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Empire Company teams up with Canadian Olympic Committee, Hockey Canada

Gold medalist Kylie Masse of Canada poses during the medal ceremony for the Women's 100m Backstroke Final at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships (by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The Empire Company has agreed partnerships with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Hockey Canada which will leverage the conglomerate’s food retailing brands.

Under the COC agreement, Empire’s family of grocers – Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Farm Boy, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods and Rachelle Béry – will serve as the first-ever official grocer of Team Canada.

Empire’s soon to be launched e-commerce platform, Voilà by Sobeys, has been named the official online grocer of Team Canada.

Healthy food and nutrition will be a key area of focus for the partnership, with the company’s marketing campaign to be unveiled in early 2020.

Michael Medline, president and chief executive of Empire Company, said: “The eyes of our nation are on Team Canada for two weeks every two years, but a lifetime of training and dedication go into the moments we celebrate as a nation. We want to be there to support our athletes 365 days a year, and our partnership will deliver against that vision.”

Empire’s partnership with Hockey Canada, a sport partner of the COC, will revolve around the women’s national ice hockey team in efforts to raise awareness around female participation in sport in Canada.

Empire will be the exclusive partner of the Canadian women’s team, with Sobeys to support the team leading up to and on the Olympic stage, as well as at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s 2020 Women’s World Championship, which will be held in Sobeys’ home province of Nova Scotia.

“Canada’s national women’s hockey team is one of Canada’s most beloved sports teams,” Sandra Sanderson, senior vice-president of marketing for Sobeys, said.

“Cheering them on at home and abroad as they continue to reach for gold will give us many opportunities to celebrate alongside Canadian families. Through our Hockey Canada partnership, we will create excitement and engagement around women’s hockey and inspire the next generation of young women who love the game.”

The COC promoted the partnership by asking four of its athletes – swimmer Kylie Masse, basketball player Kia Nurse, sports climbing star Sean McColl and beach volleyball athlete Sarah Pavan – what their pre-competition meal regime is.