Outside of the United States, the Esso brand continues to be used. In Canada, the Imperial Oil company (TSX:IMO) provides Esso-brand products such as gasoline and diesel fuel at over 2,000 service stations. The brand is also used on home heating oil and aviation fuel, as well as service-station convenience stores and the Esso Extra 'points' program.
One of the ways Imperial Oil promotes the Esso brand in Canada is through sponsorship of hockey in various forms. Imperial Oil has been a sponsor of Canadian hockey broadcasting since the 1930s. When General Motors declined in 1936 to renew its 5-year sponsorship rights to radio broadcast of Saturday evening Toronto Maple Leafs home games, Imperial Oil stepped in, creating the Imperial Esso Hockey Broadcast. When the CBC's flagship sports broadcast, Hockey Night in Canada, debuted, Imperial Oil was a co-sponsor along with Molson's brewery.
Imperial has not been a continuous broadcast sponsor, having dropped out for a while in the late seventies (1976-1982), but most Canadian hockey fans have heard some variant on "Brought to you in part by Esso dealers, agents and distributors across Canada" on numerous Saturday nights. Esso is even responsible for the ongoing practice of selecting a hockey game's "three stars", which started as a promotional program for Imperial's "Three Star" gasoline.
Esso is affiliated not only with NHL hockey broadcasts, but also with all six Canadian NHL teams, sponsoring programs and awards nights with each club. There is also considerable sponsorships of junior and kids' hockey, including the 'Esso Medals and Certificates of Achievement' program through Hockey Canada. The feel-good awards include medals for most improved player, most dedicated player, and most sportsmanlike player on each registered1 team.
Imperial Oil also sponsors the 'Esso Theatre' at Toronto's Hockey Hall of Fame
. Included there is the 'Esso Wall of Champions' which honours recipients of an Esso Medal of Achievement who went on to success in the NHL
and Canadian National Women's team. Famous names on the wall include netminders Martin Brodeur
, Jose Theodore
, and Kim St. Pierre
and forwards Jarome Iginla
, Joe Thornton
, and Hayley Wickenheiser
- Teams may register at http://www.essomedals.com/