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Teaming up for touchdown: making the most of community involvement

A look at how two local brands to came together to benefit a local charity in Saskatchewan

This is absolutely no secret to my friends, family and colleagues; I am a diehard Saskatchewan Roughriders fan.  Yes, I bleed green, as the marketing slogans say. I’m the guy out there in the sun, rain, sleet, wind or snow.  There is a passion behind this team. The whole province (and a lot of Canada) gets wrapped up in it around this time of the year, the dawn of the Canadian Football League season!

Now this is a blog about Co-ops and the market in Western Canada, so why am I talking football?  We had a unique opportunity over four years ago to partner with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the key to this partnership has been based around the following key points that both the Riders and Co-op have:

*Locally Invested – Co-ops are local to their areas and the Riders are a community-owned team.

*History – Both Co-op and the Riders have deep and rich pasts in Saskatchewan being there in the good times and bad times

*Community Minded – Like the Riders, Co-ops in the Saskatchewan communities are focused on their community

Winnipeg Blue Bombers wide receiver Nicke Moore talks with media about his endorsement of the Co-op Game Day Approved product line in Manitoba.

This has been an exciting partnership over the last four years. Not only has it allowed me to work with my favourite team,  it allowed two local brands to come together and help benefit a great local charity in Saskatchewan, The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan.

This partnership was paramount in making sure the program between Co-op and the Saskatchewan Roughriders was giving back to the communities we are a part of. In 2013, this partnership led to a $95,000 donation. Over four years, more than $400,000 has been donated to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan.

This partnership has lead to some exclusive products that have even landed on the desk of TSN during the panel interviews during games.

The 2014 season will be no different; in fact it will be bigger and better than ever.

In May we introduced new partnerships with three more western teams. Joining Co-op this year are the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders.

Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly helps launch the Co-op Game Day Approved product line in Edmonton.

We’re also partnering with the Children’s Hospital Foundations in each of the communities, again making sure we’re always partnering with the local communities. Here are some videos highlighting how we launched Game Day Approved products in each of these markets:

Partnering with the CFL teams is a great fit for the Co-op System. The CFL is a great community league, and they care about each and every community they are in. From making players available for many different community events to putting on clinics for local children, they are always giving back to the communities they are a part of. This is also very important for us in our system. We are as local as it gets and have been a part of these communities for as long, if not longer, than most of these teams.

Calgary Stampeders tailback Jon Cornish signs fan autographs of his Co-op Cornish Flakes at a fan day

These are the unique relationships we want to build on and grow with, always maintaining an eye on the communities we are a part of and offering the consumers unique marketing initiatives.

And it would not be right to close this post of any other way than to steal a tagline the CFL has been using on Twitter, #isitJuneYet?

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