TORONTO — With just 79 days remaining until the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games kick off, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) launched on Wednesday its #NowOrNever campaign, the first-ever COC marketing initiative supporting athlete storytelling around the Pan American Games.The #NowOrNever campaign, led by the COC and co-created by leading marketing agency Cossette, is an integrated, digitally enabled campaign featuring 14 Canadian athletes from eight different sports. At the centre of this campaign is a short film, created with more than 50 hours of footage shot over four days in March at various locations around the Greater Toronto Area, including two 2015 Pan Am Games venues: York University and the Milton Velodrome.

Download #NowOrNever images

The film is a riveting and fast-paced account of the journey of Canadian athletes, beginning with their early signs of greatness and closing with their preparation for TORONTO 2015. #NowOrNever focuses on that pivotal moment all athletes experience on the field of play: when they transfer years of training into podium performances. The spot closes with a call to action for fans to get their tickets now and support Team Canada.

Critically acclaimed Canadian director, Mark Zibert captured the essence of what #NowOrNever represents for Canadian athletes as they prepare for the Games in their own backyard. In addition to Zibert’s cinematic and gritty visuals, the campaign also features out of home (OOH) and print executions that include hand painted versions of the #NowOrNever hashtag by our athletes, highlighting their names and Twitter handles.

#NowOrNever will make its national debut during tonight’s Hockey Night in Canada playoff broadcast on CBC featuring game four between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. Through a partnership agreement with CBC, the 30-second COC spot will air within CBC’s allotted commercial time. The #NowOrNever campaign features a variety of TV spots tailored for both French and English languages, running 60 seconds, 30 seconds, and with multiple five second varieties.

Canadians will be able to experience the campaign on and Fans and media can also find the broadcast spot on CBC and other TV networks, in print in the Globe and Mail and their local Sun Media newspapers, as well as Astral OOH executions around Toronto.

The 14 athletes featured in #NowOrNever include:

  • Steph Roorda, Track Cycling (Vancouver, BC)
  • Allison Beveridge, Track Cycling (Calgary, AB)
  • Kirsti Lay, Track Cycling (Medicine Hat, AB)
  • Annie Foreman-Mackey, Track Cycling (Kingston, ON)
  • Jim Brown, BMX (Airdrie, AB)
  • Whitney McClintock, Water Ski (Cambridge, ON)
  • Mark Oldershaw, Canoe Sprint (Burlington, ON)
  • Christabel Nettey, Athletics, Long Jump (Surrey, BC)
  • Brittany Crew, Athletics, Shot Put (East York, ON)
  • Crispin Duenas, Archery (Scarborough, ON)
  • Roseline Filion, Diving (Laval, QC)
  • Meaghan Benfeito, Diving (Laval, QC)
  • Victoria Moors, Artistic Gymnastics (Cambridge, ON)
  • Kevin Lytwyn, Artistic Gymnastics (Stoney Creek, ON)

In total, more than 700 Canadian athletes will represent Canada at TORONTO 2015 and the COC is proud to spotlight our sporting heroes. Not only will our country’s top athletes be competing in Toronto, there are also numerous Olympic qualification opportunities for Rio 2016. Canada is aiming for a top-two finish in the overall medal standings at the Pan American Games.

The Canadian Olympic Committee leads the achievement of the Canadian Olympic and Pan Am Teams’ podium success and advances the Olympic values in Canada. The COC continues to work with the corporate sector and National Sports Federations to ensure Canadian athletes and coaches receive world class services to perform at their best during Games.

The COC, Cossette and OMD Canada have collaborated and enabled many media opportunities to support the campaign. Thank you to the  COC media partners CBC, Globe and Mail and Astral Media, which have enabled a cross-channel & multi-touchpoint approach campaign delivering tremendous media value.  An integrated presence consisting of broadcast, print, out of home and digital media in and on iconic and relevant properties is a large component. Spots will be featured and aired during high profile sporting events and top programming.

The campaign was created, led and produced by the COC with the full support of TO2015. The COC would like to thank their creative agency Cossette, media agency OMD Canada for managing the campaign media planning and North Strategic for its PR support.


“This is a unique opportunity to buy a ticket to see some of Canada’s greatest athletes and support our sporting heroes in Toronto. We are thrilled to support our largest ever Canadian delegation at a Games. Toronto 2015 is the largest international multi-sport event ever hosted in Canada. Many of these athletes will represent Canada at future Games. We are now providing new ways for fans to show their passion, patriotism and support our Team Canada athletes.”

Christopher Overholt, CEO and Secretary General, Canadian Olympic Committee


“Our goal is to make it a rallying cry for our fans leading up to and during the Games. #NowOrNever represents that pivotal moment in sport combined with heart-pounding visuals, where athletes give their everything. It is designed by athletes for athletes and to inspire our fans to support Team Canada as they compete for Gold.”

Derek Kent, Chief Marketing Officer, Canadian Olympic Committee


“The #NowOrNever campaign is our first collaboration with the Canadian Olympic Team. Cossette Canada takes tremendous pride in this work. Canada’s athletes prove time and again that it takes an incredible amount of effort to train, compete and ultimately win against the best in the world – this was the essence behind this campaign.”

Dave Lafond, President, Cossette Canada


“CBC is proud of our growing relationship with the Canadian Olympic Committee and through this partnership we will help to connect the largest Canadian television audience with #NowOrNever. Combined with our upcoming #ForTheWin campaign, Canadians will no doubt feel a tremendous sense of pride and connection to our nation’s athletes as we head into TORONTO 2015.”

Bonnie Brownlee, Executive Director, Communications, Marketing, and Brand, CBC English Services


“Canadian athletes have powerful stories to share. To be able to capture their training as they head into TORONTO 2015 for this campaign was an honour. I think fans will fully experience the athletes’ now or never moments in the film.”

Mark Zibert, Director of #NowOrNever TV spot and Photography


“I love this campaign call to action and it was great to be a part of it. I have been competing internationally for years but I cannot describe the excitement to compete at home. I’m ready to give my everything on the water and can’t wait to hear the crowd chanting for Canada at the Pan Am Games. It’s now or never.”

Mark Oldershaw, two-time Olympian, London 2012 Bronze Medallist, Canoe Sprint


“Meaghan and I have been training and competing side-by-side around the world for 10 years. There is nothing that beats the excitement and honour to have the home crowd cheering. We are so thrilled to be a part of this campaign and compete at TORONTO 2015 and make Canada proud. It’s now or never.”

Roseline Filion, London 2012 Bronze Medallist, Diving


“I have had many now or never moments in my cycling career, so this campaign is on the mark in terms of representing the athlete’s journey. As an athlete, you must recognize and embrace that ‘now’ moment in order to take charge of the race or game. As the Chef de Mission for Team Canada this summer, I cannot wait to join fans around the country in cheering on our amazing athletes. The road to Rio goes through Toronto this summer.”

Curt Harnett, Toronto 2015 Chef de Mission for Team Canada


“You can’t help but feel the excitement the #NowOrNever campaign generates. I want to thank the Canadian Olympic Committee for promoting and telling the stories of the athletes who will be representing Canada at the Pan Am Games this summer – I know Canadians from all corners of this great country are looking forward to seeing them win.”

Saäd Rafi, CEO, TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee

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