Roots signs Canadian Olympic Gold Medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to
multi-year deal

Ice-dancing champions to take on high-profile role for iconic Canadian brand

TORONTO, April 28 /CNW/ - Roots Canada is pleased to announce that it has signed the Canadian ice-skating sensation Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to the Roots team. The partnership is the latest achievement for the two athletes who captured a Gold Medal in last month's World Figure Skating Championships in Italy. A few weeks earlier in Vancouver, Tessa and Scott made sport history when they became the youngest skaters and first North Americans ever to win a Gold Medal in Olympic ice dancing competition.

As part of the multi-year agreement, Roots will be an official sponsor of the skaters who will represent the brand in a variety of ways. As part of their involvement, Tessa and Scott will take part in special events across Canada organized by Roots which will promote the importance of sport and fitness as part of a healthy lifestyle. They will also appear in Roots advertising and serve as brand ambassadors.

"As someone who grew up wearing Roots, I'm thrilled at the opportunity to become involved with such a respected and intrinsically Canadian brand," says Tessa. "I'm looking forward to working with a company that has always been a great supporter of Canadian athletes and so involved in the community."

In late February at the Winter Olympics, Tessa and Scott completed a near flawless skate at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum that featured their trademark intricate spins and high-risk lifts that helped them capture the Gold Medal and win the hearts of millions of Canadians. Their heartfelt program, both athletic and artistic, displayed a technical mastery and inventive virtuosity that were a perfect compliment to the powerful personal chemistry they exude on the ice.

The duo's recent Olympic and World Championship triumphs represented the latest achievements in a skating partnership that began 13 years ago. Tessa, 20, and Scott, 22, both grew up in the small town of Ilderton near London, Ontario where they practiced at the same skating rink. It was Scott's aunt who first paired them together on the ice in 1997.

In March, Tessa and Scott, dressed in Roots jackets before a crowd of 19,000 people at Toronto's Air Canada Centre and more than a million others watching on TV, dropped the puck in a ceremonial face-off in an NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers. A week earlier, they were invited to do the same, again wearing Roots, at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa for a game between the Senators and Leafs.

"It's an honour to be associated with such a great Canadian company as Roots," says Scott. "I've always respected the style, culture and the commitment to social responsibility of Roots which makes it a perfect fit for Tessa and me."

In recent years, Tessa and Scott received numerous awards at Canadian and international competitions. Last year, they won Bronze at the World Figure Skating Championships (WFSC) in Los Angeles. In 2008, they won the Four Continents Championship and captured Silver at the WFSC. In 2006, they won the World Junior Ice Dance Championship. They have won the Canadian national ice dance title for the past three years.

"We're proud to be associated with true champions like Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir," says Roots Co-Founder Don Green. "We have great respect for their talent, incredible spirit and strong sense of dedication. The values they represent are true to the culture and heritage of Roots."

Roots has a long tradition of supporting with highly gifted Canadian athletes. Going back decades, the company has worked with athletes involved in summer and winter sports including many Canadian Olympic medalists.

"I've always been impressed by the interest that Roots has demonstrated for sports in general and their support for Canadian athletes in particular," says Stacey McAlpine, President of McAlpine Sports Management, whose agency represents Tessa and Scott. "Given the commitment to excellence of Tessa and Scott both on and off the ice, I'm convinced that they'll be great ambassadors for Roots."

Established in Toronto in 1973, Roots has evolved into an internationally celebrated lifestyle brand. From a small store selling a single product (Roots negative-heel shoe), Roots now has 125 stores in Canada and the United States and more than 50 stores in Asia. A privately held company, Roots has state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Toronto, numerous licensees and employs thousands of people in Canada and abroad.

SOURCE Roots Canada Ltd.

For further information: For further information: Robert Sarner, Director of Communication and Public Affairs, Roots Canada, Tel: (416) 781-3574, ext. 4280, rsarner@roots.com; Laura Simpson, Empire PR, Tel: (416) 569-8457, laura@empirepr.ca


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