Olympic Medallists Scream for National Attention

—New Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton campaign, www.supportbobsleigh.ca, aimedat capturing ear of corporate Canada—

TORONTO—Alleyes were on Canada’s bobsleigh and skeleton athletes at the 2010 OlympicWinter Games when they made four trips to the podium that elevated nationalpride from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Now, just 21 months later, the nation’sbest athletes are pulling out all the punches to get the attention of corporateCanada as they search to replace the much-needed funding to keep them on top ofthe world.

One of Canada’s most accomplished amateur sportsprograms, having racked up nearly 200 medals at elite internationalcompetitions over the last decade including eight Olympic medals, has founditself without a title sponsor less then two years removed from igniting thenation.

“Visa has been a long and enthusiastic sponsor ofCanada’s bobsleigh and skeleton athletes since 1992, and have played a criticalrole in helping us create winners for Canada,” said Don Wilson, chief executiveofficer, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, who added Visa has generously providedadditional support for the organization during its period of transition. “Ourpast success proves that we will deliver significant return on our nextcorporate partners investment into our journey to the podium towards 2014 andbeyond.”

Olympic skeleton medallists, Jon Montgomery who wongold in 2010, and 2006 bronze medallist Mellisa Hollingsworth, slid intoToronto on Friday to launch a multi-pronged campaign on behalf of the nation’sbest bobsleigh and skeleton athletes.

With their national program officially on the openmarket, the two high-profiled Olympians joined forces with Bobsleigh CanadaSkeleton executives to enlist direct feedback from media, corporations andagencies in conjunction with the launch of a nationwide billboard campaign thatwill run in four cities across the country, reminding businesses andindividuals of the opportunity to fuel the ongoing success of the programthrough sponsorship and individual donations.

"As an organization, we are not looking forsuperfluous funding to pad an existing budget so we, as athletes, can travelfirst class and stay in 5 star hotels.  We are looking to fill a massivehole that exists in our program that will allow us to simply train and compete,”said Jon Montgomery, who celebrated in style with his memorable strollthrough Whistler Village after electrifying the nation with his golden run onthe Olympic Track. 

“There is a component of altruism to supportingamateur athletics in Canada, but the reality is there are substantial returns,both tangible and intangible. People smarter than myself have mathematicalequations to measure brand awareness and impressions, but things like elevatedcorporate moral through athlete engagement in corporate functions, and in justbeing connected to, and feeling a part of, the successes that "your"athletes realize on the world stage are infectious and invaluable.”

Thanks tothe generous donation of Pattison Outdoor Advertising, a nationwide billboardcampaign created by TBWA/Toronto will be featured in four major Canadian citiesacross Canada through February 2012. Montgomery and Hollingsworth unveiled thebillboards that will begin running in Toronto until Christmas. The billboardseries will then move west to be showcased in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgaryin January and February. The Toronto-based creative agency also developed two postersthat will be on display at key locations and major events in each of thecities.

“Wedeliver a tremendous amount of exposure through our team’s successes, but Ibelieve the value of engaging in a corporate partnership extends far beyond thetrack,” said Mellisa Hollingsworth, who is a two-time World Cup champion, andalso began professional barrel racing this summer.

“We havea group of high-profiled athletes from across Canada in our program who spendcountless hours at schools, corporate and charitable speaking engagements, and eventsnationwide. By investing in Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, corporations also comewith us into our respective communities as part of our individual outreach.”

The financial lifeline to Bobsleigh CanadaSkeleton’s budget comes from the generous investment of Canadian taxpayersthrough Sport Canada, along with the Own the Podium program. 

Tolearn more about sponsorship opportunities with Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton,please visit us at www.supportbobsleigh.ca.

Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is anon-profit organization and the national governing body for the sports ofbobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporatepartners – VISA, Dow Chemical, Adidas, Schenker Canada, KBC Helmets, Eurotech –Viking Engineering, SAIT Polytechnic, Therapeutica – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committeeand Own the Podium, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and worldchampions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.