(Toronto) Canadian Tire on Monday announced a new commitment to improve gender equity in sport, saying at least half of the money it spends sponsoring professional sports will go to women by 2026.
The retailer said its new multimillion-dollar women’s sports initiative will support the expansion of women’s professional sports leagues and programs in the country.
Canadian Tire says it has added five new sports partnerships to its roster and will strengthen its existing support for organizations that promote inclusion and diversity in sport.
Under the new program, Canadian Tire is announcing that it will become a founding partner of Canada’s first women’s professional soccer league, slated to launch in 2025.
The parent company of Canadian Tire, Sports Experts and Pro Hockey Life chains says it has also created a designated media fund to increase the visibility of women’s sports across major broadcast, digital and social media platforms.
Susan O’Brien, chief brand and customer officer at Canadian Tire, said the program will help pave the way for more equitable opportunities in women’s professional sport and inspire a new generation of female athletes.
“Canadian Tire Corporation is proud of its long-standing commitment to gender equity and inclusion in sport, from the playground to the podium and now on the professional stage with the launch of its sport initiative feminine,” she said in a statement.
Last fall, Canadian Tire ended its partnership with sports organization Hockey Canada in response to its handling of an alleged sexual assault scandal.
Canadian Tire explained at the time that it would redirect its support to organizations that better align with the company’s values.