The MARS® Brand Invites Canadians from Coast to Coast to Help Local Community Rinks in Need!

Video: Mars(R) Play Your Part(TM)TV Spot

Mars® Bar Image (CNW Group/Mars Canada Inc.)

Mars® Brand Logo (CNW Group/Mars Canada Inc.)

       MARS® PLAY YOUR PART™ campaign supports important rink and arena renovations across Canada

TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - The belief at the core of the MARS® brand is that the more you put into life, the more you get out of it. The makers of MARS® are dedicated to rewarding and restoring Canadians, especially those that are making a difference, and this first came to light in Grand Manan, New Brunswick, in 2011. The brand teamed up with the local community to complete the build of a much-needed heated mezzanine at the Grand Manan Community Centre. As an evolution of this initiative, the MARS® brand, in partnership with Hockey Canada, is now thrilled to announce the launch of the MARS® PLAY YOUR PART™ campaign - calling on all Canadians from coast to coast to help community rinks in need!

A recent national survey*, conducted by Leger Marketing and commissioned by the MARS® brand, revealed the following key findings:

  • While more than 90 per cent of Canadians live near an ice rink, and value the positive impact a rink has on a community, most are surprisingly unaware of the current physical state of their facilities.
  • Over three quarters of the Canadian population consider funding to be a primary factor in whether or not their rinks are well-maintained.
  • Interestingly enough, despite this, Canadians still want to make a difference and try to by seeking out the support of corporate brands or by making their own personal monetary contributions.

"Canadians are known for their love of winter sports, particularly those that involve skates and an ice rink, as there is a common thread of working hard, relaxing or having fun - three activities that the Mars brand greatly values" says Aziz Shariff, marketing manager, Mars Canada Inc. "By contributing to the improvement of local rinks that impact so many lives, the makers of Mars are committed to making a difference in these communities while empowering Canadians to do the same in a positive way."

How does the MARS® PLAY YOUR PART™ promotion work?

By purchasing a specially marked MARS® bar and entering the PIN code found inside the wrapper at www.marsbar.ca, Canadians have the opportunity to activate a $5 CDN Mars Canada Inc contribution towards participating community rinks in need of renovations. Activating a PIN will also give Canadians the chance to win** an instant win prize.

With the help of Hockey Canada, the MARS® brand team has identified five local community rinks and arenas from across the country whose individual stories are featured on www.marsbar.ca. Each rink will benefit from a minimum Mars Canada Inc. contribution of $5,000 CDN, and could receive up to a maximum of $20,000 CDN towards hockey related improvements and renovations that will have a memorable impact on their community.

Who are the five participating rinks?

Mission Leisure Centre - Mission, British Columbia
Serving a community of 38,000, the Mission Leisure Centre is a hub for community recreation for both youth and adults, and caters to minor hockey league players, lacrosse players and ball hockey players. In 2014, the facility will play host to the 2014 B.C. Winter Games and the hope is to be able to replace the arena's score clock which is over 15 years old and has recently become quite unreliable.

Loreburn Recreation - Loreburn, Saskatchewan
Located in central Saskatchewan, Loreburn is a small community with a population of 100 people, and the local rink is shared with three other towns in the area. The facility has recently undergone improvements, such as the addition of two new dressing rooms for its arena. However, the floors in these new rooms still need completion, painting and the addition of stick racks and door closures, and so the community is hoping to be able to finalize this project.

Western Fair Sports Centre - London, Ontario
Situated in the heart of the City of London, the Western Fair Sports Centre is the main tournament location for all sport groups operating there and the facility is used by local youth and adult hockey teams. Being able to renovate Tony's Pizza rink (located within the facility) would allow for the centre to open its doors to all athletes by creating more accessibility for people with disabilities.

Jean-Charles-Perreault Arena - Warwick, Quebec
The Jean-Charles-Perreault Arena services more than 11,000 residents and caters to both Warwick and several other surrounding towns. The arena is considered to be a very important public service within the community and a major facilitator to local sports. The arena hopes to complete a variety of immediate renovations such as replacing the flooring in the players' room and the main aisle, making changes to the entrance, replacing the façade and updating the multifunctional room.

Marsh Lake Community Centre - Marsh Lake, Yukon
Located one hour south of Whitehorse, Yukon, the Marsh Lake Community Centre is at the heart of this community. The arena is actively used year-round and maintained by community members and volunteers of the Marsh Lake Fire and Rescue Society. The facility is hoping to resurface the rink, replace two of the doors on the dasher board system, add a puck board and sill plates to the rink, and install two player/spectator benches to the facilities to maximize user and community enjoyment.

"Hockey Canada's top priority is to recruit new players to the game," said Mike Ross, chief business officer with Hockey Canada. "When a partner like Mars Canada Inc invests resources targeted at improving and upgrading facilities, it helps make the game more accessible, thus supporting our recruitment strategic priority."

The launch of the MARS® PLAY YOUR PART™ campaign is the brand's next step on this exciting journey to create awareness and motivate as many Canadians as possible to get involved, and participate to help make a difference!

Specially marked MARS® bars are available at all major retailers for a suggested retail price of $1.49 (singles), $1.99 (King size) and $3.99 (multipacks).

To learn more about the MARS® brand and the MARS® PLAY YOUR PART™ campaign, please visit www.marsbar.ca for full details. To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca.

About Mars Canada Inc.
Mars Canada Inc. is a division of Mars Incorporated, a private family-owned company founded in 1911 that employs 70,000 associates at more than 300 sites in 75 countries generating revenues of over $30 billion annually. Headquartered in Bolton, Ontario, Mars Canada employs more than 750 associates at three sites, including three manufacturing facilities. The company owns some of the world's leading brands, including UNCLE BEN'S® Rice, MARS®, M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, MALTESERS®, chocolate products, PEDIGREE®, CESAR® and WHISKAS® petcare products.

About Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada is the governing body for hockey in Canada and a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), with a membership through its 13 provincial branch associations of over 700,000 players, coaches and officials. Hockey Canada is a not-for-profit organization that creates leading-edge hockey development programs for its members to deliver in communities across Canada, provides consistent rules and regulations and various other membership services from coast to coast, manages numerous regional, national and international hockey championships and events, and leads the operation of all teams that represent Canada in international hockey competition. Hockey Canada's mission is to "lead, develop and promote positive hockey experiences."

* The survey was conducted by Leger Marketing via LegerWeb, the company's online panel, from August 27th to August 31st, 2012.  A total of 1385 Canadians were surveyed.  Results are considered accurate +/- 2.6%, 19 times out of 20.

**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Look inside special marked bar wrapper & enter PIN at www.marsbar.ca for Instant Win Game & to activate Mars Canada Inc $ 5 CDN contribution to Arenas (max.  $100,000 CDN, in 2012).  Instant Win Prize = a coupon for a MARS® bar (52g). Prizes will decrease as won. Go to www.marsbar.ca for Official Rules & odds. No Purchase Entry mail return self addressed stamped envelope to Wrappers for Rinks P.O. Box  7,  2680 Matheson Blvd E. Mississauga On L4W 0A5 before Dec.15, 2012. One request per outer mail envelope per day .Promotion closes 31 Dec, 2012. Open only to individual legal residents of Canada 13 years or older.


Video with caption: "Video: Mars(R) Play Your Part(TM)TV Spot". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20120918_C7243_VIDEO_EN_17984.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20120918_C7243_PHOTO_EN_17984.jpg&clientName=Mars%20Canada%20Inc%2E&caption=Video%3A%20Mars%28R%29%20Play%20Your%20Part%28TM%29TV%20Spot&title=Mars%28R%29%20Play%20Your%20Part%28TM%29TV%20Spot&headline=The%20MARS%26%23174%3B%20Brand%20Invites%20Canadians%20from%20Coast%20to%20Coast%20to%20Help%20Local%20Community%20Rinks%20in%20Need%21

Image with caption: "Mars® Bar Image (CNW Group/Mars Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120918_C7243_PHOTO_EN_17981.jpg

Image with caption: "Mars® Brand Logo (CNW Group/Mars Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120918_C7243_PHOTO_EN_17980.jpg

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/09/18/20120918_C7243_DOC_EN_17985.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/09/18/20120918_C7243_DOC_EN_17986.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/09/18/20120918_C7243_DOC_EN_17987.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/09/18/20120918_C7243_DOC_EN_17988.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/09/18/20120918_C7243_DOC_EN_17989.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/09/18/20120918_C7243_DOC_EN_17990.pdf

SOURCE: Mars Canada Inc.


For further information:

Lindsey Gillard
Fleishman-Hillard
lindsey.gillard@fleishman.ca
416-645-8642