Canadian Tire Family of Companies scores Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser as newest sport partner


Canada's Hockey Store signs Agreement to be Title Sponsor of Wickfest

CALGARY, Aug. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Tire Family of Companies today welcomes Hayley Wickenheiser to its team with a two year partnership. As part of the partnership, Canadian Tire Retail will become the title sponsor of Wickenheiser's annual hockey festival and Hayley will also become a Canadian Tire Jumpstart ambassador.

Canadian Tire continues to build momentum around its support of sport in Canada and this announcement is an extension of the sport partnership agreement made earlier this year that positioned Canadian Tire, Sport Chek and Sports Experts as official sporting goods retailers of Canada's Olympic Team and Mark's as the official casual and industrial wear retailer of Hockey Canada.

"We are proud to be the retail authority in Sports and are excited to celebrate and support athletes, like Hayley Wickenheiser," said Landon French, vice-president of sport partnerships at Canadian Tire. "Hayley represents the pinnacle of sports excellence. She is a tremendous contributor to hockey in Canada and her work to encourage young women to be active and play hockey is something we want to celebrate and support."

In addition to a two-year partnership agreement with Hayley, Canadian Tire has also signed a two-year title sponsorship of Hayley's annual hockey festival.  The 2013 Canadian Tire Wickenheiser World Female Hockey Festival is a celebration of the sport and the young women who play the game.  The Festival provides an opportunity for young women to engage in world-class competition, make friends from around the world, improve their hockey skills and learn from the best.  Over the course of four days, over 1,200 players compete and connect while building positive female hockey experiences across all levels.  This year, the Festival is taking place November 21-24 at WinSport, Calgary, Alberta.

"Partnering with such an iconic Canadian company provides a great opportunity to continue to inspire young athletes to get involved in sport," said Hayley Wickenheiser. "Canadian Tire's push to getting kids active further demonstrates their commitment to sport in Canada."

As a company, Canadian Tire has always supported play and encouraged participation in sport. Whether Canadians aspire to greatness in the playground or on a podium, Canadian Tire believes it has a role in helping amateur athletes succeed and families stay active. Active kids help build stronger families, which in turn, builds stronger communities, contributing to a stronger nation.

This new partnership builds on a strong foundation of existing partnerships not only with Hockey Canada but with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees, Canada Games, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, Soccer Canada, Snowboard Canada, Skate Canada, Alpine Canada, the National Hockey League (NHL) and athlete partnerships with Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, Rosie MacLennan, Christine Sinclair, Eric Guay, Chris Del Bosco, Charles Hamelin, Kaillie Humphries, Meaghan Mikkelson, Jon Montgomery, Maëlle Ricker and Benoît Huot.

About Canadian Tire
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX:CTC, TSX:CTC.a) is one of Canada's most-shopped general retailers and the country's largest sporting goods retailer, with nearly 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets from coast-to-coast. Our primary retail business categories - Automotive, Living, Fixing, Sports, Playing and Apparel - are supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division, which offers such products and services as Canadian Tire home services, credit cards, retail deposits, in-store financing, product warranties, and insurance. Nearly 85,000 people are employed across the Canadian Tire enterprise, which was founded in 1922 and remains one of Canada's most recognized and trusted brands.

About Hayley Wickenheiser
Four-time Olympic medalist, Hayley Wickenheiser is regarded as one of the best female hockey players in the world with an uncompromised determination and dedication to her sport. However, it's not just her lethal slapshot that is respected by her teammates, fans and peers; Hayley is also an award winner, community leader, mentor, history-maker and an accomplished businesswoman.

It all started at age 15 in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan when Hayley was chosen for theCanadian Women's National Team. She has since led the squad to six gold and one silver medal at the Women's World Hockey Championships. As an Olympian, she earned a silver medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics and three Olympic gold medals in 2002, 2006 and most recently at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Accompanying all that hardware, Hayley was also named the tournaments' most valuable player in the 2002 and 2006 victorious Olympic runs as well as in numerous Esso Women's Hockey Championships.

Hayley Wickenheiser has proven to be an elite athlete time and time again. Sports Illustrated recently named her number 20 of the Top 25 Toughest Athletes in the World. She is also a two-time finalist for the Women's Sports Foundation Team Athlete of The Year and was recently named, for the second time, among the Globe and Mail's "Power 50" influencers in sport. Most recently, QMI Agency name Hayley among the top 10 "Greatest Female Athletes in the History of Sports." In the fall of 2011, Hayley was bestowed one the country's highest civilian honours when she was amongst 50 notable Canadians appointed to the Order of Canada "for her achievements as an athlete and for her contributions to the growth of women's hockey."

Along with hockey, Wickenheiser has mastered a number of sports. An elite softball player, she participated in the 2000 Summer Olympics as a member of Team Canada and worked as a Softball Analyst with CBC's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

Putting her pursuit of a BSc at the University of Calgary to good use, Hayley has led numerous projects with the goal of raising the profile of women's hockey around the world. She is constantly working to provide mentoring opportunities for young athletes including her legacy project, the Wickenheiser World Female Hockey Festival.

Hayley recently graduated with Honours with a degree in kinesiology from the University of Calgary with the ambition of attending medical school and becoming a doctor. She is currently among several athletes who have centralized in Calgary to train for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.