Gretzky, Samsung, Best Buy Team-Up to Make Hockey Dreams a Reality

    Samsung and Best Buy pledge $200,000 to Wayne Gretzky Foundation

    VANCOUVER, March 17 /CNW/ - Breakfast is a great way to start your day,
but it's truly great when you eat it with the Great One. Wayne Gretzky was
making hockey dreams come true at a special meet-and-greet today where he
dropped the puck and announced a major campaign to support access to minor
    Gretzky has partnered with Samsung Electronics Canada and Best Buy Canada
to launch the 99 Reasons Campaign. Through Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope
philanthropy program, the companies have pledged $200,000 to the Wayne Gretzky
Foundation as part of their commitment to supporting minor hockey in Canada.
Funds raised through the 99 Reasons sales promotion will help 99 Canadian
minor hockey associations make the sport of hockey accessible to
underprivileged youth by assisting with equipment sharing programs and
registration fee subsidies.
    "Samsung, Best Buy and the Wayne Gretzky Foundation have formed a
powerful line-up to make the dream of playing hockey a reality for Canadian
youth that may otherwise not have the chance to play," said Gretzky. "As a
coach and parent, I see how valuable it is for kids to be part of a team. I'm
proud that the money our team will raise will give more youngsters the
opportunity to be part of a team like the one here today."
    Gretzky unveiled the 99 Reasons campaign at an event in Vancouver this
morning where he met with an atom hockey team from St. Albert, Alberta, who
won a contest related to the 99 Reasons promotion. The squad from the Edmonton
suburb was selected as the winner of the national contest and received an
all-expense-paid trip to Vancouver and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet
their hockey hero.
    "It's great to have a hand in making this dream come true for this team
and I'm honoured that Samsung Canada is supporting the foundation's ongoing
efforts," said Benjamin Lee, President of Samsung Electronics Canada. "Wayne
is one of our partners in Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope - an initiative that
partners major national retailers with sports, music and civic personalities,
to benefit children, families and communities in need."
    Created in 2002, the Wayne Gretzky Foundation is dedicated to helping
disadvantaged youngsters throughout North America participate in the sport of
hockey. As a major supporter of hockey in Canada, the Foundation was a natural
fit for Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope program. As a major national retailer
and an active member of the communities in which it does business, Best Buy
was a natural draft choice for this team.
    "The people here today are not the only ones who get inspired by
Wayne Gretzky," said Martin Vander Velden, VP of Merchandising, Best Buy
Canada. "We're thrilled to be a part of this campaign. Our team members across
the country are stepping up to throw their support behind the Gretzky
Foundation and fulfill our mission of improving the lives of children in the
communities that we support. We're also looking forward to a strong response
from our customer as well."
    The 99 Reasons Campaign will run from March 21 through April 17, 2008. As
part of this campaign, Best Buy stores across Canada will be selling exclusive
Wayne Gretzky commemorative stickers for $0.99, with all proceeds of the sale
going directly to the Wayne Gretzky Foundation. In addition, a portion of the
proceeds from the sale of all Samsung TVs will also be donated to the
Foundation. Consumers who purchase Samsung TVs 40" and over will receive a $99
Best Buy gift card during the 99 Reasons promotion period.
    For more information, please visit or

    About the Wayne Gretzky Foundation
    Founded in 2002, the Wayne Gretzky Foundation is dedicated to providing
less fortunate youth with the opportunity to experience the sport of hockey.
This goal will be accomplished through the donation of hockey equipment and
ice time, as well as providing the opportunity for young people to attend
professional hockey games.
    The Wayne Gretzky Foundation believes that hockey instils many positive
life skills and contributes to the physical, emotional and social growth of
young people.

    About Samsung Electronics Canada Inc.
    Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc. (SECA), a wholly owned subsidiary of
Samsung Electronics Co., markets a broad range of award-winning digital
consumer electronics, information systems, telecommunications and home
appliance products.
    SECA upholds Samsung's mission to provide consumers with innovative
digital convergence products that possess exceptional technology, quality,
features, performance and value. The company oversees the Canadian operations
of Samsung's Consumer Electronics division, IT division, Home Appliance
division and Wireless Terminals division.
    Samsung has been a global TOP sponsor of the Olympic Games since 1997 and
has been a presenting sponsor of the Olympic Torch Relay since 2004. Also
through Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope charity, Samsung helps athletes and
celebrities raise funds for their respective charities, including the
Wayne Gretzky Foundation in Canada. Samsung is also a proud sponsor of
Hockey Canada and is the official HDTV sponsor of the NFL and Hockey Night in
    For customer service inquiries, please call 1-800-SAMSUNG
(1-800-726-7864), and for more information, please visit

    About Best Buy Canada Ltd.
    Best Buy stores in Canada are a division of Burnaby, BC-based Best Buy
Canada Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:  BBY).
Best Buy is Canada's fastest-growing specialty retailer and e-tailer
( of consumer electronics, personal computers and entertainment
software and also operates the Geek Squad ( There are
currently 51 stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba,
Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
    Best Buy offers consumers a unique shopping experience with the latest
technology and entertainment products, at the right price, with a no-pressure
(non-commissioned) sales environment. The Company is committed to kids and
communities, supporting non-profit organizations that help youth develop their
skill set, discover their talents and sustain a lasting interest in education.
For more information about Best Buy, including store locations, visit

For further information:

For further information: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CANADA, Scott MacFadyen,
Michelle Di Rocco, APEX Public Relations, Phone: (416) 924-4442 ext. 243, 260,
E-Mail:,; BEST BUY CANADA, Heather
Seabrook, Sarah Coombs, (NATIONAL Public Relations), Phone: (604) 412-1011,
(416) 848-1447, Email:,

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