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This year has been an emotional rollercoaster for soccer fans with Lionel Messi’s move to Miami, Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia, Megan Rapinoe’s retirement following the Women’s World Cup and David Beckham’s resurgence with a monster hit docuseries on Netflix.
But while all those names have grabbed the lion’s share of headlines (and brand recognition) in the sport over the past year, there’s one name that stands out to Canadian fans that’s finally getting a moment in the spotlight. This heartwarming and tear-inducing tribute has been produced by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Canada Soccer and CIBC’s creative agency of record, Courage for Christine Sinclair.
British Columbia’s “Queen of the North” played her final game for Team Canada on Dec. 5 in front of a crowd of over 48,000 fans, ending a 20-plus season run that included six World Cup appearances, four Olympic tournaments (and three medals), and 14 Canadian Soccer Player of the year awards. She also has the distinction of being one of only three players in the world to have scored at five World Cups and is currently the world-record holder with 190 international goals—the most of any player, male or female.
It is that last impressive stat that’s served as inspiration for “190 Goals for Goals,” a campaign, brand activation and celebration of the soccer legend’s historic career during her final match, featuring 190 girls, all soccer players (some of which were from Sinclair’s foundation), walking onto the field of B.C. Place Stadium—dubbed “Christine Sinclair Place” for the night—donning Sinclair’s jersey with their handwritten future goals, all inspired by her achievements.
CIBC sponsors the team and counts Sinclair as a longtime ambassador. The multinational financial institution also pledged a donation of $190,000 to the Christine Sinclair Foundation, which supports women and girls pursuing their own (personal) goals in and beyond the sport.
“Christine is an inspiration to so many athletes, women and young girls around the world and we are proud to call her an ambassador of our bank, and share her ambition of driving inclusion, diversity and equity in the sport,” said Andrew Greenlaw, vp of sponsorship, community and brand at CIBC, in a statement. “Our donation honors the remarkable impact Christine has had and the belief that she is ‘never retiring from inspiring.’”