Marketing promotion ignites community. 

Last night I had trouble sleeping. It wasn’t stress, worry or anxiety after a week of bad news in the world. Anyone glued to the media updates in Edmonton knows this was an exceptionally tough week.  However this was not the case yesterday. It was excitement and adrenaline of a marketing promotion that kept me awake. Now before you read further, this post isn’t really about marketing or the contest. I will post all the details of that as well, but this story is about giving thanks, community spirit, and the generosity of others.

Yesterday, as we kicked off our Canadian thanksgiving weekend, I had an extremely busy day at work. In between the regular meetings, event and marketing proposals and email checking, it was also the final day of a two week promotion that I ran with Kentwood Ford and Team Ford called Gear For The Year.

The contest itself was pretty fun from a marketing angle, and a one-of-a-kind customer experiance. People could nominate their kids to win hockey gear, and the chance to meet one of two hockey star’s – Milan Lucic or Darnell Nurse. They were directed to visit either dealership’s Facebook page and directed to tell us why their kid should win. The story will the most “likes” won, pretty straightforward.

As soon as the contest launched, one post immediately caught my eye, and tugged firmly on my heart strings. But it wasn’t up to me. The community had to choose based on their opinions, and voting with “likes”. Well, I  quickly learned that this story was one to touch many people, as it was shared over and over, and the woman posting it worked really hard to spread the word to possibly win a coveted prize for her son. Her post is here, but you may want to grab a tissue before continuing to read.

Alex winner from GFAY marketing promotion

Loretta M Blackman Hey Kentwood, I want to give #gearfortheyear to my son Alexandre Jacknife. It is his first year of hockey and he is over the moon about the sport. Despite being new to skating, he never gives up. When he’s not practicing his slap shot, he’s inside watching old game highlights. He could lay there for hours doing that if I let him. His late father Derrick was a mega fan of hockey and his favourite player was ,Milan Lucic, back when he played for the Bruins. He always wanted Lucic to play for the Oilers and he always said that “if we get Looch, we’ll make the playoffs”. Much to our surprise, his prediction came true. Sadly, he passed away in 2012 when Alexandre was just about to turn one years old. Alexandre was the love of his life. It was his dream for our son to play hockey and that dream has just begun to come true. As a single mother, it was hard to get new equipment, but his older cousins gave him their old stuff and we managed to get the rest of his equipment. His favourite player is Milan Lucic, because he was his dad’s favourite player. So much so, that our car is named “Lucic” at Alexandre’s request. This kind of opportunity will not only allow Alexandre to have his very own equipment, but to meet his dad’s idol would mean so much more in so many ways. 

Loretta’s hard work of getting the word out to win for her son paid off. The post garnered thousands of likes and comments. Complete strangers saw her post, and were rallying for her. They were following as the contest evolved, watching other posts and sharing her updates. As I read through the comments I was finding a sense of community over social media between complete strangers that was a true testament to the human spirit. People from her home town of Cold Lake liked it, but it also travelled far and wide with likes from the Yukon, British Columbia, and even Ohio.

Needless to say, Loretta’s post won by a landslide. She received 5x the likes of the first runner up, with 4200. She also received almost 500 supportive comments from people rooting for her.

But the support and kindness doesn’t stop there. 

When I saw her original post, I of course did not know what the results would yield. I was moved by the story though, and spoke to Milan and Brittany Lucic. I shared the story and asked what they thought. They are such amazing people that we agreed that if she didn’t win, we would find a way to make her hard work pay off. This just shows, once again, the sense of community and kindness that even our sports hero’s, who one may think are too far removed to reach, feel. I was so impressed by the response, but not surprised as I know the Lucic family and they are amazing people.

You think that ends the story, right? Wrong. 

Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any more heartwarming, or tear jerking, I managed to connect with the grand prize winner from the Team Ford side, this winner was 8 year old Lincoln. His mom passed on to me a special request. Lincoln was super excited to have won, but had been competing against his best friend and hockey teammate. The teammate came in 3rd place. Lincoln wanted to know if he could split his prize with his best friend. This kid is 8. He wants to split his prizeWow. I couldn’t get the word yes out of my mouth fast enough. What a kid! What a friend! What a teammate!

So after hours of closing the contest, announcing winners, connecting with winners, and working out logistics of prize awarding, I had a quiet moment to reflect. It just reminded me of so much love, community, and kindness we are surrounded by everyday if we keep our eyes open. This contest was launched with the intention to help a child’s dream come true of meeting a hockey hero, and helping someone who really needed it get geared up for the season. I knew that with the contest we would be giving back. What I didn’t know,  as we planned the details this summer, was how much this contest would give back to me.

Darnell Nurse GFAY marketing promotion Milan Lucic GFAY marketing promotion


gear for a year Marketing Contest Details – now closed

GFAY marketing promotion GFAY marketing promotion













Enter to win hockey gear for the year* for your favourite kid! Visit or   Under the comments section under our Gear For a Year Contest post a video, or image and write up of why your favourite little human deserves new gear this hockey season. The story with the most likes upon contest close will be the grand prize winner.  And if that isn’t cool enough, former hockey player and local media guru Jason Strudwick will come and help them choose their gear, plus guest coach one of their hockey practices! If that isn’t a hockey loving kid’s dream, what is? The second and third place winners will also receive a $250 credit for Klondike Cycle to help with their gear purchase. So get your story posted, and then take to your social media accounts to spread the word for everyone to vote for your story!

Rules for entry:

  1. Follow (Kentwood Ford OR Team Ford) on Facebook.
  2. Post a photo or video in the comments section of the Gear for A Year post on the (Kentwood Ford OR Team Ford) FaceBook page from 12:00 PM September 26 – 12:00 PM October 6, 2017 to with an explanation of why the kid you are nominating deserves new hockey equipment.
  3. Child nominated must be born from 2003 – 2013 (inclusive).
  4. Include the following in your written message: “Hey (Kentwood Ford OR Team Ford), I want to give #gearfortheyear to (insert your nominated child’s name).”

Winner Selection

  1. Entries submitted until 12:00 PM October 6, 2017 on the comments sections of the Gear For The Year post to with an explanation of why the kid you are nominating deserves new hockey equipment will be eligible.
  2. The post meeting the criteria outlined in the rules with the most likes will be the grand prize winner. The second and third highest likes will be the runner up winners.
  3. Winner’s will be notified via the social media account used for entry, and have 72 hours to claim their prize, or another winer will be selected.
  4. One grand prize winner, and two runner up winners from each page, Kentwood Ford AND Team Ford will be chosen.

Prize details:

  1. In respect to awarding prizes, the prize winners will be the child nominated, not the person nominating them.
  2. Grand prize winner from each dealership will receive a $1000 credit at Klondike Cycle
  3. Grand prize winner at Team Ford will will meet the Milan Lucic, Grand prize winner at Kentwood Ford will will meet the Darnell Nurse. Each winner is welcome to bring a maximum of 3 guests to the meet, one of which must be a parent or guardian.
  4. Grand prize winner from each dealership will have the opportunity to have Jason Strudwick personally help them choose the gear they purchase.
  5. Grand prize winner from each dealership will have the chance to have Jason Strudwick come to their hockey practice and run one practice; all appropriate permission from the winners team coaches must be received.

winner GFAY marketing promotion


Kentwood Ford 

Grand Prize Winner – Alexandre

Runner’s Up  – Benedict and sharing a prize are twins Alex and Ben.

Team Ford

Grand Prize Winner  – Lincoln

Runner’s Up – Jack and Mason


For more information on the details of this marketing promotion feel free to contact us.