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Sport Chek Debuts #whatittakes Campaign Featuring Canadian Olympic Athletes

Sport Chek's Integrated Campaign Features Inspirational Journey to the Podium for Canadian Athletes

#whatittakes Weaves New TV Creative, Digital, Out-of-home, In-Store, PR, Sponsorship into Largest Single Campaign in Sport Chek Brand's History  

CALGARY, Jan. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - With just under one month until the start of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Premier National Partner of the Canadian Olympic Team, Sport Chek is blitzing the marketplace with its #whatittakes campaign.  A fully integrated marketing campaign, #whatittakes celebrates the very best of Canada's high performance athletes and their journey to the podium.

"At Sport Chek, we want to inspire Canadians to live a healthy, active lifestyle and there is no better source of inspiration than the stories of our Canadian Olympic athletes and their journey to the podium," says Frederick Lecoq, VP Marketing of FGL Sports. "With the 2014 Olympic Winter Games just under three weeks away, Canadians are starting to get geared up for Sochi and are looking to get immersed in the storylines of the upcoming Games. This campaign features great behind-the-scenes digital content that we are running on our social channels so Canadians can really get to know what makes these athletes succeed."

The #whatittakes platform thematic and creative was developed by Sid Lee Toronto, Sport Chek's ongoing agency partner. The current TV creative debuted over the holidays during the broadcast of IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. With a focus on the individual athletes training for their sport, the ads spotlight the hard work and discipline required by each athlete as they chase their dreams to the podium.  The spot also features Sport Chek athletes Mark McMorris -world-renowned Snowboarder and Sidney Crosby - NHL Superstar. The 60 second anthem TV spot was directed by Canadian Mark Zibert, who has directed global campaigns for Nike and adidas.

As the Games quickly approach, the #whatittakes campaign will be featured through the Sport Chek social channels - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.  Exclusive content showcasing the athletes both at home and while at the Games will be featured.  Sport Chek will be utilizing their YouTube channel to drive sales with 'shoppable YouTube links'.  A first in Canada, consumers will be able to click through the video they are watching on YouTube to buy products that are featured within the ad.

As Canada's largest sporting goods retailer, Sport Chek's ongoing mission is to inspire Canadians to 'find their better'. To reach that goal, Sport Chek has leveraged the greatest sporting stage in the world in combination with the country's top athletes to share their stories in an effort to inspire a nation and to show 'what it takes' to compete at the highest level.

Athletes highlighted in the campaign were chosen from a cross section of Olympic winter sports.  Selected as a celebration of what it takes to become an Olympian, Sport Chek authentically portrayed the determination and passion that lives within each Olympic athlete.  Sport Chek spent countless hours working directly with each athlete to ensure that their journey was accurately portrayed through the various media channels. These athletes include:

  • Sidney Crosby - International hockey superstar, Sidney is the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins and was just appointed as captain for the Canadian Olympic men's hockey team.
  • Steven Stamkos - National Hockey League all-star, Steven is currently playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning and acting as the alternate captain.
  • Mark McMorris - World-renowned snowboarder excelling in slopestyle and  big air events.  He is the 2013 Winter X Games Slopestyle titleholder and will be making his Olympic debut in Sochi.
  • Chris Del Bosco - Elite ski cross athlete, Chris holds an unparalleled record, finding a spot on the podium 50% of the time.  Chris is the reigning FIS World Champion and X Games champion in ski cross.
  • Erik Guay - World Cup alpine ski racer and holds the World Cup season title in Super G in 2010 and downhill world champion in 2011.  Erik holds 21 World Cup podiums through the end of the 2013 season.
  • Charles Hamelin - Three-time Olympic medallist in short track speed skating and also holds a two-time world champion title. Charles captured two golds and one silver during the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.
  • Kaillie Humphries - Driver of a women's Olympic bobsledding team, Humphries is the reigning Olympic champion at the 2010 Winter Olympics and reigning overall World Cup champion.
  • Meaghan Mikkelson - Respected member of the Canadian women's national ice hockey team. Mikkelson captured a gold medal during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
  • Jon Montgomery - Captured Canadian hearts during the 2010 Winter Olympic games where he raced for the gold medal in the men's skeleton.
  • Maëlle Ricker - Canadian snowboarder who won the gold medal in the women's snowboard cross event at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  She became the first Canadian woman to win a gold medal on home soil at the Olympics.

Capitalizing on the fact these will be the most social games in Olympic history, Sport Chek has rewritten the playbook and created new digital and social properties to keep Canadians engaged throughout the games. Through a comprehensive media plan that includes broadcast, digital, and print, complimented with behind-the-scenes content, product sponsorships, customer contesting, and employee engagement efforts, Sport Chek created the single largest marketing campaign in the company's history.

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