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BMO #FanFini GearUp Program

November 3, 2021 | Giving and sponsorships

10,000 soccer items refurbished and distributed to enable youth to play

The #FanFini GearUp program, which was launched this summer by BMO,  aiming to make soccer more accessible to young people in need through equipment donations from the general public, recently concluded as a resounding success! Thanks to the generosity of donors across Greater Montréal, more than 2,500 soccer players facing economic barriers will receive refurbished equipment for their next season. Since October 4, they have been able to choose for themselves four items free of charge in the online shop launched specifically for this initiative.

 As part of the program, BMO invited #FanFini members of the Greater Montréal soccer community, including local soccer clubs, to donate new and used items, and they responded in large numbers. More than 10,000 items of soccer equipment were collected. The drop-off locations at participating BMO branches and the CF Montréal store received numerous donations, and a August 28 collection event at Saputo Stadium, which capped off the call for donations, was a resounding success. More than 500 people, including well-known soccer personalities, gathered in a celebratory atmosphere to help young people in need through the #FanFini GearUp program, a wonderful manifestation of the spirit that drives the Quebec soccer community.

“The campaign exceeded all our expectations and will promote access to soccer in Quebec, which has been the primary mission of our community activities for nearly 10 years. We’d like to tip our hat to CF Montréal, a major program collaborator. CF Montréal hosted the event at Saputo Stadium and leveraged its Foundation to find the young people who will benefit from the collected items through its connections with local community organizations. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks for their collaboration in making this initiative such a success,” said Mélanie Miron, Senior Brand Manager, Quebec, at BMO Financial Group.

Free soccer equipment at the click of a button

The dedicated online shop launched by BMO helped the soccer players choose the items they need, including refurbished soccer cleats, shin guards, jerseys and gloves. Young people can order what they want for free with just a few clicks and receive their personalized orders in BMO #FanFini GearUp branded packaging. This is a great opportunity for these young people, who will be able to play with quality equipment next season.

With so many soccer items collected, BMO is also working with the YMCA Foundation to design pop-up stores that can offer them to hundreds of families in November. The pop-up shop dates will be shared with families connected to YMCAs in Greater Montréal.

The BMO team used the CF Montréal equipment refurbishment process as a model to clean up the collected items.  All the received items have been sorted to ensure a high-quality standard and cleaned with ozone for a final result as close to new soccer equipment as possible. A special mention is due to Jean-François and Stéphanie at Nettoyeur Rapide, in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, who graciously offered BMO their services to spruce up the used equipment.

Look back at the August 28 event’s winning formula

Since the goal was to collect equipment donations for young soccer players in need, no tickets were sold. Anyone wishing to access the site had to donate a used soccer equipment item in good condition. Featuring short and friendly 5-on-5 games with team captains from TVA Sports and the CF Montréal Academy, including Patrice Bernier, Vincent Destouches, Rocco Placentino, Anthony Martineau and Patrick Laprade, the event was the ultimate opportunity for the public to give their used equipment a second life, while sharing in their common love of soccer. Festive entertainment, games and music by the artists of Groupe Samajam were part of the event, and the winning 5-on-5 team won an exclusive experience sponsored by BMO at an upcoming CF Montréal game. Meanwhile the other finalist team won tickets to a CF Montréal game.

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