina. PHOTO BY KAYLE NEIS /Regina Leader-Post.

Taylor Shire, Regina Leader-Post

The Brier will have a new name in 2024.

Montana’s BBQ and Bar has been named the title sponsor of the national men’s curling championship, set to be played at the Brandt Centre in Regina from Mar. 1-10, 2024.

Curling Canada made the official announcement on Friday in Regina, ahead of next year’s event — now known as the Montana’s Brier — which will feature the top men’s curling teams from across the country.

“When Tim Hortons and us decided that it was the end of that partnership, it gave us the opportunity to go to market,” said Nolan Thiessen, executive director of marketing and fan experience with Curling Canada. “We took it to over 75 companies to gauge interest and really early on, it got serious with (Montana’s).

“The deal came together fairly quickly.”

It’s a multi-year partnership between Curling Canada and Montana’s, which is the fifth title sponsor in Brier history since the inaugural event in 1927. Montana’s joins Macdonald Tobacco, Labatt Breweries, Nokia and Tim Hortons as titler sponsors in Brier history.

“The opportunity for Montana’s, Canada’s home for BBQ, to be affiliated with a historic and quintessential Canadian event like the Brier is an honour,” Yianni Fountas, director of marketing for Montana’s said in a release. “We’re proud to be associated with the elite group of partners involved with Curling Canada’s Season of Champions and look forward to bringing our BBQ lifestyle to future events, supporting athletes at all levels and growing Canada’s game across the country.”

Three teams already have qualified to play in in the 2024 event including defending champion Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L. Team Brendan Bottcher of Calgary and Team Matt Dunstone of Winnipeg have also pre-qualified based on the 2022-23 Canadian Team Ranking System standings. 

The Saskatchewan representative will be determined at the SaskTel Tankard in Saskatoon, set to be played Jan. 30-Feb. 4.

Regina last hosted the Brier in 2018 when Gushue won the championship, going on to represent Canada at the World Men’s Curling Championship. Regina also hosted in 2006, 1992, 1976 and 1955.

“Curling in the prairies is just so synonymous,” said Thiessen, who has won three Brier titles in his career. “The fans are so knowledgable. When you’re playing and you’re out there and you make a good shot, they know.

“It’s just a natural fit for us to come back here lots.”