GoDaddy brings on a big man to help Canadian small businesses, signs Toronto Raptors' Jonas Valančiūnas to partnership

Number 17 launches Itty Bitty Ballers program using GoDaddy to build a powerful online presence

TORONTO, Jan. 3, 2017 /CNW/ - GoDaddy, the world's largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures, today announced it is teaming up with larger-than-life Toronto basketball star, Jonas Valančiūnas, to launch the Itty Bitty Ballers program.  

Affectionately known as JV to fans, Valančiūnas is one of the tallest players on the Raptors – the team's top "big man" on the floor – so GoDaddy partnered with him to launch a mythical business called Itty Bitty Ballers that sells tiny JV figurines. To demonstrate how easy it is for small businesses to create their online presence, JV built his own website, IttyBittyBallers.ca, using GoDaddy's professional website development tools and support.

GoDaddy tapped Selftraits, a division of Objex Unlimited, a local Toronto small business and loyal GoDaddy customer that produces 3D figurines, to create these Itty Bitty Ballers. While Itty Bitty Ballers isn't a real business, the figurines are, and all revenue from the sales go to charity, specifically MLSE Foundation, which seeks to improve the lives of youth through sport. These unique ballers are available for purchase, for a limited time, on IttyBittyBallers.ca.

GoDaddy and JV are also joining forces to help inspire Canadians to follow their passions by starting their own small businesses with a new contest called 'Itty Bitty Ballers Contest for Small Businesses.' With this contest, entrepreneurs will have the chance to win up to $5,000 in cash and $2,500 of GoDaddy services by answering the question: "What inspired your small business."

The contest, which will award one winner, opens today and closes on February 20, 2017. For more details visit IttyBittyContest.ca.

"We're always looking for ways to help small businesses get online and be successful," said Jill Schoolenberg, Vice President and Country Manager of GoDaddy Canada. "That's why we're excited to partner with a basketball icon like Jonas Valančiūnas to help create this beautiful new website and bring awareness to the opportunities of small business ownership in Canada." 

 "I'm excited to team up with GoDaddy Canada and launch Itty Bitty Ballers to encourage small businesses around Canada to create and enhance their online presence," said Jonas Valančiūnas. "I can't wait for Itty Bitty Ballers to become available to fans and also to support small businesses throughout the country."

Contest entry details:

For a chance to win the 'Itty Bitty Baller Contest for Small Businesses' prize tell GoDaddy Canada what inspired your small business. Submit your answer at ittybittycontest.ca or leave a comment on one of our social media profiles. You can find us on Facebook at GoDaddy Canada or Toronto Raptors. Or connect with us on Instagram: @JValanciunas, @Raptors or @GoDaddyCanada. Full terms and conditions of the contest are available on: ittybittcontest.ca*

About GoDaddy

GoDaddy powers the world's largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures. With more than 14 million customers worldwide and more than 63 million domain names under management, GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success. For more information about how GoDaddy can help your small business, visit ca.godaddy.com.

About MLSE

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) one of the world's premier sports and entertainment companies, owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto FC, Toronto Marlies (AHL), Raptors 905 (NBA D-League), and TFC II (USL).  It also owns Air Canada Centre, Maple Leaf Square, three digital channels - Leafs TV, NBA TV Canada and has a partnership with Live Nation. MLSE has also invested in and operates five of Toronto's sports facilities - Ricoh Coliseum, BMO Field, Kia Training Grounds at Downsview Park, home of Toronto FC's Academy and the First Team's practice facility, and the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies.

About Selftraits

Launched in 2015 as a division of Objex Unlimited Inc., Selftraits, is redefining traditional photography and portraiture as three-dimensional works of art. Combining cutting-edge technology, art, and engineering, Selftraits provides their customers with the tools, talent and convenience to capture high-quality timeless digital assets and create 3D models for a variety of applications. While Selftraits facilitates fine and memorable full-body 3D scanning experiences both in studio and at events, the 3D prints are provided by Objex Unlimited. Operating since 2011 as a one-stop shop for everything 3D, Objex Unlimited has established itself as a major player in the Canadian 3D marketplace. Objex Unlimited is currently Toronto's leading 3D solutions provider and equipment reseller specializing in 3D Printing, 3D Scanning, and other 3D Design Services. For more information, visit: www.selftraits.com or www.objexunlimited.com.

SOURCE GoDaddy

For further information: Meghan Edwards, North Strategic, Meghan.edwards@northstrategic.com, 416-300-5720; Pamela Portin, International Communications at GoDaddy, pportin@godaddy.com, 425-947-3117; Akasha Di Tomasso, MLSE, Akasha.DiTomasso@MLSE.com, 416-815-5924

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