Matsushita to sponsor rowing

A leading consumer electronics firm has stepped in with a hefty contribution that will ensure the cash-strapped Canadian national rowing team can stroke on calm water in Argentina this year and Atlanta next.Matsushita Electric of Canada, well known for its brand...

A leading consumer electronics firm has stepped in with a hefty contribution that will ensure the cash-strapped Canadian national rowing team can stroke on calm water in Argentina this year and Atlanta next.

Matsushita Electric of Canada, well known for its brand names Panasonic, Technics and Quasar, has donated $250,000 to the team. The money will pay expenses for the team that’s competing at the Pan American Games in Argentina March 11 to 26 and will move on to the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996.

The donation makes Panasonic an official partner of the Canadian rowing team and sponsor of the men’s lightweight four, the women’s heavyweight quad and single sculler, Silken Laumann, probably the best known rower in the country.

Elliott Kerr, president of the Landmark Group in Toronto and Laumann’s agent, says he has had talks with Panasonic about using Laumann for endorsements, but so far there is nothing to report.

Kerr also represents Laumann’s teammate Derek Porter, a gold medalist at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Coaches of the rowing team will receive video and audio equipment including cameras, television sets and VCRs to record and assess the squad`s performance.

Still with the national rowing team, Coopers & Lybrand has also jumped in the sponsorship waters with a two year deal.

The accountants and management consultants will support the team generally and three athletes, Marnie McBean, Colleen Miller and Wendy Wiebe in particular.

No financial details were announced.

The women will appear in Coopers & Lybrand ads and promotional material, and assist the company with recruiting, education and promotion. A fourth rower is expected to sign with the firm before the end of May.

Harold Burke, managing partner, national marketing and communications for Coopers & Lybrand, says rowing has proven to be an ‘excellent cultural fit’ for the company and its clients.

Coopers & Lybrand has supported the national rowing team since 1992.