Cliff ManderCliff Mander

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Inline hockey’s PR guy

July 19, 2012
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SFU psychology student Cliff Mander has found a new way to extend his long-time passion for inline/roller hockey—as the Canadian national team’s main promotional arm.

Mander’s company CKM Sports Management has been named the marketing and PR firm for Canada Inline.

The team competes in the Federation of International Roller Sports 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 goal for Canada’s inline team at the Pan Am Games in Argentina in 2005 while still in high school. And he won a national championship a year later while playing for the New Zealand premier league’s Rimutaka Renegades.

So when he decided to parlay his love for the sport into a business in 2010 he sought help to establish his company from SFU’s Venture Connection program where he 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 performance.”

Since his involvement with Venture Connection, Mander’s company has grown to 15 clients, including his gig with Inline Canada. His work 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, and represent “the sport that provided me with an opportunity to travel the world as an athlete.

Over the next 12 months, Mander says his company 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 formed in 1995 and has competed in numerous international events, winning eight silver medals along with consecutive golds at the 1998 and 2002 Pan Am Games.

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