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Canucks Corporate Challenge

by Ronil Desai / Vancouver Canucks

Getting out of bed and heading to work every morning may not be as electrifying as one would hope but if your office space was suddenly renovated with blue and green then the daily grind would unquestionably be a different experience.

This transformation took place for 13 companies in the first ever Canucks Playoff Corporate Challenge. The Canucks challenged its partners to decorate their office spaces, sport the Canucks colors and demonstrate their support during the post season in the best possible way.

While each company had various ways to express their passion for the team, in the end, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation of British Columbia came out as the frontrunner and on April 20th at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, they were recognized as the first winner of the Playoff Corporate Challenge. The announcement was accompanied by an official visit from Fin who congratulated the staff for their efforts. From the chanting employees to the official certificate signifying their victory, the atmosphere was one any Canuckaholic would have appreciated.

Based on creativity, innovation, internal participation and all around Canucks spirit, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and their staff exceeded all expectations and proved that the Canucks faithful can always take it up a notch.

Before awarding the prize, the team of judges entered the River Rock on April 10th and were greeted with a DJ and nearly a hundred staff members all sporting jerseys and chanting at the top of their lungs. The River Rock even went as far as redesigning the casino guest services area as a rink board with jersey retirement banners printed and hung near the main entrance.

If this wasn’t enough, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation took it a step further and had their eight locations in British Columbia participate in the Challenge and sent photos to prove their spirit is unlike any other. The goal was to ensure that the experience was equivalent to watching a game in arena and the team at River Rock did just that, while adding their personal flavor to the mix.

"We wanted to create a tone of the rink and be a part of the experience of the playoffs,” says Roland Monteiro, General Manager of hospitality. “We are passionate fans here and the fan base amongst employees is strong. We ensured to keep it authentic with the boards, to the scuff marks for the pucks and our three hung jerseys from the retired players. It's really been a passionate project from the whole team and we're thankful for winning this great award.”

Each competitor was given a starter kit which included several posters, banners, flags and playoff scarves and then it was up to the challenger to revamp their space and incite their staff to participate. A week later, the judging panel from the Canucks visited partner locations and graded each company under a strict criterion. While each company provided a diverse experience, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation blew the panel away.

“We are very competitive and we take it seriously and our goal from the very beginning was to show our passion and get the staff a 100% behind it, we wanted to win this,” said Rick Duff, General Manager of the River Rock Casino. “All of this is on behalf of Great Canadian Gaming, so all of our locations completed their Canucks corner and we took pictures all the way from Dawson's Creek, to Nanaimo, Victoria, our Boulevard Casino in Coquitlam, our race tracks, Hastings Park in Fraser Downs, Maple Ridge and all the properties we own, we put it together in one package.”

In a challenge to showcase a top level of Canuck spirit, 12 other companies put forth a strong case to the judges including the runner up, Rogers Communications, whose participation covered 5 floors of office space. The panel of judges were greeted with 40 screaming fans chanting 'we want the cup'. The staff at Rogers held an internal competition for people to decorate their cubicles combined with several graphics printed and placed on the window at reception.

Other Corporate Challenge participants included HSBC, Rona, Best Buy Canada, Sun Life Financial, Steve Nash Sports Club, Boston Pizza, Mr. Lube, BCIT, BCLC, the Mark Anthony Group and Van Houtte.

The Corporate Challenge is a friendly competition but that doesn’t rule out the fact that these competitors were eager to include the finest details to ensure a positive outcome and the executives at River Rock made that very clear.

Roland and Rick shared the same belief when asked if they would step up and defend their championship next year, “Absolutely, and we can guarantee it will be bigger and better. We always raise the bar, we never go back.”

When asked about the success of the Playoff Corporate Challenge, CSE’s Senior Director of Business Development, David Comuzzi, said “Our partners support us throughout the season but to see these corporate partners step up like they did for this campaign was unbelievable. The level of staff engagement, countless hours decorating and the level of creativity and innovation from each really made this program a huge success. We look forward to continuing this challenge in the future and seeing how high our partners will raise the bar in the years to come.”

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