The Canadian freestyle ski team has secured a $2-million sponsorship, after pitching it to CBC reality show Dragons' Den.
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Quebec’s Dufour-Lapointe sisters, Mikaël Kingsbury and fellow members of the team pitched it on TV Wednesday night, asking the show’s investors to help them pay for a sponsorship shortfall.
Maxime Dufour-Lapointe explained that the athletes were afraid they wouldn’t be able to finish last season’s world cup tour because they ran out of money after the Sochi Olympics.
"If I understood what you guys just said, we won seven of eight medals but we almost couldn’t afford to finish the season? That’s just so incredibly difficult to believe," said dragon Arlene Dickinson.
"It’s difficult because we are the best team in the world, and we believe in us, but we have trouble financially," Justine Dufour-Lapointe answered.
'If I understood what you guys just said, we won seven of eight medals but we almost couldn’t afford to finish the season? That’s just so incredibly difficult to believe.' - Arlene Dickinson, Dragon's Den
Last week, the Dufour-Lapointe sisters told CBC Daybreak host Mike Finnerty that finding sponsorship for the sport of freestyle skiing is difficult.
Last year, a last-minute sponsorship allowed them to finish the season in Japan, where the freestyle ski team dominated.
They decided to take their plight to the dragons, and the dragons heeded their call. While all of them expressed interest, it was Difference Capital CEO Michael Wekerle who won the bid.
He will give the Canadian freestyle ski team $500,000 a year for four years, totalling $2 million.
Wekerle said he decided to give them the money because he is a big supporter of Canadian sports talent.
The show was taped last spring and the deal with Difference Capital was signed in December, but everyone was sworn to secrecy until the show aired on Wednesday.