Former inline goalie now sport frontman
Cliff Mander played inline hockey internationally while still in high school – and though he has since hung up his goalie skates, the Simon Fraser University student has found a new way to share his passion for the sport – as the Canadian team’s main promotional arm.
Mander’s company, CKM Sports, has been named the marketing and PR firm for Canada Inline.
The team competes in the Federation of International Roller Sports (FIRS) world championships and will play at the World Games (in Colombia in 2013), and potentially the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015.
Mander played for Canada at the Pan Am Games in Argentina in 2005 and the next year, won a national championship while playing for a men’s premier league club in New Zealand called the Rimutaka Renegades.
His off-rink job entails developing corporate sponsorship agreements and overseeing media relations in Canada and internationally.
“I see this as a great opportunity to build awareness of inline hockey in Canada and abroad,” says Mander, a psychology major who grew up in North Vancouver. “Personally, I have a deep love for the sport that provided me with an opportunity to travel the world as an athlete. I’m excited to move forward with Canada Inline to solidify their leadership within the sport.”
Mander approached SFU’s Venture Connection (VC) program in 2010 to help establish his company and connected with advisors Stewart Marshall and Dave Thomas. The program provides support for student-initiated businesses by linking them with advisors and helping them make other business connections.
"CKM provides a series of high value-added services for developing hockey players,” says Thomas. “Their approach improves more than just on-ice performance."
Since his involvement with VC, Mander’s company has grown to 15 clients, including top billing as the national inline hockey team’s official sports management company.
Over the next 12 months, Mander says CKM Sports Management will focus on increasing its client base both in terms of younger athletes looking to develop and professionals looking for management services.
The Canada Inline national men’s program was formed in 1995 and earned its first silver medal at the world championships. The team has competed in numerous international events, winning eight silver medals along with two gold at the Pan Am games in both 1998 and 2002.
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