A Winning Playbook

Helping Sport Chek identify who to win with



Situation: In 2011, Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC)was preparing to acquire Canada’s largest national sporting goods retailer, the Forzani Group Ltd (FGL). With limited access to information and a thirst for insight, CTC embarked on a data journey to ensure a state of ‘readiness’ upon formal acquisition.


Insight: Early on, Sklar Wilton facilitated discussions with senior stakeholders to tease out the hypotheses that would later become the foundation of FGL’s plan to win in the Canadian market. Insights from a massive quantitative segmentation were paired with innovative qualitative research and syndicated studies to tell one holistic story on how FGL could accelerate competitive advantage. While the needs of each customer segment varied, the team unearthed an incredible emotional thread that tied together athletes of all ages and abilities. Banner stores could be built for high value customers while marketing could speak to all Canadians with a single-minded message around self-fulfillment.


Impact: Today, the customer target is an important lens through which many of FGL’s business decisions are filtered. A focus on the core segment has strengthened marketing campaigns, product assortment and inspired exciting innovation like Sport Chek’s digital ‘lab’ store. Since the launch of their new growth plan, Sport Chek continues to deliver unparalleled business results in the form of double digit same store sales growth.

[Sklar Wilton] helped us to understand that Sport Chek has a diverse consumer base with a wide range of interests. They helped us to find a way to connect with all of them – the desire one feels to always be better…from here, the “Your Better Starts Here” platform was born. The tipping point for the brand going digital with its advertising came when CTC was doing research with Sklar Wilton and found its target consumer was spending most of its media time online.

– Duncan Fulton, Chief Marketing Officer, Mark’s & FGL Sports


“[SW+A] has been instrumental in helping us design the Sport Chek roadbook. Changing our world of research, [they] redesigned the data interface, made it more user-friendly hence easier to activate against. [Their] accessibility, transparency and progressive thinking are pretty unique in our industry.”

– Frederick Lecoq, SVP Marketing for Sport Chek

Pictured Left: Luke Sklar and Frederick Lecoq present to a Canadian Marketing Association audience at Sport Chek’s Toronto lab store.