Since 2005, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities has helped more than 2 million kids in financial need participate in sport and recreation. Jumpstart assists with the costs of registration, equipment and transportation for eligible families. In June 2019, Jumpstart held it’s annual in-store fundraising initiative: Jumpstart Month.
Jumpstart Month is held across the Canadian Tire family of companies including Canadian Tire Retail, Sport Chek and Mark’s, and Canadians are encouraged to donate at store level to help kids in their community participate in sports and recreation. One hundred percent of donations made to Jumpstart stay within the community in which they were donated. The main objectives of Jumpstart Month 2019 were:
To support the latest Jumpstart Month objectives, Canadian Tire’s External Communications team developed the following objectives for a Public Relations campaign:
Canadian Tire’s External Communications team created a multi-phase, multi-city Public Relations campaign to generate awareness and encourage store level donations during the month of June. The campaign included cross-country landmark lightings, an influencer program, a media event and media tour.
Landmarks across Canada were lit in red and white, Jumpstart’s colours. The first landmarks lit to kick-off Jumpstart Month were the well-known Toronto Sign at Nathan Philips Square and the Clock Tower at the Mississauga Civic Centre. Throughout June, additional landmarks including the Winnipeg Sign, Calgary Tower, BC Place and Niagara Falls were lit to celebrate Jumpstart Month. With the support of Canadian Tire’s Public Affairs team, Mayors and City councillors used the landmark lightings as an opportunity to promote Jumpstart Month on social media, including a tweet from Mayor John Tory of Toronto sharing the message with his nearly 300,000 followers.
Parenting influencers were approached to help generate awareness of Jumpstart on social channels. From stay-at-home moms and dads to parents of multiples, various parenting influencers from across the country were asked to post on social media to encourage in-store donations and generate interest and awareness among their followers. Nine parenting influencers agreed to post pro bono, a huge coup for the Charity. In return, the influencers were given a pair of the no-tie shoelaces signed by one of three Canadian athletes: Connor McDavid, Hayley Wickenheiser or Rosie McLennan. Many of the Influencers created Instagram stories including the no-tie shoelaces, and several posted more than once.
To help create additional buzz surrounding Jumpstart Month, high-profile Jumpstart Ambassadors took part in media events in Toronto and Calgary.
NHL superstar and Edmonton Oilers Captain Connor McDavid participated in a media event at a Jumpstart Playground in Toronto. He surprised local kids on the playground for a morning of fun, showcasing his support for Jumpstart. Five media outlets attended the event, along with a key parenting influencer.
Simultaneously, five-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser did a morning media tour in Calgary, promoting Jumpstart Month on every television morning show in the city. To help increase awareness of the in-store donation driver, the no-tie shoelaces, Hayley wore the shoelaces and gave each morning host a pair on-air. The morning host on CTV provided an on-air donation to Jumpstart in exchange for the no-tie laces, further reinforcing the donate-in-store message.
Jumpstart posted on its own Instagram and Twitter channels to drive awareness and excitement for both the Connor McDavid media event and the Hayley Wickenheiser media tour. Facebook and Instagram posts were used throughout the month to share highlights including media tours, the landmark lightings and content created by Canadian Tire Retail.
Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities’ Jumpstart Month PR campaign exceeded expectation and achieved its objectives through the use of influencers and sport celebrities to communicate the Jumpstart Month core key messages to a broad audience online and via traditional earned media.
The PR campaign supported the Jumpstart Month goal of raising $1.61 million during the month of June. The amount raised was an increase of 1.5% over the previous year, making 2019 the highest earning year yet for Jumpstart, and will help approximately 16,000 kids across Canada, who otherwise couldn’t afford to play, get into sport and recreation.
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