NHL Seattle has named Symetra Life Insurance Company as the first founding partner and sponsor of the franchise and its new state-of-the-art arena.

The Symetra brand will benefit from prominent brand exposure throughout the new arena, which is currently being built on the site of Seattle’s old KeyArena. The deal also covers the Northgate Ice Centre practice arena.

Symetra will also take on title sponsorship rights to one of the premium clubs inside the arena, which will have a capacity of 17,400 for ice hockey games.

As part of the agreement, Symetra will work with NHL Seattle and Oak View Group on programmes that will be designed to leave a lasting and positive impact on the local community, as well as joint philanthropic initiatives.

Margaret Meister, chief executive of Symetra, said: “The New Arena at Seattle Center will transform the face of sports and entertainment in the Pacific Northwest and we’re pleased to be first to support these efforts.

“Our partnership with OVG and NHL Seattle will help us reach our customers while giving us a great platform to elevate Symetra’s brand awareness. Our home is in the Puget Sound region, and we are pleased to partner with organisations that have a clear connection to our community and align with our dedication to those we service.”

NHL Seattle is due to begin playing in 2021. In April, it emerged that the team’s new arena is scheduled to open by mid-2021, later than planned. The delay is unlikely to affect the franchise’s first season.

The arena broke ground on December 5 and had initially been scheduled to cost under $600m (£471m/€527m). Reports in April claimed the project cost has now risen to $900m.

Image: NHL Seattle