Founded in 1958 by a group of farmers with a common vision, Gay Lea is now a leading Canadian co-operative with members on roughly 1,400 dairy farms across Ontario and Manitoba, and over 4,200 producers and investor shareholders. Gay Lea takes pride in their work, constantly upholding their co-operative inspired values of commitment, passion, and collaboration, understanding that there are no shortcuts to success.
Gay Lea founded the Gay Lea Foundation in 2014 to continue their support of the community. Dedicated to supporting education, poverty relief, co-operative development and community well-being projects both in Canada and around the world. Since its inception, the Gay Lea Foundation has done work in Canada, Haiti, Central America, Asia, and Africa.
The challenge for Cosmos was two-fold. First, Cosmos had to find rinks across Ontario that would be willing to participate in the renaming and rebranding of one of their rinks for Gay Lea. Secondly, Cosmos had to ensure that these rinks were spread out enough to ensure Gay Lea received maximum reach. Cosmos largely targeted privately owned rinks, as city-owned rinks had a more difficult time justifying this type of partnership.
Cosmos got to work quickly working on and negotiating rink partnership deals with four cities across Ontario; Kitchener, Burlington, Sudbury, and Brampton. Having the rinks spread out in four different cities across the province provided the maximum amount of exposure and reach for Gay Lea.
Sportsworld Arena in Kitchener provider the perfect opportunity for a partnership as the City of Kitchener was already a client of Cosmos. In total, Cosmos managed an inventory that included 7 arenas and 2 publicly owned golf courses for the City of Kitchener. Tasked with selling advertising assets in recreational facilities across the city, a partnership between Gay Lea and the Sportsworld Arena was a winning combination for all parties involved.
Similarly, the CAA Centre in Brampton was also a pre-existing client with Cosmos and also offered an ideal situation to form a winning partnership.
The remaining two rinks in Burlington and Sudbury were both privately owned facilities which allowed for easier negotiations and an optimal partnership opportunity.
As a result of partnering with these rinks, Gay Lea was able to cement themselves in the heart of local arenas across Ontario. Throughout the rinks, Gay Lea’s brand was present on rink boards, banners, glass wraps, on-ice logos, and naming rights with a “Gay Lea Rink” within the facilities. These rinks became community hubs for local sports and community events and provided Gay Lea with excellent exposure and brand recognition with all those that entered the arena.