SBD/September 10, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Hockey Canada Sends Members Discount Cards To Increase Youth Enrollment

Hockey Canada officials have “a new tactic for catalyzing enrollment in youth hockey: cheaper stuff,” as new membership cards “being mailed to registered minor hockey players and coaches this fall will give card holders a break on food, gas and merchandise purchased from the organization’s corporate sponsors,” according to Hayley Mick of the GLOBE & MAIL. The consumer program is “similar to other rewards programs promoted by banks and gas companies.” The announcement comes “at a time when hockey officials are under pressure to recruit new players to the sport -- and retain them.” Hockey Canada President & CEO Bob Nicholson on Friday said, “We are concerned about the demographics coming in front of us. There’s less kids in Canada, overall. And when you look at the number of kids, there’s a lot more immigrants in this country.” Nicholson said that Hockey Canada “will soon unveil a new computer application that will help educate parents and coaches about the prevention and treatment of head injuries, including concussions” (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/8). In Toronto, Mark Zwolinski reported the card "taps Hockey Canada sponsors like Esso, Boston Pizza, Lowe's, Bauer and Nestle, and passes discounts on to the cardholders." The card is on its way to "some 450,000 households" throughout Canada, which includes more than 1.4 million players (TORONTO STAR, 9/8). 
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