CALGARY—The Canadian Luge Team will be sliding into corporate Canada with the Celebration Club. The multi-faceted sport, event and travel marketing agency will lead a nationwide sponsorship campaign for Luge Canada over the next two years.
“This is an exciting, yet crucial time, in the history of the Canadian Luge Association,” said Tim Farstad. “We now have a medal-winning program, but we need to continue to challenge ourselves further as an organization if we truly want to compete with the best, and achieve our goals of winning Canada’s first ever Olympic medal in the sport in 2018, while ensuring our success continues well into the future.
“Establishing partnerships with corporate Canada will be critical to this triumph. The Celebration Club knows what it takes to win both on the track and in the boardroom. We are confident they will help us achieve our goals by attracting new players from the business world to our sport.”
The Celebration Club is a boutique experiential marketing agency with offices located in Toronto and Saskatoon. The company was spearheaded by Olympic bobsleigh athlete, Jaime Cruickshank, along with her father Alan, who has been building and financing many successful business enterprises over the last 30 years. The father-daughter tandem planted the seeds to their dream business while Jaime represented Canada at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
Before opening shop three years ago, the Cruickshank’s added Toronto-based, Dave Lloyd, to their dynamic team. Lloyd brings more than 20 years of sports marketing and licensing expertise to Celebration Club. He represented several world-leading brands including the National Football League, Nascar, WWE, NHLPA, and CSI TV Series.
“As an athlete, and parents of someone who developed through the Canadian sport system, we understand the financial challenges national sport organizations face. We personally lived this experience,” said Jaime Cruickshank, chief executive officer. “If I learned one thing through my days in sport is that it takes a community to develop an Olympic champion. We will be creative with our ideas. We will be relentless in our pursuit, and we are excited to start expanding the luge network across the country.”
Canada’s luge athletes are no strangers to finding creative ways of knocking on the doors of the nation’s corporate leaders.
In February 2009, the Canadian Luge Team launched its inaugural FOR SALE campaign on top of a community toboggan hill in Calgary, showcasing the grassroots of the sport in Canada. Clad in their national team race suits, the team hopped on magic carpets for a number of recreational runs with a group of young students. The initiative netted an immediate response and financial commitment of a little more than $200,000 per year from the organization’s first-ever title sponsor.
Once the agreement ended, the team went back on the market in 2014 after finishing the Sochi Games with a record setting, yet gut wrenching, performance where the team chalked up three fourths, and a fifth-place finish. A number of Alberta-based companies responded immediately to the athletes’ call for help.
An Alberta ranching family proved anyone can step up and support a Canadian athlete’s journey to the international podium by donating a purebred cow to the Canadian Luge Team. The squad added another chapter to its national For Sale campaign by teaming up with the Calgary Board of Education and sports media personality, Lisa Bowes, to launch a children’s luge book that impacted more than 15,000 students across the Stampede City with the goal of encouraging youth literacy, while educating readers on the sport and inspiring children and their parents to embrace an active lifestyle.
“We are now looking for a new organization with which we can establish a close relationship and share our exciting ride to the podium,” added Farstad. “We are not looking for millions or freebies, but would like to establish a strong connection with a company, or group of partners, that can help ensure the success of our sport beyond 2018.”
The Government of Canada’s investment in the Own the Podium initiative has been the financial lifeline of the national luge program. As a result, Canada’s luge athletes have slid into the history books over the last six years winning medals at the World Championships, World Cups and Junior World Cups.
“The targeted support we receive through Own the Podium is proof that money turns into medals,” said Alex Gough, who has grown into one of the top luge athletes on the planet, winning countless World Cup medals, and three World Championship medals. “But corporate support is critical to developing all facets of our program, particularly our group of talented kids ready to slide their way onto the World Cup.”
The Celebration Club has also done work for Canadian Paralympic Committee, Athletics Canada, Swimming Canada, Rowing Canada Avion, and Equine Canada.