Would you like that with a side of Oilers?

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Would you like that with a side of Oilers?

The Oilers' playoff run is providing some Edmonton businesses with a slick marketing opportunity.

Tim Hortons, Cookies By George, even a local car dealership are all jumping on the bandwagon.

They're hoping to get Oilers fans to show their support through the purchase of an orange-and-blue sprinkled doughnut, a cookie with orange and blue M&Ms, or better yet, a new vehicle in any colour you want.

Retailers are showing their support with banners in the windows or jerseys on mannequins.

"They want to be connected with their customers," said Paul McElhone, dean of the Mihalcheon School of Management at Concordia University in Edmonton.

"They want to signal to their customers that they are part of Edmonton and part of what's important to Edmonton."

The playoffs bring millions of dollars to the city, McElhone says, and businesses are eager to get some of that cash.

"Certainly the hotels and the restaurants benefit, but all of the other businesses, there's such a huge ripple effect," he said.

"From a merchandising perspective, you would be silly not to embrace a moment in time that's very timely to help promote your store."   

Cookies By George has its head office in Edmonton so it didn't take much to bake up an Oilers promotion. 

"We're actually just a few blocks away from Rogers Place and we are all big fans of the Oilers," said communications manager Rachel Gleiberman. "We are not trying to do a marketing opportunity at all, we just want to help promote the hype."

That includes a discount for those who show their support.

"It's save $3 on a dozen cookies when you wear your jersey in-store," said Gleiberman. "And on game days we are also offering Oiler M&M cookies."

Other teams' fans not excluded

Fortunately, fans of other teams can also get in on the deal.

"Although we believe the Oilers are the best in all the playoffs, we don't discriminate," said Gleiberman. "If you cheer for another team, such as the Flames, I mean Alberta, we are one, we've got to promote all of Canada together.

"So if you wear any other jersey we will happily pass on the promotion to you.

"We might not smile while we do it, though."

There are no Flames cookies, which is probably a good thing. They'd likely taste bitter.

Between the cookies and Tim Hortons Oilers doughnuts, fans who partake in too much support may have to get down to Sport Chek to purchase a larger jersey. Oilers gear, of course, is displayed front and centre.

Over at the Don Wheaton vehicle dealership, they're hoping you'll need a new truck to haul that gear around and they've mailed out an elaborate marketing package that will no doubt make fans do a double-take.

At first glance one might think they've got a couple of tickets to the next game but the orange and blue brochure instead offers prizes in an effort to get you into the dealership.

McElhone isn't sure how much the businesses behind these marketing moves will benefit, but believes the efforts don't hurt.

"If these guys were featuring Shark jerseys in their stores, I got to tell you they're not going to do as well," he said. "This is just riding the wave of what's happening in Edmonton.

"At these points in time, when people are very emotional about about something positive that's happening to the city, if they see retailers are embracing this, they will support them."

McElhone expects to see more of it if the Oilers go deeper in the playoffs.