What do you get for the artists who really seem to have everything? The team at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) figured it out and have become the masters of gifting strategy for artists that play at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Check out some of their home run gifts below.
Saddle Up, Shania
Last June, MLSE gifted the one and only Shania Twain with a saddle from Pleasant Ridge Saddlery, with a customized inscription: “I’m on my way,” which is what “Shania” means in the Ojibwa Indian language, according to Abby Albino, MLSE Communications Manager. “The saddle represents her love of horses and acts as an ode to her upbringing,” she added.
Hotline Ping… Pong Table…
Before his Ping Pong match with Reggie Miller at the NBA All Star Game in February, MLSE gifted the rapper and known ping pong enthusiast with a custom ping pong table and paddles decorated with the signature owl OVO logo. “Drake loved the gift and started playing immediately backstage,” said Abby.
Stevie’s New Harmonica
When Stevie Wonder played at Air Canada Centre last fall, MLSE gifted him with a Seydel Chromatic De Luxe harmonica in the tune of C with a custom Canadian Maple Box with a message written in Braille. “Stevie is a big fan of Seydel Harmonicas,” said Abby. The message says: “Thank you Stevie. Your voice continues to knock us off our feet. You’re a true living legend and it’s our honor to host you at Air Canada Centre once again!”
Spin that Cat-Scratch Record
MLSE’s gift for Ed Sheeran last June was not really made for humans. The customized cat-scratch record, sourced from a Crosley record player and decorated in-house with case stickers influenced by Ed’s tattoos, is, yes, for a cat. Sheeran’s cat, Graham, is quite popular on social media. “[He] happens to have +80,000 Twitter followers…and he’s a cat,” said Abby.
I wanna be a rock star pic.twitter.com/uUEawSlVim
— Graham The Kitten (@GrahamShizza) March 17, 2014
GG Imagine Dragons
It may come as a surprise that the guys of Imagine Dragons are huge League of Legends fans. They even worked with Riot Games to release a single “Warriors” at the 2014 World Championship. With this in mind, MLSE hit up local artist Kevin Briones to transform each band member into League of Legends characters when they played at Air Canada Centre last July. “The band was completely blown away by the artwork and even said, ‘look how badass we look!'” Abby said.
Not Your Average Sneakerhead
Kevin Hart is a known sneaker fan. The comedian reportedly has 500+ pairs of shoes and just launched his own cross-training shoe with Nike. To help keep the shoes nice and shiny, MLSE gifted Kevin with a custom shoe box with images of Kevin’s family, his hometown of Philadelphia, and, of course, of Toronto. The box also features his motivational hashtag #HustleHart.
It’s All Going to the Dogs
MLSE combined two of Ariana Grande’s favorite things for this gift: her dogs and Harry Potter. The company gifted Ari with six custom designed dog costumes inspired by Harry Potter garb, complete with monogrammed capes for Coco, Toulouse, Ophelia, Fawkes, Cinnamon, Sirius and Strauss (two of which are named after Harry Potter characters).