SBD/January 24, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Canadian Tire Using Sports Sponsorship Deals In Effort To Grab Retail Market Share

Canadian Tire has announced “one of the largest sets of sports partnerships ever undertaken in the country,” signaling a “huge marketing bet to position itself as Canada’s retailer,” according to Susan Krashinsky of the GLOBE & MAIL. The company yesterday announced that it is now “a premier national partner of the Canadian Olympic Committee, along with a host of other new and expanded sports marketing partnerships.” The new “eight-year partnership with the COC comes as Canada’s retail landscape grows more crowded” with the entry of Target beginning in March. Canadian Tire has “not only ramped up its national marketing imagery in recent months; the new partnerships also represent an attempt by the company to build more swagger into the brand as it prepares for the competition.” The new partnerships also are “a fit for the company’s greater investment in sports retailing over the past two years.” Canadian Tire “has been working to strengthen its Sport Chek and Sports Experts brands," which are also part of the COC deal. Canadian Tire “nabbed the Olympic sponsorship from Rona Inc. after its deal expired at the end of last year.” Financial terms were not disclosed but a source said that “premier partnerships with the COC range from $4-million to $6-million a year.” Canadian Tire also announced that it “has inked a four-year partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, as well as new partnership deals with Hockey Canada, including sponsorship of the World Juniors; the Canadian Soccer Association; Canada Snowboard; and an expanded partnership with Alpine Canada.” It recently announced “a partnership with Skate Canada, to help in its long-running attempt to court female shoppers” (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/24).

SHIFT TO AMATEUR SPORTS: In Toronto, Jessica McDiarmid notes the COC sponsorship includes deals with six other Canadian amateur organizations as the company bids “to deepen its ties to a major market: up-and-coming athletes.” The move “signals Canadian Tire’s shift to more aggressive support of amateur sport” following its acquisition of Forzani in ’11. Canadian Tire CEO Stephen Wetmore said, “This allows us truly to get into amateur athletics” (TORONTO STAR, 1/24).
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