Meritus University Becomes First Online Educational Sponsor Of Toronto Professional Sports Teams

Fredericton, NB (May 28, 2009) - Meritus University has finalized an agreement with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) to be the official online university sponsor of four of Toronto’s professional sports teams. Meritus University, based in Fredericton, is a new online university offering undergraduate and master’s degrees in business and information technology.

The three-year agreement names Meritus as the official online educational sponsor of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Marlies and Toronto FC. Meritus will have advertising rights at Air Canada Centre as well as presence on the Leafs, Raptors, Marlies and Toronto FC web sites, and television spots on Leafs TV. Additionally, Meritus will be involved in MLSE’s many community outreach projects.

Currently, Meritus University, in conjunction with MLSE, is identifying educational-provider opportunities with other MLSE partner corporations, athletes and coaches. Additionally, per the terms of its agreement, Meritus will be the title sponsor of the Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni Association -- the largest alumni association in the National Hockey League.

“Meritus is an exciting, new university that demonstrates a developing trend toward online education for people willing and wanting to learn in an online environment,” said David Hopkinson, senior vice-president of corporate and community partnerships for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “We’re excited about our partnership with Meritus University and the opportunity to promote higher education and the values and virtues of lifelong learning with all of our fans.”

President of Meritus University, Dr. John Crossley said, "We are extremely pleased to be affiliated with an upstanding organization and its professional sports teams which are ingrained in Canadian culture." He added, “This creates a presence for Meritus and lets Canadians know we aim to become Canada’s preferred online university by making higher education accessible to working professionals everywhere."

Meritus University opened its doors to the public in September 2008 and brings together rigorous industry-relevant programs and the opportunity to learn from working faculty -- many of whom have influential roles with established Canadian employers.

With only 40 percent of Canadians continuing their education beyond the secondary level, there is an increasing demand for employees who hold post-secondary education in today’s workforce (Stats: comScore). Meritus University helps narrow this gap by offering accessible higher learning that is flexible and suited to a student’s work schedule.

Meritus University, which is based in Fredericton, N.B., is owned by Apollo Group, Inc. An educational provider for 30 years, Apollo Group provides academic access and opportunity to students through its subsidiaries: University of Phoenix, Institute for Professional Development, College for Financial Planning, Western International University, Insight Schools, Apollo Global and Meritus University. About Meritus University

Meritus University is Canada’s new, fully online university, offering business and information technology undergraduate and master’s degree programs for students worldwide. Meritus University provides a global, mobile, innovative, and industry-relevant educational format, giving students flexible options that fit today’s global workplace and suit today’s diverse lifestyle. For more information about Meritus University, visit About Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) is a premier sports and entertainment company that owns the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Toronto Marlies Hockey Club of the American Hockey League (AHL), Toronto FC of Major League Soccer (MLS), Air Canada Centre and three digital channels - Leafs TV, Raptors NBA TV and GOLTV. MLSE owns Maple Leaf Square, a $500 million sports and entertainment development outside of Air Canada Centre presently under construction. MLSE also operates and manages events at BMO Field, home of Toronto FC, and Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Marlies.