Canadian signs ski deal

Canadian Airlines International's new three-year deal as official carrier of the national Alpine ski team sells plane tickets, raises the airline's profile and helps a national endeavor, says one of the carrier's top marketing executives.Harry Hargadon, Ontario vice-president for Canadian Airlines,...

Canadian Airlines International’s new three-year deal as official carrier of the national Alpine ski team sells plane tickets, raises the airline’s profile and helps a national endeavor, says one of the carrier’s top marketing executives.

Harry Hargadon, Ontario vice-president for Canadian Airlines, says there is a tangible payoff for the airline because Alpine Canada pays for its plane tickets.

Plenty of attention

Although Hargadon confirms the organization gets a deal on the tickets, he says just as important, although not quantifiable, is the association with a team whose success has drawn plenty of attention.

The ski-fly deal runs until 1995.

John Mikkelsen, event marketing manager, business programs, for Canadian, notes from the carrier’s head office in Calgary the Alpine Canada arrangement costs the carrier about $100,000-plus a year.

Mikkelsen adds that is ‘not hard cash.’

Hargadon says the Canadian-Alpine Canada link also helps his airline’s subsidiary, Canadian Holidays, which he calls the top ski wholesaler in the country.

He says Canadian Holidays concentrates its efforts on packages to such resorts as Whistler, b.c. and Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta.

Long association

Steve Podborski, one of the original Crazy Canucks and a former skier of international repute, said at the recent Toronto press launch to announce the deal, the airline (and its predecessor, CP Air) have been associated with the Canadian alpine ski team for longer than he skied on it.

The carrier has a 12-year association with Alpine Canada; Podborski was in the fray for 11 years.