Event Marketing: More figure skaters going professional

Michael Lang is president of Lang & Associates, a Toronto-based international event marketing agency with offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Atlanta.Jennifer Scace is an associate with Lang & Associates, and co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column. Contributions, ideas, media releases and...

Michael Lang is president of Lang & Associates, a Toronto-based international event marketing agency with offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Atlanta.

Jennifer Scace is an associate with Lang & Associates, and co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column. Contributions, ideas, media releases and feedback should be directed to Jennifer at (416) 229-0060 or fax (416) 229-1210.

One of the elements of figure skating is the luxury afforded to retired amateur figure skaters who are able to extend their careers by carving out a niche in the highly competitive professional ranks.

Before the mid-1980s, amateur figure skaters, who were considered to have peaked in their skating careers, would have retired and turned towards coaching or an alternate career.

Today, more and more accomplished amateur skaters are opting not to ‘hang up their skates’ at the peak of their amateur career, choosing instead to pursue their talent professionally.

The mass appeal of professional skating, especially from a spectator/viewership perspective, is its ability to turn the sport into more of an entertainment medium.

This has given it tremendous marketing potential.

The business community has realized the gains that can be made from investment in the professional side of the sport.

Television networks are capitalizing on the mass public interest, and athletes considering retirement are benefitting from the financial rewards that professional skating can bring to them.

This pool of talent, along with their high marketability has, in turn, resulted in an influx of professional skating properties.

Athletes such as Kurt Browning, Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisner, who have retired from amateur skating, can be seen, for example, in the SunLife Stars on Ice Tour, which begins in Halifax on April 8, and continues across 10 Canadian cities, ending in Vancouver on April 29.

Sponsorship

opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the seventh Canadian Triathlon Championship, which will be held in Montreal on Sept. 11.

This nationally broadcast (cbc/src) endurance event, sanctioned by Triathlon Canada, marks the culmination of a full season of triathlon activity at every level and in every region across Canada.

Top Canadian and u.s. triathletes will come to Montreal to battle for the honor and privilege of being awarded the Canadian Championship title.

This event will also be the final qualifying competition for the World Cup Championship to be held in New Zealand in November 1994.

For more information, contact John Van Leeuwen at (514) 487-6900.

- Customized sponsorship packages are available for the 10th annual Ismaili Run for Charity benefitting United Way of Greater Toronto to be held June 12 at Mel Lastman Square in North York, Ont.

The event attracts about 2,500 participants, and many more spectators, who join in the celebration after the run. New this year is a 10-kilometre Team Challenge Run made up of four competitors per team.

For sponsorship information, call Elvia Picco, special events manager, United Way of Greater Toronto (416) 777-2001. To pre-register for the run, contact the run hotline at (416) 751-4001, ext. 610.

- Organized by the Caribbean Cultural Committee, Toronto’s Caribana has grown to become the largest annual summer festival in North America.

Now in its 27th year, Caribana attracts 1.5 million spectators and participants. This year’s event will be held in Toronto from July 18 to Aug. 1, and is in need of corporations interested in offering sponsorship support.

For more information, contact Dennis Renwick at (416) 925-1107.

- Now heading into its 10th year, Festival by the Sea, an annual national performing arts festival held in Saint John, n.b., from Aug. 5-14 has several partnership opportunities available to interested corporate sponsors.

For more information, contact Gary Arthurs at (506) 632-0086, or Aidan Cosgrave at (416) 696-7536.

- The Toronto International Dragon Boat Festival, organized by the Toronto Chinese Business Association, will again be held at Toronto’s Centre Island on June 25-26.

For more information, contact Michelle Salvador at (416) 364-0046.