Canadian Luge Athletes Slide Back onto Market
CALGARY—Canada’s medal-winning luge athletes started the Olympic season on Tuesday without a corporate partner.
With just 128 days remaining until the opening of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the Canadian Luge Team officially put themselves back up FOR SALE – just minutes before taking their first on-ice training sessions of the season on the Olympic Track in Calgary.
“We were extremely grateful to find our organization’s first-ever title sponsor in response to our first For Sale campaign four years ago. They played a critical role in helping us create medal-winning luge athletes – not to mention developing a new crop of young Canadian stars now ready to take a shot at Olympic history, and slide onto the podium at the Games this February,” said Tim Farstad, executive director, Canadian Luge Association. “With that partnership wrapped up, we are now looking for a new organization(s) with which we can establish a close relationship and share our exciting ride to the podium.”
Replacing corporate logos with FOR SALE decals on their race helmets to officially announce the team is back on the market, Canada’s luge athletes also took their first descents down their home track in Calgary with a FOR SALE sign erected above the start handles.
“We now have a massive financial hole in our program that we need to fill to provide our athletes the opportunity to train and compete. And we have a lot of return to offer to the corporate partner or partners who align themselves with our team and our athletes, and help us fill that financial gap,” said Farstad. “We are not looking for millions or freebies, but would like to establish a close relationship with a company, or group of partners, that can help ensure the success of our sport beyond 2014,” said Farstad.
The Canadian Luge Association has never been stronger at all levels than it is today.
Thanks to the generous support led by Sport Canada and Own the Podium, who have been the financial lifeline of the national program, Canada’s luge athletes have slid into the history books over the last four years winning medals at the World Championships, World Cups and Junior World Cups. Own the Podium funding has helped the sport body recruit a world leading coaching staff, and provided access to resources that have clearly helped significantly boost performance. Equally important is the additional corporate support since 2009 has fostered the Canadian Luge Association’s development programs.
“This support is proof that money turns into medals and we do not want to take a step back,” said Alex Gough, who has developed into one of the top luge athletes on the planet, winning two World Cup races, and three World Championship medals in addition to countless other podium finishes over the last four years. “Thanks to the partners we have had on board with us, we now have multiple assets available in our program that deliver a tremendous amount of exposure far beyond the track while we slide into communities across the country.”
Since 2009, Canadian luge athletes have racked up 19 World Cup medals and four World Championship medals. Athletes from British Columbia and Alberta have also combined to win more than 10 Junior/Youth World Cup meadals.
In February 2009, the Canadian Luge Team launched its original 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.
Since then, Luge Canada has developed different sponsorship levels to accommodate partners of all sizes. “The common thread throughout all levels of support is what we feel is powerful return on investment opportunities for all of our financial supporters, big and small,” said Farstad.
For more information on the Canadian Luge Association’s FOR SALE campaign, please contact SBEFNYR@yhtr.pn.
The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization governing the sport of luge across the country. With support from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.