Canadian Tire Corp. has announced a new commitment to improve gender equity in sports, saying at least half the money it spends sponsoring professional sports will go towards women by 2026.
The retailer says its new multi-million dollar Women’s Sport Initiative will support the expansion of women’s professional sports leagues and programs in Canada.
The company says it has added five new sports partnerships to its roster and will boost its existing support for organizations that drive inclusion and diversity in sport.
Under the new program, Canadian Tire says it will become a founding partner of Canada’s first women’s professional soccer league, slated to launch in 2025.
The parent company of stores like Canadian Tire, SportChek and Pro Hockey Life says it has also created a dedicated media fund to increase the visibility of women’s sport.
Susan O’Brien, Canadian Tire’s chief brand and customer officer, says 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 Corp. is proud of our longstanding commitment to gender equity and inclusion in sport from the playground to the podium and now to the professional arena with the introduction of our Women’s Sport Initiative,” she said in a statement.
Last fall, Canadian Tire ended its partnership with Hockey Canada in response to the sporting organization’s handling of alleged sexual assaults.
Canadian Tire said at the time it would redirect its support to organizations that better align with the company’s values.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2023.