'Relax, It's Just a Game'

CHA and PJ DDB launch first PSA campaign against 'bad hockey parent behaviour'

November 27, 2002

TORONTO, - At a media conference today in Toronto, the Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) and Palmer Jarvis DDB (PJ DDB) unveiled a ground-breaking public service campaign. Entitled, 'Relax, it's just a game', the campaign is designed to raise awareness and end some of the inappropriate parental pressure toward young hockey players in Canada.

"Parents have been identified as one of the factors that can make the game fun for young kids, but pressure from parents is also one of the factors that make kids leave the game," said Sheldon Lanchbery, CHA Chair of the Board. "The CHA wants to take a leadership role. By launching this campaign we hope to assist in changing some of these unacceptable attitudes and behaviours."

With the tag line "What if kids pressured us the way we pressure them? Relax. It's just a game", the campaign addresses the problem of the 'bad hockey parent' for the first time through public service announcements. The PSA's use humour to reverse roles in parent-child relationships by putting an impactful spin on the pressures some parents may put on their children involved in sports.

"These spots were designed to motivate parents to unite against 'bad hockey parent' behaviour," explains Scot Keith, PJ DDB Account Director. "We are striving to make it become socially unacceptable to act this way. The pressures parents can put on children often takes the fun out of playing 'aggressive behaviour ruins the game for everyone."

The public service campaign, launched in English and French, encompasses TV, radio, print and web outlets. The "Relax, it's just a game" campaign concept was conceived by PJ DDB's Scot Keith and developed jointly with the CHA over the last six months. Keith gathered the support of hockey fans and parents at the agency to execute the creative for the campaign.

"PJ DDB has demonstrated their commitment to hockey in Canada through the development of this pro-bono campaign," comments Bob Nicholson, CHA President. "To continue spreading this important message across the country, we require the support of national media outlets. Together we can curb this ongoing issue in Canadian sports."

As the campaign kicks off, Canadians from coast to coast including athletes, parents, business leaders and members of parliament have expressed their support for the project.

"We often look to athletes to serve as models for our children. As we encourage our own children to become athletes, we have to recognize that model behaviour begins in the home. I applaud the Canadian Hockey Association and Palmer Jarvis DDB on this innovative campaign," said Minister of Canadian Heritage Sheila Copps.

To download the print ads that can be included in newspapers, magazines, newsletters or other printed materials, visit www.canadianhockey.ca. The TV and radio PSA's, information on the CHA's Chevrolet Safe and Fun Parent Education Program as well as CHA and Branch related materials on this subject can also be found on the CHA's official web site.

About the Canadian Hockey Association

The Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) (www.canadianhockey.ca), is the sole governing body for hockey in Canada, following the merger in July 1994 of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and Hockey Canada. The association links players, coaches, officials, volunteers, administrators and others involved in local hockey across Canada to all provincial, national and international hockey bodies. CHA oversees the management of hockey programming in Canada from entry level to international competitions. The CHA strives to improved the delivery system for hockey development programs throughout Canada with regional Centres of Excellence in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Saint John.

About Palmer Jarvis DDB: Better Ideas. Better Results

Palmer Jarvis DDB (www.pjddb.com) is Canada's top creative communications agency. Named Agency of the Year in 1999, 2000, and 2001 by Strategy, as well as by the National Post in 2000, PJ DDB is recognized for breakthrough, award-winning work that generates significant results for clients. Headquartered in Vancouver, PJ DDB has offices in Toronto and Edmonton, as well as a network of strategic alliances across Canada. The agency's integrated services include public relations; public affairs; market and social research; database marketing; graphic design; corporate identity; sales promotion; event marketing and sponsorship; new media/interactive services; and youth marketing. PJ DDB is part of DDB Group Canada, DDB Worldwide and Omnicom Canada.

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
[email protected]


Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
[email protected]


Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]


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