Canada Games Partners Illuminate the North in Prince George

Last week, the 2015 Canada Games kicked off in Prince George. Our own Alyson Schmidt wrote about how the Games were making an impact locally in northern British Columbia but also around the country as thousands of young athletes and their families descended on Prince George. This week, Alyson spoke with Patrick Kenny, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Canada Games Council and Christie Coughlan, Director of Marketing at Panago Pizza, the Games’ newest National partner, to share their insights into why brands partner with the Games and how they are making an impact in Prince George and beyond.

Patrick Kenny, Director of Marketing And Communications at Canada Games Council

What role do corporate partners play in the success of the Games?
Every sponsorship contribution positively affects the execution of the Games and ultimately, positively affects the athletes at the Games. Because of a funding shortfall to meet hosting standards, without partner contributions, the individual communities would not be able to host and national participants would not benefit as much from the experience.

How are partners leveraging the 2015 Games and bringing their partnerships to life?
The 2015 Canada Games are the most activated Games in the history of the event. Partners are beyond the point of simply receiving their logo on signage. Partners are engaging, through booths, social media campaigns, media announcements, customized programs for various populations and more. Some examples of social media activations at the Games include,

  • Panago Pizza
    Panago Pizza has been spreading the spirit of the 2015 Canada Winter Games throughout the country in the form of free pizza and their popular #randomactsofpizza program. Athletes and spectators who have been sharing their Games photos with @panagopizza  have been finding  themselves with delicious creations to enjoy.
  • Sage
    From February 14–28, Sage has been awarding 14 lucky team behind the team members with the Most Valuable Supporter Award. Each winner will receive an exclusive, limited-edition Sage MVS Award collector trading pin set and a certificate of recognition and be featured in a video telling their story. Follow #SageMVSA for updates and the latest contest winners. Its not too late to nominate somebody you know 
  • Shaw
    Shaw launched the KidSport Tweet Campaign at the 2015 Games and is donating $1.00 to KidSport Prince George for every photo shared with the hashtag #2015CanGames from February 13-March 2nd. Whether or not you’re lucky enough to be in Prince George and visit the Shaw truck in Canada Games Plaza, be sure to upload your favourite Games moment with the hashtag #2015CanGames.
  • TECK
    Teck has been encouraging all medalists at the 2015 Canada Winter Games to take a selfie with their medal and post it along with the dedicated hashtags #medalselfie and #2015CanGames. Follow along to watch the excitement on the athlete’s faces when they receive their 2015 Canada Winter Games medals.
  • Canadian Olympic Foundation
    In partnership with the Canada Games, the COF has been promoting the athlete journey from the Canada Games to the Olympic stage through the hashtag #OlympicPathway.

What do you see for the current family of partners and prospective partners in the future?
It is an exciting time for the Canada Games. With a roster of national partners, consistency has meant collective growth for all involved. Together, we measure success, set benchmarks and evaluate post Games to ensure that we stay fresh and that goals and objectives continue to evolve.

Christie Couglan, Director of Marketing at Panago Pizza 

What makes the Canada Games unique from your other marketing initiatives?

The games represent so much more to us than just a logo or an advertisement – they bring the entire country together in one community to celebrate sport and create lasting relationships. This type of marketing initiative has the power to transcend any campaign or promotion, as it can live on after the Games for years to come. The engagement level of an initiative like this has so much potential to create ongoing loyalty and customer relationships.

What motivated you to join the Canada Games partner family?
The synergy between our brand and the Canada Games brand is something that was too hard to deny.

What are your objectives for the Games?
The main objective for us is really to fuel the athletes and volunteers through our pizza and our outreach. We want the participants of the games and the entire host community to connect with Panago on a much deeper level than just as a sponsor and see us a true supporter before during and after the Games.

What is your brand doing to activate/celebrate the Games?
Our team is connecting with the athletes and volunteers onsite and sharing their story online through

  • Branded toques for giveaways
  • Feeding the volunteers
  • An on-site social media team to engage with athletes, volunteers and the community
  • “Random Acts of Pizza” drop offs to surprise and delight throughout the Games
  • Polaroid style twitter campaign to share our story online and across Canada
  • Twitter outreach to engage the rest of the Country with the Games

What attributes of your brand do you feel align with the Canada Games brand?

  • Amateur Sport
  • Community Engagement
  • Active Lifestyles
  • Volunteerism

What do you feel the Canada Games can accomplish for your brand?
We feel that the games can elevate our brand on a more national level and help our stores across Canada continue to have meaningful engagement within their own communities.

Check back with us next week for our final installment of our three part series on the 2015 Canada Games, where Alyson will provide a recap of this milestone event and share what the future holds for the Canada Games Movement.