(TORONTO, MONTREAL) November 27, 2013 – Victoria Skating Rink in downtown Montreal represents a historic site, recognized in 2002 as the birthplace of organized hockey*, yet the former arena has been replaced by a parking lot for decades – until today. This morning a hockey rink will appear on the lot as former NHL defenseman Patrice Brisebois welcomes the public for a free day of skating to celebrate the return of Kraft Hockeyville, and to illustrate the importance of funding and maintaining local rinks in Canada.
A recent survey commissioned by Kraft Canada reveals the majority (91%) of Canadian hockey parents agree their local rink is the social hub of their community, yet two-thirds say these arenas are in need of repairs or upgrades. Over 90 per cent (91%) of those surveyed say their overall community would be negatively impacted if their rink were to close due to disrepair.
“Local rinks are at the heart of Canadian communities but we may run the risk of losing many of these precious centres if they are not repaired or restored for future generations,” said Jack Hewitt, Vice President of Marketing Insight & Services, Kraft Canada. “Kraft Hockeyville engages Canadians to preserve the spirit and passion for hockey across the nation, and that passion starts at the home rink.”
A hockey legend agrees. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without my local rink. Even now, it remains a huge part of my life,” said Wendel Clark, Canadian hockey legend and Kraft Hockeyville 2014 spokesperson. “Kraft Hockeyville helps people keeps things afloat. It helps towns keep rinks, fix them up and keep them community oriented.”
This year there is an even bigger opportunity for Canada’s communities to breathe new life into their local rinks through Kraft Hockeyville 2014, in partnership with the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA). The program is back and bigger than ever, awarding a total of $1 million in prizing to 16 different communities, including:
• One grand prize of $100,000 in arena upgrades and a broadcast NHL® pre-season game played in the local community
• One prize of $100,000 in arena upgrades
• Two prizes of $50,000 each in arena upgrades for third and fourth place
• Twelve prizes of $25,000 each in arena upgrades
Canadian communities are invited to start preparing their submissions to vie for the title of Kraft Hockeyville 2014 with the nomination period opening January 1, 2014. Submissions will be accepted until February 9, 2014. For contest rules and complete program details, please visit KraftHockeyville.ca. Kraft Hockeyville can also be found on Facebook (Facebook.com/KraftHockeyville) and Twitter (@hockeyville).
*“Birthplace of hockey recognized”, International Ice Hockey Federation, 2008
About Kraft Foods Group
Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: KRFT) is one of North America’s largest consumer packaged food and beverage companies, with annual revenues of more than $18 billion. With the spirit of a startup and the soul of a powerhouse, Kraft has an unrivaled portfolio of products in the beverages, cheese, refrigerated meals and grocery categories. Its iconic brands include Kraft, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Velveeta, Capri Sun, JELL-O and Lunchables. Kraft’s 23,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada have a passion for making the foods and beverages people love. Kraft is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the NASDAQ-100 indices. For more information, visit www.kraft.com and www.facebook.com/kraft.
About the NHL
The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL® consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other major professional sport. The NHL entertains more than 250 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (NBC Sports Network, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, and NHL Network™) and radio (NHL Radio™, Sirius XM Satellite Radio). Through NHL Green™, the League is committed to reuse, recycle and reduce its ecological impact by pursuing sustainable business practices and raising awareness of environmental issues among its fan base. The NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer™ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, visit NHL.com.
About the National Hockey League Players’ Association
The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labour organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 14 years, more than 60,000 deserving children in 30 countries have benefited from the players' donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $21-million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.
About the Survey
From November 7th to November 12th, 2013, an online survey was conducted among 1,020 randomly selected Canadian adults that have a child under the age of 18 that play hockey at a public arena, and who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.