• Then and Now: The Greatest Wheels on Earth

    by  • March 7, 2011 • Life, Marketing

    In 1985, paraplegic athlete Rick Hansen wanted to demonstrate the potential of people with disabilities by wheeling around the world. Twenty-six months later he’d wheeled forty thousand kilometers over four continents and thirty-four countries. Bolstered by international media attention, the support of the public and a handful of local companies, the Man in Motion World Tour raised $26 million for spinal cord research and rehabilitation.

    I remember the tour from a personal and business perspective. One of my marketing managers recommended the company join Rick’s sponsorship group. He loved Hansen’s cause and saw commercial value in the partnership for our Nabob Coffee brand. The result: for the Man in Motion World Tour, $122,247 from Nabob Coffee; for Nabob Coffee, a staggering three-share point growth in national market share.

    The union between Nabob Coffee and Rick Hansen was a wonderful example of business and charity working together for mutual benefit. Twenty-five years have passed and Rick’s quest to find solutions for spinal injuries continues; The Rick Hansen Foundation has generated more than $200 million for quality of life projects, awareness programs and cutting-edge research.

    Beginning August 24, 2011 in Cape Spear, Newfoundland, a 25th Anniversary Relay retraces the Canadian segment of the original tour; this time one man in motion will be represented by 7,000 participants who have made their own difference in the lives of others.  Check out Rick Hansen and learn how you can help the Greatest Wheels on Earth:  http://twitter.com/#!/RickHansenFdn and http://www.rickhansen.com/code/navigate.aspx?Id=372 


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    Formerlife: Jacobs Suchard CEO (Kraft, Nabob), Strategy Consultant. Afterlife: Palgrave Macmillan Author, Historical Novelist, Business Journalist