A feature profile of the Canadian Curling Association in the March issue of The Canadian Business Journal (CBJ) concludes that curling is alive and well in Canada – on and off the ice.
The CBJ, a highly respected national business publication that provides business analysis and profiles successful Canadian enterprises, formally selected the CCA as an example of a highly successful business model. The article focuses on the CCA’s efforts to redesign its business strategies since the mid-2000s by incorporating new leadership, new governance practices and an overall new business plan.
To the curling community, these strategies are well known, but for a business community that may not turn its attention to sports organizations with the same enthusiasm as it extends to financial institutions, the CCA’s successes might come as a surprise. The profile cites a new policy governance model and the arrival of new CEO Greg Stremlaw as turning points, and examines the financial turnaround the CCA experienced after deciding to run the organization as a “bona fide business entity.”
CBJ also points to the development of significant sponsor partnerships and, of course, the strong relationship with broadcaster TSN as factors that helped to promote and grow the sport – and the business of curling. The rewards have benefited not just the CCA as a national organization, but also translates into funding available to curling facilities and programs in the form of “bricks and mortar” grants as well as individual business development strategies for clubs across the country.
Curling is strong in Canada, says the CBJ, noting that over one million Canadians will curl at least once this year, and about 750,000 curlers play regularly in this country during the season. But if the over 1000 curling clubs affiliated with provincial and territorial organizations are to remain strong – and thrive – then the leadership has to come from the top. The CCA, concludes the Canadian Business Journal, “is an exceptional model to all other sporting organizations.”
The full article can be found in the March issue of the Canadian Business Journal.