Montreal's Viva Group bags national deal with Canada's largest sports retailer

September 7, 2010 by Dave Haynes

Suburban Montreal-based Viva Group has completed a nice deal to roll out digital display networks for Canada’s biggest sports retailer, Calgary-based The Forzani Group Ltd.

The deal is described in a press release as a long-term agreement binding the company in a digital display project across the Forzani Group’s franchised banners.

The project includes digital displays and sync’d audio around the stores and covers French and English.

With regards to the success of the pilot deployed in Calgary last year, The Forzani Group’s top executives formerly proposed the Sports Experts TV project to their franchises. For now, the agreement covers the Sports Experts and Hockey Experts banners.

At The Forzani Group, we take great care of the atmosphere and the experience offered in store. “Our clientele is made up of active families and requires dynamic and attractive environments. In addition to meeting this objective, these screens and their contents are considerably improving our in-store communications and supporting our national merchandizing plan” says Mr Marc Poirier, Marketing director for the Forzani Group.

The entire mandate for this project was granted to Viva Group, a firm specializing in point of sale digital marketing, from deployment to programming and content development to daily management of the network. “This is a great challenge for our company. This type of project propels us amongst the great players of our industry. It has been a long process but we are very proud to assist Forzani in a deployment of this magnitude” says Mr Pierre Gendron, Chief executive officer at Viva Group.

The deal is for the Sports Experts and Hockey Experts stores and not yet across all the Forzani banners – the biggest being SportChek. But Forzani  HQ is driving this and the rollout will take about two years to complete. In all, there are about 110 stores.

Whatever the arrangements, it is a nice deal nonetheless. From direct experience, I know companies have been talking with Forzani since at least 2002 about doing digital in their stores. The retailer was among the many, many sports shops that had TVs hanging from the ceiling or on back walls, inexplicably playing music videos with no context to the store.

With great brands like Nike, Reebok, Adidas and others steadily releasing new product and marketing their butts off , sports retailing is a perfect environment for this sort of thing.

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