• Announces new and expanded partnerships with the Canadian Soccer Association, Skate Canada, Hockey Canada, Alpine Canada Alpin, Canada Snowboard and the Canadian Paralympic Committee
• Expansive new grassroots “Learn to” series by Canadian Tire and “Skills Development” series by Sport Chek and Sports Experts will significantly grow participation and competition in skating, hockey, soccer, skiing and snowboarding
• New national employment program will benefit elite Canadian athletes with flexible work schedules to support training
• Company to inspire Canadians by promoting Canadian athletes year-round in marketing and advertising across Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Sports Experts and Mark’s

TORONTO – Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (CTC) today announced that Canadian Tire, Sport Chek and Sports Experts have entered into an eight-year agreement as a Premier National Partner of the Canadian Olympic Team, while also announcing six other major amateur sport partnerships that together represent the largest commitment of its kind to amateur sport in Canada.

In addition to its new premier partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Company confirmed new and expanded partnership agreements with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the Canadian Soccer Association, Skate Canada, Hockey Canada, Alpine Canada Alpin and Canada Snowboard – all designed to inspire Canadians and encourage lifelong healthy and active living through the ‘power of sport’. Canadian Tire and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities also plan to work with Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Foundation to help more kids get in the game. The Canadian Tire Family of Companies will also be announcing new athlete sponsorship agreements in 2013, supporting Canada’s best and brightest up and coming talent.

These new partnerships build on a strong foundation of existing partnerships with Canada Games, Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, the National Hockey League, NASCAR and athlete partnerships with Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Brett Lawrie.

New Grassroots Sport Movement

In committing to support amateur sport from the playground to the podium, Canadian Tire also announced an expansive new grassroots “Learn To” series that will be developed with its sport partners to ensure that more children in need have the opportunity to learn and participate in sports at an early age.  Sport Chek and Sports Experts also announced a new grassroots “Skills Development” series that will build on core skills and support amateur athletes as they compete in hockey, soccer, skiing and snowboarding.

Athlete Employment

To further support Canada’s elite athletes, CTC announced a new national employment program across its 1,700 retail outlets and in its corporate offices that will offer employment to athletes with flexible work schedules to accommodate training obligations.

Elevating and Celebrating Canadian Athletes

The Canadian Tire Family of Companies believes today, as it has for decades, that sport enriches family life and builds communities across Canada.  The company intends to inspire its customers and Canadians by promoting Canadian athletes year-round in marketing and advertising across all its retail banners and in all marketing channels, including Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Sports Experts and Mark’s.

“At Canadian Tire, we believe in the power of sport to inspire greatness and change the lives of all Canadians. Our involvement in sport goes back decades and is part of our DNA.  From the products and apparel we bring to Canadians everyday in our stores to the local teams we sponsor in our communities, no other company gets sports like Canadian Tire,” said Stephen Wetmore, President and CEO, Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited.  “Our companies embody the spirit of our best athletes, we have championed the ideals of sport and we have earned the right to be associated with the highest levels of sport in Canada.”

“From playground to podium, we will play a role in helping Canadian families and amateur athletes succeed,” continued Wetmore.  “From learning to play, loving the game and competing to win, everyday sport in Canada depends on us. Whether it’s parents teaching their children how to skate on a backyard rink or supporting Canadian athletes pursuing dreams of Olympic gold, sport has the power to unite families, communities and the entire nation.”

“Thanks to the long-term investment of Canadian Tire Corporation, our Canadian Olympic athletes will have more of what they need to be Canada’s champions — here at home and around the world,” said Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut. “It is fitting that a company which, over the decades, has supplied so many Canadian children with their sport equipment will now be going even further — it will be helping them reach the podium.  Their long-standing commitment to sport and to providing Canadians with all they need to live active lives will help further engage Canadians in support of all our athletes.”

More than 70 sports organizations across Canada currently receive support from Canadian Tire, FGL Sports, Canadian Tire Financial Services and Mark’s.  Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, also addresses barriers to sport and has helped over 500,000 children in need to participate in sports and recreational activity.

“As the largest single contributor to sport in this country, our Government understands the importance of supporting our athletes from the playground to the podium,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “That is why our Government is pleased to see partners from private industry, such as Canadian Tire Corporation, take a leadership role with their commitment to continued Olympic and Paralympic success.”

The Canadian Tire Corporation is a Family of Companies that includes Canadian Tire Retail, FGL Sports Ltd. (Sport Chek, Sports Experts, National Sports, Intersport and Atmosphere), Mark’s and Canadian Tire Financial Services. As Canada’s largest retailer of sporting equipment and a brand steeped in Canadian history, Canadian Tire is the retailer Canadians have trusted for more than 90 years to give aspiring Canadian athletes their start in sports.

About Canadian Tire Corporation

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX:CTC.a) (TSX:CTC) is a Family of Companies that includes Canadian Tire Retail, Partsource, Gas+, FGL Sports (Sport Chek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts, National Sports, Intersport and Atmosphere), Mark’s and Canadian Tire Financial Services.  With more than 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets from coast-to-coast, our primary retail business categories – Automotive, Living, Fixing, Playing and Apparel – are supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division. Nearly 68,000 people are employed across the Canadian Tire enterprise, which was founded in 1922 and remains one of Canada’s most recognized and trusted brands. For more information, visit Corp.CanadianTire.ca.

About Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is a national charitable program dedicated to providing financially disadvantaged kids with the opportunity to experience the benefits of organized sport and recreation. With an extensive, national network of more than 315 local chapters, it provides families in communities across Canada with a hand-up to help cover the costs associated with registration, equipment and/or transportation.
•    Supported by the Canadian Tire Family of Companies, which includes Canadian Tire Retail, Partsource, Gas+, FGL Sports (Sport Chek, Sports Experts, National Sports, Intersport, Atmosphere, Intersport and Hockey Experts), Mark’s and Canadian Tire Financial Services, Jumpstart has enabled more than 500,000 Canadian kids to get in the game since 2005. For more information or to lend your support, visit Jumpstart.CanadianTire.ca.

About the Canadian Olympic Committee

The Canadian Olympic Committee leads the achievement of the Canadian Olympic Team’s podium success and advances Olympic values in Canada. Independent and predominantly privately funded, the Canadian Olympic Committee delivers resources that Canada’s elite athletes need to perform at their best and give their everything every day. The backbone of Canada’s Olympic movement, the Canadian Olympic Committee works with National Sport Federations to prepare the Team for the Olympic, Youth Olympic and Pan American Games. By sharing our athletes’ stories, we inspire all Canadians through the power of sport: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:
Leah Gaucher, Communications Advisor
Tel: 416-544-7785 / Cell: 647-924-2614
Email: Leah.Gaucher@cantire.com

David Gollom, Manager, Communications
Tel: 416-480-8450 / Cell: 416-618-5198
Email: David.Gollom@cantire.com

Canadian Olympic Committee Media Office:
Jane Almeida, Manager, Media Relations
Tel: 416-324-4120 / Cell. : 416-540-1788
Email: jalmeida@olympic.ca

Dimitri Soudas, Executive Director, Communications
Tel. : 416-324-4136/ Cell. : 289-388-6419
Email: dsoudas@olympic.ca

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