Birks’ Olympic bling

Montreal-based jewellery co Birks & Mayors is showing its Olympic spirit by sponsoring the Games for the first time. It's created over 40 SKUs around five Olympic design elements: the Ilanaaq, the main symbol of the Games; the nature collection, featuring elements like trees and whales; the mascot collection with the three Olympic mascots, Sumi, Quatchi and Miga; the aboriginal collection, which includes six designs such as the host First Nations logos, canoes, salmon and thunderbirds; and the sports icons collection featuring sports from both the Olympics and Paralympics. The collections are rolling out over time, with the Ilanaaq and nature collections already available.

Montreal-based jewellery co Birks & Mayors is showing its Olympic spirit by sponsoring the Games for the first time. It’s created over 40 SKUs around five Olympic design elements: the Ilanaaq, the main symbol of the Games; the nature collection, featuring elements like trees and whales; the mascot collection with the three Olympic mascots, Sumi, Quatchi and Miga; the aboriginal collection, which includes six designs such as the host First Nations logos, canoes, salmon and thunderbirds; and the sports icons collection featuring sports from both the Olympics and Paralympics. The collections are rolling out over time, with the Ilanaaq and nature collections already available.

In the fall, Birks will also unveil the official torch replica – one-third the size of the actual Olympic torch – which comes with a certificate of authenticity and serial number (50,000 will be sold across Canada).

And the company will also be partnering with a yet-to-be-named Olympic athlete who previously won gold at the 2006 Games in Torino. She’ll be putting her own spin on a line for the brand.

Dan Kratochvil, group divisional VP of product development at Birks, says there were three sponsorship objectives: ‘The first was to build our Birks brand equity in Canada but also internationally. The second was to use the relationship to attract new retail and corporate clients, and the third was to raise our sustainability process to world-class standards.’

To achieve this third objective, Birks developed an ethical sourcing plan modelled after the VANOC Buy Smart program that includes working with companies that practice responsible mining. The efforts have led to Birks being awarded a VANOC Sustainability Star.

The sponsorship and collections will be pushed through in-store displays, on Birks.com, in the fall catalogue, through direct mail and in newspaper ads, with creative done by Montreal-based Sid Lee.