Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart raises ‘social’ money for kids

The retailer links its TV and social media strategies with 'Playoff Payoff,' a fundraising initiative for its national charitable program.

NHL fans need not feel guilty for couch surfing during this year’s hockey season. With Canadian Tire’s charitable program, Jumpstart, viewers can now simultaneously watch the Stanley Cup playoffs and raise money for kids.

The ‘Playoff Payoff’ initiative invites hockey fans to raise money for the Jumpstart program by registering on the program’s Facebook page. Participants then set a personal target of the number of games they’ll watch on TV, invite their family and friends to sponsor their quest, and then donate the proceeds to Jumpstart, which helps cover the costs associated with recreational sports for families who can’t afford it.

Facebook offered an affordable and simple media strategy to reach the program’s target audience of male sports fans, Carolyn Solby, director, marketing and communications, Canadian Tire Jumpstart, tells MiC.

‘We have to be very careful with every dollar spent,’ she says of Jumpstart’s marketing. ‘[Social media] is untested, uncharted water for us.’

Campaign strategy was handled by Taxi in Toronto and according to account director Megan Snider, the goal was to create a program that made fundraising easy.

‘Jumpstart is using this as a fundraiser. The best way to do that is to make it really easy for people to participate,’ she says. ‘You can’t make it much easier than to make people do something that they already want to do, like asking Canadians to watch playoff hockey.’

Promotional spots include a Jumpstart ad in the Canadian Tire flyer, reaching 11 million Canadian households, an ad in the retailer’s e-flyer and a video ad on Facebook.

The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and money, to drive traffic to Canadian Tire’s Facebook page and to engage with a target audience that the retailer hasn’t really reached out to in the past.

‘Our target audience is Canadian Tire shoppers and parents with kids,’ Solby explains. ‘This allows us to broaden that to sports fans. It’s a more male audience. We think it will skew slightly younger, in terms of young guys watching the playoffs.’

NHL is an official sponsor of the campaign, with Hershey as a prizing sponsor.