Everest-Ferbey National Pro Am and contest quickly becoming one of the most talked about events of the season
Toronto, April 26, 2016 – Curling in Canada will be wrapping for the season shortly on the heels of an exciting year that saw a resurgence in senior curling thanks to a unique sponsorship idea from curling Hall-of-Famer Randy Ferbey, Everest Funeral Planning and Concierge Service and its AOR, REPUBLIC.
Curlers above the age of 50 are one of the fastest growing constituencies in the sport. According to PMB, participation amongst this age group has increased 44% over the past three years alone. Despite this, the Canadian Senior Curling Championships – a competition made up of some of the country’s best – has been virtually ignored since it was pulled from the season’s broadcast schedule in 2004.
In 2015, Everest and Ferbey set out to change that. After signing on as the title sponsor of the Canadian Senior Curling Championships, Everest turned to its AOR REPUBLIC to develop a unique way to enhance the profile of the event.
The group designed a new sports property, the Everest-Ferbey National Pro Am. The event, built around a contest for curlers over 50 in clubs across Canada, was supported by an integrated campaign both online and off. This included paid, OOH, earned and social media along with an influencer campaign, and for this year a partnership with Bell Aliant.
The participation in the Pro Am included some of Canada’s best-known curlers. Olympic Gold Medalists Jennifer Jones and Brad Jacobs, the legendary Ferbey and three-time World Champion Brent Laing were announced on prime time TSN with Vic Rauter live from the WFG Continental Cup in Las Vegas. Ferbey conducted a media tour across 11 markets, visiting curling clubs and doing interviews with local media. Contest participation was also encouraged through a print campaign in targeted sport publications, engagement with influential curlers across their own networks and a strategic social media campaign.
Now in its 2nd year, the Everest-Ferbey National Pro Am is quickly becoming one of the most talked about curling events outside of TSN’s Season of Champions. The signature event of the Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships, has helped shine a light on the skill and caliber of play amongst curlers over 50, creating greater recognition and renewed momentum across the country. This year’s Pro Am contest saw a surge in entries and a curling club registration increase by almost 300% over the first year. Clubs in Ottawa and Fredericton, whose members won the contest, held viewing parties to watch the live coverage of the Pro Am. With over 17.4 million impressions through social and traditional media activations, the campaign was talked about from coast to coast.
“We knew it wasn't enough just to write a cheque and put our logo up in the rink. We needed to find a way to renew interest in the caliber of play that is the Senior Championships. REPUBLIC has played a significant role in helping us achieve this and finding new ways to enhance our sponsorship and the Pro Am,” said Mark Duffey President and CEO of Everest Funeral Planning and Concierge Service. “We saw an opportunity here. These are some of Canada’s curling greats yet over the past decade the attention has been focused on the Scotties and the Brier and because of this the Championship has suffered. We set out not to just sponsor this annual championship but to bring it back to its past glory. To get people excited again and tap into this fast growing group of curlers directly in order to do so,” he added.
“It’s been great to see how senior curling in Canada is being revitalized, and Everest has been a key player in its resurgence,” said Hugh Avery, Chair of Curling Canada's Board of Governors. “Senior curlers have always been among the sports biggest proponents, and it’s good to see greater recognition and awareness coming to these exceptional athletes and great ambassadors of the game.”
As 2016 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships Gold Medalist Skip, and one of Canada’s most accomplished female curlers, Colleen Jones said at this year’s event in Digby, Nova Scotia, “Everest is driving a truck through Senior Curling. We couldn't be happier to see them here.”
“For a marketer, working with a client like Everest is an absolute delight. A lot of sport sponsors tend to throw money and leave, but Everest made it clear they wanted to do much more than that and they challenged us to find ways to really engage and enthuse Canadian 50-plus curlers to revitalize the Senior Curling Championships,” said Beverley Hammond CEO of REPUBLIC. “The dramatic increase in participation in the Pro Am contest after just one year, the announcement on TSN during the Continental Cup, live streaming of the event on Bell Aliant, along with the commitment shown by Canada’s curling legends – the best players in the world - to help us do this has been nothing short of tremendous.” Adding, “we are introducing new engagement tools to both the Senior Championship sponsorship and the Pro Am program every year with a goal to make this as big as the Brier and the Scotties in the curling community. It’s really only just begun.”
Everest is the first nationwide funeral planning and concierge service. An independent consumer advocate, Everest was launched in Canada in 2001 with the goal of creating a continent wide service to help streamline and simplify the process for grieving families. Its sole purpose is to provide information to consumers when they need to make informed choices about funeral-related issues. Serving as an impartial advocate, Everest is not a funeral home, nor does it sell funeral goods or services and does not receive commissions from funeral homes or other providers in the funeral industry. Today, Everest services are available to more than 25 million people in Canada and the United States. Visit www.Everestfuneral.com for more information.
A REPUBLIC Primer:
Founded in 2013, REPUBLIC is an independent agency that bridges marketing disciplines to help brands and organizations free their stories of passion and purpose, with passion and purpose. Leveraging unique and innovative planning platforms like its proprietary WarRoom, REPUBLIC helps marketers navigate the new consumer environment and builds campaigns that are not biased to any one marketing channel. In addition to its work on The Gay Sweater Campaign, winner of a Silver in the Pro Bono category at the Canadian Marketing Awards, REPUBLIC's portfolio spans industries including automotive, beauty, beverage alcohol, energy, fashion, insurance, and sports. REPUBLIC proudly supports FAC, an organization that brings together artists, academics and activists to consider feminist issues through art. REPUBLIC. Free Your Story.
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