KANANASKIS, AB, July 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's top two participation sports for families with children are getting a major boost from Canada's egg farmers. The Canadian Egg Marketing Agency (CEMA) has announced a four-year sponsorship agreement with Hockey Canada and the Canadian Soccer Association that will inject close to $1 million into national team and grassroots programs in both sports.
"We see this as a winning strategy," stated Tim Lambert, CEMA's Chief Executive Officer, in Kananaskis, Alberta during a national meeting of egg farmers. "The mass appeal of hockey and soccer create powerful opportunities to educate Canadian families about the nutritional benefits of eating eggs."
CEMA's sponsorship comes at a time of incredible excitement around hockey and soccer. Canadian soccer fans have scooped up more than 1 million tickets for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, while the women's national team is preparing for its run at the Women's World Cup later this year in China with the 2008 Beijing Olympics to follow. The international hockey calendar features a long list of major events in Canada over the next four years including the IIHF World Championships (Halifax and Quebec City), back-to-back World Junior Championships, and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
On hand for the announcement representing Hockey Canada was Hayley Wickenheiser, all-time leading scorer on the National Women's Hockey Team. "Eggs are important to me, both as a high performance athlete and as a mom. And I also know that our players are really excited about what this sponsorship will mean for the National Team in the lead-up to the 2010 Olympics."
Also on hand for the announcement was Craig Forrest, former Men's National Soccer Team goalkeeper, who is Honorary Chair of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. "I'm thrilled to see CEMA come on board as a nutritional partner with the Canadian Soccer Association," he said. "Together, I believe CEMA and the CSA can form a successful partnership to promote healthy nutrition to soccer players and to all active Canadian families."
Among the many initiatives to be funded, CEMA will partner with Hockey Canada on a program in support of minor hockey tournaments this winter in 50 communities across Canada, with plans for extensive future growth.
On the soccer side, CEMA has already become a sponsor of Tide Mini-Soccer Festivals presented by Yahoo! Canada which attract a total of more than half-a-million players, spectators, and volunteers every summer.
The present tie-in with soccer includes an opportunity for consumers to receive a free Canadian Men's U-20 Limited Edition soccer ball with the purchase of eggs. This promotion is in stores now, running throughout the U-20 event. See eggs.ca for details.
The Canadian Egg Marketing Agency was established in 1972 to provide Canadians with a stable supply of high-quality, delicious eggs at reasonable prices, and to ensure egg producers receive fair compensation for their labour and investment. In addition to its traditional markets, CEMA also seeks to develop newer markets for eggs.