Sunday, 22 June 2014

A Spot Of Tea?

I happened to be walking by our coffee station near my department at work the other day, and I came across something I found bizarre. Hockey is rarely seen in the same place as coffee and other hot beverages, but I found a famous hockey face staring back at me as I wandered by the coffee nook. I don't want to alarm anyone, but this is the first time I've ever seen Wayne Gretzky's face on something like tea. I was confused and scared, and I decided I needed to find the answer to how Wayne's visage ended up on the box of Bigelow tea.

I hit Bigelow's website, and the answer was sitting there.
Fairfield, CT, February 21, 2010 – Talk about a power play! The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, has teamed up with the Bigelow Tea Company as a spokesperson for North America (Canada and the U.S.). As the embodiment of sports excellence and wholesome vitality, Wayne Gretzky is a perfect fit with the Bigelow Green Tea "story."

In keeping with Bigelow's customer centric style, this exciting news first launched on the Bigelow blog with a weeklong teaser contest. Daily Twitter clues were posted and a Classic Tea Chest stocked with Bigelow Tea favorites was awarded to the lucky winner who guessed the new spokesperson was "The Great One."

Gretzky, who has played pro hockey for both Canadian and American teams, earned his title as The Great One by winning 4 National Hockey League championships, 9 Hart Trophies (hockey's MVP award) and 3 NHL All-Star Game MVPs. An incredible athlete, he also holds 60 different NHL records — including a record for holding the most records! He is generally regarded as the best player in the history of the NHL, and has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters, players and coaches.

Gretzky’s personal relationship with the Bigelow brand laid the groundwork for the sponsorship. "Just as hockey is a natural for me, quality is a natural for Bigelow Tea. It's a family company whose values I admire, and whose product is unbeatable. Bigelow teas just seem to taste fresher and better – I'm pleased to be associated with a product I believe in."

The admiration is well returned. "It's so incredibly exciting, and such an honor, to have a sports figure of Wayne's magnitude as our spokesperson," said Cindi Bigelow, President of the family-owned Bigelow Tea Company. "He is not only a true champion but a wonderful human being – humble, gentle and kind. When he visited our facility, he shook hands, signed autographs and took photos with everyone. No wonder they call him the Great One."
Wayne apparently joins the Bigelow team as the hockey representative. Joe Torre, Terry Francona and Phil Simms are all a part of the Bigelow team as well. Strangely, it appears no basketball players enjoy tea as they don't have a representative. In any case, tea is now an acceptable hockey beverage!

Who would have thought that The Great One would be selling "a great tea"?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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