Nordic Strategy Update: Canada’s four Nordic sports provide check-in on exploration of joint opportunities
The Nordic Strategy, which is a joint initiative between Biathlon Canada, Nordic Combined Ski Canada, Nordiq Canada and Ski Jumping Canada, was initiated in an effort to help Canada’s Nordic sports improve their operations and high-performance results by doing more together.
The acknowledgement that there are more than 90 Olympic medals available at the Nordic venue began a conversation nearly three years ago that identified a list of possibilities for the four sports, extending far beyond high performance results, that could be possible through stronger collaboration.
As a result, Canada’s four Nordic sports signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in July 2020 to begin exploring ways they can work more together to achieve their ultimate goals of putting more Canadian athletes on podiums and increasing participation in each of their sports. Since that time, a Steering Committee has been created, working groups assembled and the following progress has been made.
Four working groups were formed to analyze key functional areas of each national sport organization, make recommendations, and propose solutions that will enable achievement of the collective goals of the four Nordic sports organizations.
Two of the four working groups took an extensive look into the areas of Revenue Generation and Membership/Participation. Following the 10-week exploration, the Steering Committee – consisting of directors and leaders from each of the four participating national sport organizations (NSOs) –
has heard from the working groups there is value in five key areas.
The Revenue Generation workgroup suggested two items aimed at developing a united Nordic brand to maximize sponsorship, philanthropic, commercial, and member partner opportunities.
The Steering Committee also received three proposals from the Participation and Membership workgroup aimed at addressing the changing needs of Canadians when it comes to engagement and support as participants in sport.
The Steering Committee agreed to include all five proposals in the project’s next step, which is to develop the business case. As part of the process, the Steering Committee has met with key Canadian sport partners, including Sport Canada, Own the Podium, and the Canadian Olympic Committee to provide a status update and to engage each party in the project. The Steering Committee has also engaged with, and received feedback from, the Board of Directors for each of the four national sport organizations.
October saw the launch of the Sport Performance and Administration working groups. These two groups will round out the evaluation of a combined strategy as it relates to athlete pathways and coaching frameworks, and collective operations respectively. The outcomes for these two areas of the exploration process are expected to be discussed with the Steering Committee in December.
Additionally, the Nordic Strategy Steering Committee is developing its business case to provide factual information and evidence to each of the sports’ Board of Directors regarding all of the recommendations. The business case will also provide implementation plans for the various options. Each of the national sport organization’s Board of Directors will decide how to proceed with the recommendations.
The Steering Committee will also be implementing a consultation process to receive feedback from key stakeholders in the four sports.
Where Can I See More?
Members of Canada’s Nordic community can explore more information on the Nordic Strategy’s newly-launched web site by visiting NordicStrategy.ca.