When the pandemic struck, arenas closed, and hockey associations nationwide were shut down. Even professional hockey was put to a halt. Canadians were suddenly left with a hockey void.
Canadian Tire exists for the jobs and joys of life in Canada and carries all the products needed to thrive through typical Canadian life, including hockey. The network of 500+ community dealers has been deeply involved in all levels of hockey for many years, from local leagues to the sponsorship of the NHL (national hockey league). In fact, most Canadians purchased their first hockey stick at Canadian Tire as a child.
After months without hockey, there was a palpable nostalgia for the game. However, the campaign was built on a stronger insight: Canadian consumers felt powerless when faced with the impact of the pandemic. This was true for every consumer, but even more so for Canadian Tire consumers. Indeed, our core consumer base is made of “fixers” and “do-it-yourselfers”. Canadian Tire is a mass retailer competing with home improvement retailers such as Lowes or Home Depot.
On top of its sports offering, it sells a wide range of tools and material to improve Canadian homes. Our “do-it-yourself” consumers typically take matters into their own hands and we felt we could help them channel their energy into a positive and meaningful movement.
If you can’t access arenas and outdoor rinks, why can’t you build our own network? This is the big idea behind ‘Operation: Puck Drop’. By building hundreds of ice hockey rinks in backyards, Canadians would have a chance to strap their skates back on.
Canadian Tire relied on the passion– and the arms! – of “do-it-yourselfers” to build a nation-wide network of community rinks. ‘Operation: Puck Drop’ supplied Canadians with the tools and know-how to take matters into their own hands. After all, Canadian Tire is a store for DIY’ers and builders. We believed they could truly make a difference one backyard at a time! Through this program, Canadian Tire would be the enabler of hockey, providing a moment of joy to Canadian families across the nation.
Puck Drop allowed a socially distanced country to come together, virtually share experiences and be apart of one of the things that unites Canadians the most, hockey!