TORONTO: Some of Canada's largest media companies and marketers have agreed to sponsor the country's first university chair and degree program in brand communication at Wilfrid Laurier University (pictured) in Waterloo, Ontario.

Among the latest names helping to raise C$2.5 million ($2.15m; €1.6m; £1m) are confectionery maker Cadbury Adams, coffee shop chain Tim Hortons and CTVglobemedia.

Comments Cathy Whelan Molloy, vp brand marketing and merchandising at Tim Hortons: "Training in this area at the university level has been lacking in Canada. We anticipate the Laurier program will send a wake-up call to business schools across Canada to update their curriculum and make brand communication a central focus."

Adds the university's Dr Brad Davies: "Their support and participation is critical to our goal of creating a centre of excellence that produces graduates and trains educators who appreciate the importance of this field to the future of Canadian business."

Data sourced from Marketing Communication Education Trust (Canada); additional content by WARC staff