Young Hockey Players Share Ice with Gretzky, Wickenheiser

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Fifteen lucky young Canadians converged in Calgary today to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime hockey clinic with hockey legends Wayne Gretzky and Hayley Wickenheiser.

The Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids kicked off with breakfast and a motivational speech from Wickenheiser, captain of Canada’s Women’s team and two-time Olympic gold medalist.  Following breakfast, the day included five on-ice skills clinics and a scrimmage match with Gretzky and Wickenheiser, and off ice training with Hockey Canada Trainers.  Winners were also treated to one-on-one meet-and-greet sessions and had their photos taken with the hockey stars.

“At Samsung, we understand that passion for hockey begins at a very young age and we were overjoyed to provide this unique experience to 15 aspiring young hockey stars,” said Benjamin Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics Canada.  “The number of entries we received was overwhelming, and while there were many compelling submissions, we feel that the group today were deserving boys and girls that truly exemplify the meaning of sportsmanship, both on and off the ice.”

“I am thrilled to be a part of Team Samsung and to share my passion for hockey with people from across the country,” said Hayley Wickenheiser.  “As an aspiring young athlete, I was extremely fortunate to be surrounded by people who provided the much-needed support and encouragement to get me where I am today.  It was a real honour to work with some of Canada’s youngest hockey enthusiasts, and I can only hope that my participation today helps inspire these kids to pursue their hopes and dreams.”

A panel of judges from Samsung and Hockey Canada selected the winning entries from hundreds of online submissions on the Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids website.  Earlier this fall, parents and guardians were invited to nominate their child (ages seven to 14) and, in 300 words or less, explain how he or she best exemplifies Samsung’s key hockey values – fair play, team work and skills improvement.  The winners and one parent/guardian received roundtrip airfare and accommodation in Calgary for the duration of their stay.

Winners were selected from coast-to-coast and include:

  • Myah Bowal, Age 9, Terrace, BC
  • Tyler Egglestone, Age 10, Whitehorse, YT
  • Grady Franklin, Age 8, Deloraine, MB
  • Abbey Franklin, Age 10, Deloraine, MB
  • Cameron Harvey, Age 10, North Saanich, BC
  • Matthew Hood, Age 10, Fredericton, NB
  • Louis Larochelle, Age 10, Montreal, QC
  • Nathan Ledbury-Swales, Age 11, Barrie, ON
  • Cole McEachern, Age 13, Barrie, ON
  • Lauren Pillisch, Age 12, Markdale, ON
  • Lauren Pye, Age 7, Auburn, NS
  • Rock Ruschowski, Age 12, Calgary, AB
  • Catherine Turner, Age 13, Airdrie, AB
  • Myriam Wright, Age 10, St-Jacques, NB
  • Marissa Zuchetto, Age 10, Mississauga, ON

Along with the contest, the Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids website collected funds for Hockey Canada’s “Dream Come True” community initiative – a program that funds hockey fees and equipment purchases for underprivileged children across Canada.  Samsung matched every dollar donated and a total of $10,000.00 was raised.

The Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids is part of the company’s Team Samsung campaign.  Through the campaign, Samsung has partnered with an all-star line-up of hockey’s greatest players, including Wayne Gretzky, Hayley Wickenheiser and Jarome Iginla, to help make hockey more accessible to kids and to build excitement for the sport as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games approach.

A Skate Down Memory Lane

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

I’m still trying to get my head around why the Oilers celebrated their “30th anniversary season” in 2008-09, which was the franchise’s 36th season, including its 29th in the NHL. (The lockout season does NOT count in my books — fridiculous!)

From an NHL perspective a whole bunch of 30th anniversaries will take place in 2009-10. This week marks three decades since that first NHL training camp. What an exciting time it was to be a hockey fan! The past twelve months had already seen…

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Statement From Wayne Gretzky Regarding Sale Of Coyotes

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

I’m pleased that today’s decision by Judge Baum resolves much of the uncertainty surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes.   This positive step will now allow the organization to focus all its energy on the current season.  I’m confident the team will build on their early successes and renew the loyalty of many hockey fans in the Phoenix area.  I know the NHL will now do its utmost to find an excellent owner for the franchise going forward.

I wish for nothing but the best for the Phoenix Coyotes, their fans and the City of Glendale.

- Wayne

Justin Morneau Visits Wayne’s Winery

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Canadian baseball hero, Justin Morneau and wife, Krista made a surprise visit to Wayne’s winery located in Vineland, Ontario this week.  Justin and Krista visited for an hour enjoying No. 99 Estate whites and No. 99 Estate reds.  Both talked about their own private wine cellar and how they enjoyed drinking our wines with Wayne and Janet.  Justin especially appreciated the Wayne Gretzky Estate Shiraz Ice Wine.  A great ending to Justin and Krista’s visit was meeting winemaker Craig McDonald.  Click here to learn more about Wayne Gretzky Estate Wines.

Justin Morneau Visits No. 99 Estates

Samsung Drops Puck On Dream Hockey Camp Contest

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Winners will attend one-day clinic with Gretzky & Wickenheiser

MISSISSAUGA, ON., October 8, 2009 —In Canada, hockey is not simply a sport; it lies at the very heart of what it means to be Canadian. As a long-time supporter of hockey and to help build excitement around Canada’s quest for gold in February, Samsung is about to give 15 youth (ages seven to 14) from across the country the opportunity to attend a one-day hockey clinic with Wayne Gretzky and Hayley Wickenheiser.

The Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids, will be held in Calgary in November and will give some of Canada’s young hockey fans the opportunity to spend a day with two of the game’s greats. The 15 hockey fanatics plus one parent chaperone will win an expense-paid trip to Calgary to enjoy a day of skills and drills run by Wickenheiser, Gretzky and Hockey Canada coaches.  While full details about the prize package are available on the contest website, it will also include a welcome gift, breakfast and a motivational speech from Wickenheiser and many additional elements.

“Samsung is thrilled to offer this once-in-a-lifetime experience for 15 deserving young hockey fans,” said Benjamin Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics Canada. “Samsung has a long-standing commitment to hockey through our relationship with Hockey Canada, Wayne and Hayley and as excitement grows leading into 2010, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our favourite winter sport.”

Samsung today launched a website (www.samsung.com/laceup) where parents/legal guardians can go online and, in 300 words or less, explain why their child deserves one of the 15 coveted slots. A panel of judges from Samsung and Hockey Canada will review the entries to determine the players that best exemplify Samsung’s key hockey values – fair play, team work and skills improvement.

“I’m excited to be teaming with Samsung and Wayne to create this great opportunity for a group of young hockey enthusiasts,” said Hayley Wickenheiser. “My involvement in and passion for the sport have offered me so many incredible opportunities, not the least of which has been representing my country on the world stage. I hope my involvement in this camp will help spark that competitive fire and desire to lead in the next generation of Canadian hockey stars.”

Along with the contest, the Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids website will strive to make hockey more accessible to unprivileged youth. Visitors to the site are encouraged to click and donate, with funds raised going to Hockey Canada’s “Dream Come True” community initiative. Through this program, underprivileged kids across Canada will be able to discover the excitement of the game by receiving a fully-funded season of hockey, complete with new equipment from head to toe. For every dollar donated during the entry portion of the contest, Samsung will match the amount, to a maximum of $10,000.

The Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids contest website is currently accepting entries. The contest closes on November 2, 2009 at 11:59:59 ET. The winners and one parent/guardian will be flown to Calgary where the camp will take place in late November. For additional contest rules and regulations, please visit www.samsung.com/laceup.
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About Samsung Electronics Canada Inc.

Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc. (SECA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., markets a broad range of award-winning digital consumer electronics, information systems, telecommunications and home appliance products.

SECA upholds Samsung’s mission to provide consumers with innovative digital convergence products that possess exceptional technology, quality, features, performance and value. The company oversees the Canadian operations of Samsung’s consumer electronics and home appliance division, as well as its wireless terminals and information technology division.

Samsung has been a global TOP sponsor of the Olympic Games since 1997 and has been a presenting sponsor of the Olympic Torch Relay from 2004 to 2008.  Also through Samsung’s Four Seasons of Hope charity, Samsung helps athletes and celebrities raise funds for their respective charities, including the Wayne Gretzky Foundation in Canada.  Samsung is also a proud sponsor of Hockey Canada, Stars on Ice, Toronto Football Club and is the official HDTV sponsor of the NFL.

For customer service inquiries, please call 1-800-SAMSUNG (1-800-726-7864), and for more information, please visit www.samsung.com.

Wayne’s Statement

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Phoenix, Ariz.) — Wayne Gretzky announced today that he is stepping down as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations of the Phoenix Coyotes Hockey Club, effective immediately.  “This was a difficult decision that I’ve thought long and hard about,” said Gretzky. “We all hoped there would be a resolution earlier this month to the Coyotes ownership situation, but the decision is taking longer than expected.  Since both remaining bidders have made it clear that I don’t fit into their future plans, I approached General Manger Don Maloney and suggested he begin looking for someone to replace me as coach.  Don has worked hard and explored many options.  I think he has made an excellent choice, and so now it’s time for me to step aside.”

“The Coyotes scouting staff has put together a great group of young and talented players who are going to improve tremendously over the next few years,” continued Gretzky.  “I’m proud of the team we’ve assembled, the organization with which I’ve been associated and the thousands of dedicated fans who have never wavered in their support of this young team.  I’m confident that the best is yet to come for hockey in Phoenix.”

“I want to thank every staff member of the Phoenix Coyotes, past and present.  It was a real pleasure to work with each and every one of you.  I’ve always said that Phoenix is a great sports city and deserves nothing but the best.  I still believe that. As a young boy, I learned to play hockey in Southern Ontario, and I know what great fans they have there.  It’s my hope they too will have an NHL franchise in the not too distant future.”

“I often said it was the greatest honor and privilege I could imagine to be able to play in the National Hockey League.  I feel the same way about being an NHL coach.  I’ve loved the four years I spent coaching the Coyotes.  Not a day went by when I took it for granted, and I will miss the competition of the NHL dearly.  It was an honor to hold the position, and I will always consider myself especially fortunate to have had this opportunity.”

No Shoes, No Socks, Great Fun!

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

The Great Stomp returned to Wayne Gretzky Estates in Vineland, Ontario this past weekend.  Team’s competed by stomping barrels of grapes at the same time raising proceeds for the Ontario Lung Association.  Honorary Event Chair, Walter Gretzky was also on hand to witness the grape event.

The Great Stomp also featured a wine tasting of Gretzky’s finest vintages, food samplings, tours of the estate, entertainment and more.

View photo’s from the 2nd annual event:


The Great Stomp Returns

Monday, August 31st, 2009

The Ontario Lung Association wants you to put your best foot forward at The Great Stomp, literally a “full-bodied” fundraising event held at No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Estate Winery in the Niagara region Saturday, September 19.

In a race against the clock, teams of four will jump into a vat of ripened grapes and stomp, squish and stickhandle their way to winning by producing the most grape juice within an allotted time.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Ontario Lung Association’s lung health programs that help people of all ages with breathing problems in the Niagara Region.

“We want folks to roll up their pants and work their way to purple feet at The Great Stomp,” says Walter Gretzky, Honourary Event Chair.   “Lung disease is very important to the Gretzky family and we are pleased to host this fun and unusual fundraising event that is sure to get everyone chuckling as we raise money for a very important cause.”  Members of the Hamilton Tiger Cats may also find themselves breathless as they tackle the juicy challenge and cheer on participants.

Companies too are encouraged to go from “good to grape” as The Great Stomp offers a fun, team-building opportunity for staff in the picturesque setting of the No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Winery.  The event also features wine tastings of Gretzky’s finest vintages, food samplings, tours of the estate, entertainment and much more.

For a growing number of Canadians, the simple act of breathing is becoming more and more difficult:

  • Asthma rates continue to climb.
  • The incidence and prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is rising at an alarming rate, especially among women
  • Our environment, and, in particular, air quality, is a leading public concern
  • And tobacco use – although on a modest decline – remains this country’s number one preventable cause of death

The Ontario Lung Association offers quality information when people need it the most.  Consumers looking for information about asthma, allergies, COPD or tips on how to quit smoking can call 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) and speak to a certified respiratory educator.  All products and services are free of charge to Ontario residents.

To register a team or to pledge a team member, visit  www.on.lung.ca or call our Niagara office of the Ontario Lung Association at 1-800-790-5527.

Media inquiries:
Barbara Hickey, 905-358-5077, bhickey@on.lung.ca

Samsung Links The World To 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 23, 2009 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the Worldwide Olympic Partner for Wireless Communications Equipment, today unveiled its Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games theme, “Discover Your Every WOW Moment,” and Games-related programs – including its Team Samsung athletes – at the company’s event in Vancouver on June 23, International Olympic Day.

Samsung launched a new program to link fans to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games using Samsung’s Wireless Olympic Works (WOW) and their mobile phones. For the first time fans around the world will be able to download and install the WOW Public Application from Samsung’s website (www.samsung.com/vancouver2010) to receive real-time information and updates from the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games on their Samsung mobile phones.

Cooperation with Atos Origin and Omega under the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games’ (VANOC) coordination will enable Samsung to deliver the seamless WOW service for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Official Results will be powered by Atos Origin. Timing and results will be managed by Omega.

“The Olympic Games are much more than sports and competition; they are about community, camaraderie and individuals challenging themselves to find inspiration and achieve excellence,” said Gyehyun Kwon, vice president and head of Worldwide Sports Marketing, Samsung Electronics. “Likewise, Samsung seeks to use mobile phone technology and our sponsorship to unify people around the world and help them discover their own WOW moments during the Olympic Games.”

“The Vancouver 2010 Winter Games will be full of `wow’ moments, from the breathtaking scenery to thrilling moments of triumph in our world-class sport venues,” said John Furlong, VANOC’s chief executive officer. “A global leader in wireless technology, Samsung will help share these moments with sports fans around the world, including on handsets for the first time in Olympic history. This is in addition to the more than 7,000 individual pieces of telecommunications equipment they’re contributing to the Games. Both are examples of how Samsung’s expertise is contributing to the overall experience and flawless delivery of the 2010 Games.”

Samsung introduced members of Team Samsung, a group of high-profile brand ambassadors who represent the spirit of the Olympic Games and will share their WOW sports moments with fans all over the world. Led by ice hockey legend and Olympian Wayne Gretzky, Team Samsung will consist of Hayley Wickenheiser, three-time Olympic Games medalist with two golds and one silver; and Jarome Iginla, NHL All-Star, two-time Olympian and Olympic Games gold medalist.

“It’s an honour to lead Team Samsung as the Olympic Games returns to Canada in 2010,” said Wayne Gretzky. “As part of Team Samsung, I know the company is truly dedicated to sports and mobile phone technology. Through the power of its innovative wireless technologies, I expect Samsung will link fans around the world to the Games so we can experience the excitement together.”

Samsung also unveiled its Samsung Olympic Visual Identity System (SOVIS) and previewed design concepts and plans for the Olympic Rendezvous @ Samsung (OR@S). SOVIS combines the Samsung logo and brand attributes with elements that represent the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The design is inspired by the shape of a mobile phone, the beautiful scenery of Vancouver and incorporates the “Inukshuk,” a symbol of friendship and harmony in Canada. The new SOVIS will be used during Samsung’s 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games-related marketing events and promotional activities.

OR@S, located at David Lam Park, will become the epicenter of Samsung’s activities during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, providing engaging experiences and unique WOW moments for fans and athletes. It will showcase the brand’s innovative mobile phone technologies, provide live entertainment and serve as a retreat for athletes and spectators. Samsung will also take an eco-friendly approach to some extent in constructing the OR@S and will provide visitors with easy and intuitive product experiences. OR@S debuted during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and has become a popular meeting spot, hosting more than 3 million people to date.

Samsung also announced its “Samsung Mobile Explorers” program set to launch in August 2009 to spread the excitement of the Games across the world. Around fifty lucky university students from all over the world will be selected as Samsung’s Mobile Explorers getting an opportunity to experience and report on the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The contest will be open to university students in Canada, the Republic of Korea and other countries to be announced at a later date. Each Mobile Explorer will be equipped with the latest Samsung mobile phone to capture their unique WOW moments by sharing their extraordinary Olympic Games stories through text messaging and online posts.

About Samsung’s Involvement in the Olympic Games
Samsung began its Olympic Games involvement as a local sponsor of the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games. Beginning with the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games, the company extended its commitment to the Olympic Movement as the Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Wireless Communications Equipment category, providing its proprietary wireless communications program, called Wireless Olympic Works (WOW), and mobile phones. These innovative wireless technologies provide the Olympic Family with real-time information and communications services. Samsung’s commitment as a Worldwide Olympic Partner continues through to the 2016 Olympic Games.

About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in telecommunication and digital convergence technologies with 2008 consolidated sales of US$96 billion. Employing approximately 164,600 people in 179 offices in 61 countries, the company is recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands and a leading producer of mobile phones. For more information, please visit: www.samsung.com

Janet & Wayne Return For American Century Championship

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky and his wife, actress Janet Jones, have accepted invitations to participate in the 20th anniversary American Century Championship golf tournament on July 17 -19 at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe, NV.

They will tee off against over 75 athletes and entertainers for a piece of the $600,000 purse in a three day, 54-hole modified Stableford competition. They will be joined by Michael Jordan, Dan Marino, Charles Barkley, Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger, Ray Romano, Mario Lemieux, Dale Jarrett and Jerry Rice, among others.

Wayne Gretzky won four Stanley Cup Championships while with the Edmonton Oilers, and is generally regarded as the greatest player to ever play in the NHL. In his career, Gretzky captured nine Hart Trophies as the most valuable player, ten Art Ross Trophies for most points in a season, five Lady Byng Trophies for sportsmanship and performance, five Lester B. Pearson Awards, and two Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP. He is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season—a feat he accomplished four times. Following his retirement in 1999, he was immediately inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame.

The American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament will be televised by NBC on Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19 from 3-6 p.m. ET (live) and on ESPN2 Friday, July 17, from 7-9 p.m. ET (tape delay).

For the fourth year in a row, the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) is the official charity of the American Century Championship. The tournament will help build awareness of the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign, while raising funds for the LAF’s cancer survivorship initiatives.  Collaborating with the LAF on the 2009 tournament is a natural fit for American Century Investments, given the fact that more than 40 percent of the asset management firm’s profits go to fund research for the prevention and cure of gene-based diseases such as cancer.

For further information, contact:

Steve Griffith
Vizion Group
484/433-7757 (East Coast)

Paul Weildinger
Weidinger Public Relations
775/588-2412 (West Coast)