Toronto, April 7, 2011 – RONA inc. (TSX: RON, RON.PR.A), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, took the top prize as well as one Gold Award at the 7th annual Sponsorship Marketing Awards (SMA).
The SMAs, presented this afternoon at the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada’s annual conference in Toronto, recognize companies that have maximized their investments in sponsorship marketing by developing innovative strategies that drive business results.
RONA won Best of Show and a Gold Award in the special 2011 category “2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games” thanks to its five-year sponsorship program of the most recent Canadian Winter Olympics.
RONA’s media and sponsorship agency, Carat, advised and represented the company over the life of the program, from the onset of negotiations for the Vancouver Olympics in 2005 to sponsorship implementation and activation during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
“RONA is honoured to receive today these special awards, which recognize the value of our sponsorship investment for driving brand, business and community results,” said Claude Bernier, RONA Executive VP, Marketing and Customer Innovations. “As a truly Canadian corporation, we are proud to have been part of the Olympic movement in Vancouver and to have helped our athletes and our fellow citizens win gold at home. This great adventure allowed us to team up with a remarkable group of athletes who share the same values of passion, discipline and determination just like the RONA team.”
All SMA entries were evaluated according to four major criteria categories including attainment of partnership objectives and sponsorship selection, maximization of sponsorship marketing investment, results, and case quality. RONA clinched the top honour and a Gold Award thanks to a carefully crafted strategy that rested on supporting Canadian athletes, helping build the Olympic venues, training at-risk youth and engaging RONA employees.
RONA became a National Partner of the 2010 Winter Olympics when the company teamed up with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Organizing Committee (VANOC) in 2005. During the last five years, RONA set out to achieve and surpass two key objectives, which were to increase unaided Olympic advertising recall from 2% in 2006 to 10% in 2010, and to be among the top ten Canadian companies in terms of corporate reputation. RONA surpassed by 10% its advertising recall objective and finished fifth in the prestigious company list.
Some of the impact and lasting legacy behind RONA’s Vancouver Olympics sponsorship include 21 medals won by RONA athletes out of a total of 26 Canadian medals; the transformation of Olympic facilities, for which RONA donated materials, into 150 permanent affordable housing units; the reinsertion of 64 at-risk youth who graduated and have ongoing employment; and the participation of one of the largest corporate delegations at the Games.
RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of more than 950 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats. With close to 30,000 employees working under its family of banners in every region of Canada and more than 17 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network generates over $6 billion in annual retail sales. For more information, please visit www.rona.ca.
About the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada
Formed in 2004 under the auspices of the ACA, the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada was created to advance the development of best practices and accountabilities in the field of sponsorship marketing.