Sawyer Hannay left Canada at age 19 to play professional hockey in Austria. While travelling for the sport, he was inspired to create a business. Living abroad, he came to value the country lifestyle that so many Canadians know and cherish – the business had to reflect that feeling. Country Liberty – a lifestyle brand representing the love of living totally free in a beautiful country environment – was the result.
With hockey so closely linked to Country Liberty’s origins, Hannay has made supporting the sport a part of the company’s brand via tournament sponsorships, and fundraising efforts for minor hockey. That involvement coupled with a strong social media presence put Country Liberty on the radar of the team at Hockey Canada.
The result? Members of Team Canada and the Team Canada Families will sport Country Liberty’s items as part of the upcoming 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins on Boxing Day.
“This relationship began with Hockey Canada approaching us. An old friend of mine that has worked with Country Liberty throughout the years who are now working with Hockey Canada contacted me and felt that the Country Liberty brand aligned perfectly with their goal of bringing Canadiana to the international stage,” says Hannay. “Our Plaid Fleece Collection specifically stood out for them, and we’re thrilled to have our juniors wearing it in front of the Canadian crowd in Alberta.”
Hannay says saying yes to this opportunity was a no-brainer. “I’m extremely excited to be a part of this. Hockey has given me so much, to be able to give back by further promoting the game is special to me. We have been looking for ways to get even more involved with the sport and this is the opportunity we were looking for. The World Juniors is the Superbowl of the hockey world for many kids growing up in Canada – it’s the end all be all. It’s a group of rising stars playing for their country, with passion, and for the love of the game.”
One of those rising stars this year is another New Brunswicker, Sainte-Marie-de-Kent native Lukas Cormier, who has made Team Canada’s tournament roster. The 19-year old Charlottetown Islanders defenseman will be wearing clothing from a business based in his corner of New Brunswick.
Hannay says this World Juniors tournament is the foot-in-the-door experience Country Liberty was looking for, and he hopes to work on more opportunities with Hockey Canada and other sports organizations that share their brand values. “Our Plaid Fleece Collection will be the big clothing piece to keep an eye out for in Alberta, but there will be other items showcased throughout the event too. We are hopeful that people will get to see more Country Liberty items at these types of events moving forward.”
The 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship begins on Boxing Day with Canada kicking off the tournament against the Czech Republic at 8 pm AST. Check out TSN’s full broadcast schedule.