Air Canada and Roots make a long flight more comfortable

The retailer gave away cozy sweats on the airline's longest international flight.

Today is International Sweatpants Day, so Roots – a company known for its sweats – partnered with Air Canada to mark the occasion with an activation aimed at making the airline’s longest flight a little more comfortable.

The two companies surprised more than 250 customers travailing from Vancouver to Melbourne, Australia, which happens to be Air Canada’s longest international flight. Each of the passengers was given a set of Roots’ sweatpants, a hoodie and leather passport holder.

Karen Zuccala, who was named Roots’ VP of marketing in September, said in a press release that the activation was a “perfect fit” for both brands given that the Vancouver-Melbourne trip is Air Canada’s longest and that Australia is a growing market for Roots, thanks to its global ecommerce platform.

The apparel retailer has recently made international expansion a priority, especially in the Taiwanese, Chinese and U.S. markets. At the same time, it has put more resources into bolstering its ecommerce capabilities. Roots’ James Connell was promoted to the newly created role of chief of ecommerce and customer experience officer in November, and former VP marketing Mangala D’Sa previously told strategy that ecommerce had been “tagged as one of the key growth engines for the organization.”

Meanwhile, Air Canada continues to focus part of its marketing on its “Fly the Flag” initiative, including a recent holiday activation in airports designed to catch passengers travelling home to visit family. It handed out free airfare to people at airports in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington and Tokyo to help them return home more often than they normally could.

Further to the initial giveaway, the companies are encouraging Canadians to enter a contest for two Air Canada round-trip airfares to a Canadian destination two Roots travel packages containing a pair of sweats and a leather travel bag. The contest is open until Jan. 25.