Marcelle cheers on Olympian Jennifer Heil

The cosmetic company's sponsorship of 2006 gold medallist skier Jennifer Heil comes complete with a website of celebrity well-wishes and a Facebook campaign to drive support.

With a day-one start to her 2010 Olympic performance, gold medallist Jennifer Heil is going to be under more than a little pressure when the big day arrives. So to boost her good-karma bank as much as possible, Lachine, QC-based cosmetics maker Groupe Marcelle has launched a website called where Canadians and celebrities alike can help her along.

The site, which has garnered 1,000 ‘cheers’ for Heil since its launch last week, was created to generate public support for the moguls skier as she embarks on her second attempt to win an Olympic gold medal in 2010 – a feat that if accomplished, would be the first-ever for a Canadian athlete on home turf. The site is Marcelle-branded and features a video player which loops messages of goodwill from Canadian celebrities including Celine Dion, David Suzuki and the band Simple Plan.

The site is being promoted through Facebook advertising this month and a wider online campaign next month (with media handled in-house). A cheer can be submitted to the site via video, text, blog post or Twitter, and all contributions are shown on the site. The site will remain up until March in order to cover all of Heil’s World Cup competitions this season.

In addition to working with Heil’s friends and family to start compiling cheers, Marcelle employees racked their brains to think of celebrities they knew – or knew someone who knew – that they could recruit to cheer. As it turns out, Marcelle employees are a pretty well-connected bunch, Marie Camirand, director, corporate marketing, Groupe Marcelle, told MiC.

‘It turned out really well,’ she laughs. ‘We learned that we had a pretty good network!’

The sponsorship started in a very organic fashion, Camirand said, as Heil worked out at the same gym as the company’s president David Cape, and their trainer suggested they meet. It was not, she stresses, an Olympics-oriented decision to sponsor Heil, as Marcelle cannot even promote their brand at the Games as an unofficial sponsor. It was rather a labour of love that was pursued largely outside of work hours, Camirand explained. ‘We fell in love with her; it was love at first sight.’