"Make It Seven" Campaign Gathers Steam with New Corporate Partners and Full Website Launch

    - Labatt Breweries & Home Hardware Join Effort for New Canadian Hockey
    Team -

    TORONTO, May 15 /CNW/ - The "Make It Seven" campaign to bring a new NHL
hockey franchise to southern Ontario gained significant new momentum today
with the announcement of two major corporate partners and the launch of the
campaign's full website at www.makeitseven.ca.
    Labatt Breweries and Home Hardware are the first two anchor corporate
partners to lend their support for the movement that has gained the support of
120,000 people from coast to coast and beyond.
    "What began as a grassroots movement to support bringing a seventh NHL
club to Canada is now attaining critical mass, with these two iconic Canadian
brands proudly joining the effort," said Jim Balsillie, who is spearheading
the bid.
    Both Labatt and Home Hardware will be utilizing their tremendous national
networks of local partners and loyal customers to further mobilize support, in
addition to special advertising and contest initiatives linked to the "Make It
Seven" campaign.
    "Labatt Blue salutes the makeitseven.ca movement to bring a seventh team
home to Canada and encourages hockey fans to do the same," stated Charlie
Angelakos, VP of Corporate Affairs for Labatt Breweries of Canada. "Labatt has
a long history of supporting grassroots hockey in Canada. Like many Canadians,
we love NHL hockey and we want more of it here. Let's get behind "Make it
Seven" and let's make it happen."
    "As active members of more than 1,000 communities large and small across
Canada, Home Hardware Owners and staff know how important hockey is to our
national fabric," said Paul Straus, Vice-President and CEO of Home Hardware
Stores Limited. "A new franchise will be a source of pride for all Canadians
and we are excited by the possibility of creating more opportunities for
Canada's best players to play on their home ice, in front of home-town fans."
    In addition to the new corporate partners, the www.makeitseven.ca website
also went fully "live" today with a broad range of innovative features
designed to give supporters of the bid a robust online home, where they can
interact and share their passion for the idea of a seventh Canadian team.
    Visitors can add their names, voices and video messages to show their
support, and can get all the latest information on the progress of the
campaign. The site also features the new online makeitseven shop where fans
can purchase merchandise like caps and t-shirts to further show their support.
Net proceeds are being donated to minor hockey programs across the country.


    Labatt Blue is the best-selling Canadian beer in the world. For more than
half a century Labatt has been involved in sports at every level in Canada and
has a long tradition of supporting grassroots hockey and connecting with
consumers through the country's beloved national pastime.


    Home Hardware Stores Limited has a strong history of supporting the
development and future of hockey in Canada from local ice rinks to the world
stage. Home Hardware is the official sponsor of the Canadian Hockey League, a
sponsor of four Canadian NHL teams; the official sponsor of the World Junior
Championships 2008; and past sponsor of the International Ice Hockey
Federation (IIHF) Men's World Championships. Home Hardware's independent
Dealer network support's hockey's future stars through their active
involvement with hundreds of minor hockey teams and sponsorship of the Home
Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game for the past ten years.
    Home Hardware Stores Limited is Canada's largest independent hardware,
lumber and building materials and furniture retailer with more than 1,000
stores across Canada, under the Home Hardware, Home Building Centre, Home
Hardware Building Centre and Home Furniture banners. Dealers have access to
100,000 quality brand name and private label products and the company has
annual retail sales of $4.85 billion. The cooperative was founded on January
1, 1964 by 122 independent hardware Dealers.

For further information:

For further information: MEDIA CONTACTS: "Make It Seven" campaign: Bill
Walker, Veritas Communications, (416) 482-2248, walker@veritascanada.com;
Stephanie Kohls, Labatt Breweries of Canada, (416) 885-7847,
Stephanie.kohls@labatt.com; Rob Wallace, Home Hardware Stores Limited, (519)
664-4710, rob.wallace@homehardware.ca

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