|Deborah Gullaher, VP Marketing, Suncor Energy; Henry Storgaard, CEO of the Canadian Paralympic Committee; and Hon. Charles Sousa, MPP, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. Front: Paralympian Michelle Stilwell.|
As part of its commitment to match $5 million in annual funding from the government of Canada, the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) has renewed a sponsorship agreement with Suncor Energy’s Petro-Canada brand that extends through 2016.
Petro-Canada has been a CPC sponsor for more than 13 years and, along with Pfizer Canada, is one of the organization’s oldest corporate partners. It is part of a group of top-tier partners that also includes Air Canada, Bell, General Motors Canada, HBC, Rona and RBC.
The new agreement includes both the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Summer Games.
In addition to supporting CPC athletes, Petro-Canada’s multi-faceted sponsorship includes the Paralympic Education Program, a free online resource for teachers to help them educate students about parasport and establish positive perceptions of people with a physical disability.
As part of the sponsorship renewal, Suncor has also introduced the Petro-Canada Paralympic fuel savings card, which will be sold at Petro-Canada locations across the country.
The card features wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell—a three-time Paralympic gold medalist and one of Canada’s best medal hopes at the upcoming Paralympic Games in London—and entitles holders to save 10¢ per litre on gas up to 500 litres. Five dollars from the sale of every card goes to the CPC.
Francois Robert, the CPC’s Ottawa-based executive director of sponsorships, said the organization has other retail programs that will be unveiled as the London Paralympics draw closer, while other partners are providing everything from government relations expertise to calling on Paralympians for speaking engagements.
“We’re really working with all of our partners to leverage our assets, but the hype around the London Games is providing momentum with our current partners and [prospective] partners because the timing is very good,” said Robert.
The organization also signed insurance company Jardine Lloyd Thompson Canada to a four-year sponsorship deal last year, and is having what Robert characterized as “positive dialogue” with four other potential corporate sponsors.
“Based on our current momentum we’re feeling very confident that we’ll meet our objective,” said Robert. “We’re moving very well in the direction of getting new partners on board.”