Minor hockey leagues in Canada will get a boost from a new partnership between Samsung, Best Buy and a man known as The Great One. Here’s hoping, though, that the support goes to where minor hockey needs it most-communication with new Canadians unfamiliar to the sport.
I wrote last week about how hockey was in decline in various regions of Canada, mostly in regions highly populated by immigrants, and suggested that outreach was the solution.
The retailers teamed up with Wayne Gretzky to launch the 99 Reasons campaign earlier this year. A portion of sales from Samsung products at Best Buy locations, along with previous funds, went to The Wayne Gretzky Foundation for a total of $99,000. Now, the funds will be used to grant 99 minor hockey associations across Canada with a $1,000 bursary to help with their operating costs in their 2008-2009 seasons.
That’s all great news. It would be great, though, if these associations could receive some direction on where to spend it. Specifically, it would be great if some of the money went to community outreach-as a way of connecting with new Canadians who are unfamiliar of the game.
I know operating costs are high for these associations and the $1,000 only goes so far. But increasing community involvement-with all Canadians-will boost enrollment and eventually, community sponsorship.
Here’s hoping the associations use the bursaries to give new Canadians 99 reasons to get involved.[ad]