When you think of sports and Canada, your mind automatically jumps to hockey. However, thanks to Dr. James Naismith, basketball also has a special Canadian flavor, so to remind citizens of Naismith’s contribution to sports, retailer Sport Chek surprised residents by giving away over 1,800 basketballs on February 11.
The giveaway, which is part of an ad campaign and social media initiative called #WeGotNow (www.facebook.com/hashtag/wegotnow ), was comprised of pyramid displays of a total of 1,891 basketballs in various popular spots in Toronto in a nod to the year the game was invented: 1891.
Sport Chek is Canada’s largest retailer of sports apparel and equipment, and according to a report in Marketing magazine, #WeGotNow (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl4hzBgjbRk ) is the second part of Sport Chek’s #MyNorth platform, which is a push into the basketball culture. The report goes on to say that Sport Chek’s focus on basketball highlights a shift Canadians’ sports preferences.
Senior VP of marketing at FGL Sports Frederick Lecoq said customers now follow and participate in a diverse cross-section of sports including basketball, soccer and baseball. He said the giveaway’s goal was to make people feel a part of the campaign. “The people who are interacting with this surprising experience, they’re actually the creative,” Lecoq said in the Marketingmag.ca report. “Anyone who is going to get a ball and pick it up, they’re part of my campaign – which is awesome.”
According to Lecoq, sales of basketball-related goods now account for upwards of 5% of overall sales at Sport Chek. As the basketball category grows, the retailer has put more emphasis on the sport in its marketing.
During All-Star weekend, Sport Chek is continuing its push in the Toronto area with even more basketball giveaways, including the handing out of 300 basketballs to local youth teams, the Toronto District School Board and the Boys and Girls Club of Toronto.
Check out Sport Chek’s video of the ball drop here: www.facebook.com/SportChekOfficial/?fref=nf