Lululemon will be Team Canada’s exclusive Olympic teammate until at least the 2028 Games.
Under an agreement announced Thursday with the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the Vancouver-based track and field giant will be the exclusive supplier of Olympic-branded sportswear for the next four Olympic Games:
- The Winter Games in Beijing in 2022.
- The Summer Games in Paris in 2024.
- The Milan Winter Games in 2026.
- The Summer Games are being held in Los Angeles in 2028.
CBC owns the Canadian broadcast rights to the Olympic Games until 2024.
The deal means that all Team Canada members – from athletes and coaches to support staff – will be fully equipped with Lululemon equipment during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, at media appearances and in the Athletes’ Village. .
Retailer CEO Calvin McDonald said he “couldn’t be prouder” of the deal.
WATCH | Canadian athletes talk about the Lululemon deal:
âSupporting these incredible athletes as they prepare to compete on the world’s greatest sporting stage and achieve their goals is a privilege,â he said in a statement. âThrough this partnership, all of us at Lululemon are honored to play our part to inspire, unite and transform the world through sport and share this enthusiasm alongside all of Canada.
The company says 10 percent of the proceeds from all sales will go to a fund to support athletes. Some of the gear will be released on Thursday, while the Complete Athlete’s Kit – along with other consumer items – is expected to release next month.
Karen O’Neill, CEO of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, said she was âthrilledâ with the pact.
“Through the work done to ensure accessible and inclusive apparel, this is a partnership that will provide high quality and stylish gear to Team Canada and will also seek to promote and support sport for people of all abilities.” , she said. “Lululemon, like us, believes in the power of sport to create positive change and we look forward to working together throughout the partnership to make it happen.”
The deal with Lululemon comes after a precedent with HBC expired. The parent company of The Bay had held the rights to the Olympic misfires of Team Canada for all the Games since 2006 in Turin, Italy. Prior to that, Roots was Canada’s Olympic outfitter.
‘Game-changer’ for the company
Toronto-based independent retail analyst Bruce Winder said the move “is a game-changer” for Lululemon and makes perfect sense given the company’s strategic direction.
Lululemon has seen its sales skyrocket during the pandemic as millions of office workers found themselves working from home and in need of comfortable yet stylish clothing. Last week, the company said it achieved revenue of $ 1.5 billion in the second quarter of 2021, nearly double what it achieved in the same period two years ago in 2019.
The company’s shares fell in March 2020 – along with most other stocks at the start of the pandemic – to a low of less than $ 140 per share. But since then his stock has roughly tripled, changing hands to over $ 430 apiece this week.
A popular brand in many women’s wardrobes, Lululemon – which was founded in 1998 in Vancouver as a yoga clothing retailer – has recently tried to diversify its customer base by aggressively turning to men’s clothing – c that’s why Winder says the Olympics deal makes so much sense. for the company.
“They had a lot more strength on the female sideâ¦ [so] it definitely opens them up, “he said in an interview.” It’s great publicity to show that they’re also in the menswear market. “
Winder says it’s a smart move as well as it strengthens Lululemon as a high-performance brand for people who lead active lifestyles.
âIt reinforces the technical nature of Lululemon, which is important because there are a lot of copiers now,â he said. “You can buy yoga clothes anywhere, but the technical nature of Lululemon is what sets it apart and the hallmark of the brand, and it does both.”
The price tag must “make sense”
Financial terms were not disclosed, but Winder says it is money well spent on the brand, regardless of the cost.
Others say that the payout depends on the price paid by Lululemon.
David Ian Gray, founder and director of Vancouver-based consulting firm DIG360, says flashy sponsorships may or may not work, depending on the company and brand.
âThe company feels good in the profile, and they may have worked with a last minute discount given the eye drop on the Tokyo Games,â he said in an email to CBC News. “However, I would like to know the [price tag]. “
Gray says being associated with the Olympics is not as important to the company’s strategic direction as positioning beyond yoga for athleticism, performance and a healthy lifestyle.
âIt reinforces the fact that they’ve really driven the whole athleisure category,â he said. “Assuming the dollars make sense, the idea of ââlanding for Lulu makes sense.”