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Scotiabank’s Inclusive Hockey Book Inspires the Next Generation of Players



Rethink launches new children’s book to help kids see themselves on the ice and on the page

Scotiabank’s Inclusive Hockey Book Inspires the Next Generation of Players

Many Canadian kids grow up reading about hockey. But most of those books don’t feature diverse characters. So, Scotiabank created a more inclusive hockey book to inspire the next generation of players. 

The Hockey Jersey is a fictional children’s book that helps fill the diversity gap in both hockey and literature because when children can see themselves on the page, they can see themselves in the game.

Written by Jael Richardson, and illustrated by Chelsea Charles, The Hockey Jersey follows Kareema, a young player on the day of her first hockey game. The story includes a diverse cast, in a modern setting, with a contemporary storyline as the team collectively discovers something special about hockey while seeing their new uniforms for the first time.

Kareema and her teammates’ story was made to inspire all Canadians — to ensure that everyone feels like they have a place in hockey for generations to come. The book was inspired by classic children’s hockey books like Roch Carrier’s The Hockey Sweater, which is still found on bookshelves across Canada. It was the formative hockey book for generations and the standard Scotiabank and Rethink looked to when developing The Hockey Jersey. 

The Hockey Jersey has garnered personal endorsements from notable current and former athletes and sports leaders like P.K. Subban, Brendan Shanahan, Akim Aliu, Natalie Spooner, Soraya Tinker, and more. 

“Any good idea is only as powerful as the partners that you bring to it. Scotiabank was the catalyst for the book, and we needed to find the right storytellers,” said Caroline Friesen, partner and creative director at Rethink, on the people who helped turn this idea into a reality. “

"Jael wrote an incredible story and Chelsea's illustrations are beautifully moving. Everything from character development and design to the serene colour palette was carefully considered. So seeing it all come together in The Hockey Jersey is so special and something that we hope will have an impact on young athletes across the country.”

Aside from the creation of the physical book, creative execution for this launch included a microsite, a 45s spot, as well as social and out-of-home creative.

The Hockey Jersey can be purchased for $21.99 at Indigo, where 100 per cent of net proceeds are going to Hockey 4 Youth Foundation, an organisation that fosters social inclusion for newcomer and high-priority youth through free on and off-ice life skills programs. 

Scotiabank is also giving away thousands of copies to the places where they’ll have the most impact, with physical copies of the book being donated to libraries and Little Free Libraries across the country, and free digital ebooks will also be available for download at

"We've heard from so many families that their kids had a positive reaction to seeing characters that look like them in the book," shares Robbie Percy, partner and creative director at Rethink. "Representation is so important. The sooner kids become accustomed to seeing themselves represented in the game, the sooner they'll believe there’s a place for them on the ice. It’s a step towards creating diversity in hockey, which the sport so desperately needs.”

Scotiabank is on a mission to make hockey more diverse, more inclusive and more accessible through their hockey for all platform. Through sponsorships, partnerships and programs, Scotiabank is committed to realizing a better future for hockey. Since October 2021, Scotiabank has donated over $3M in funds to organizations that aim to make hockey more accessible to underserved communities. 

The bank’s AORs led the campaign, with Rethink on creative, strategy and PR and PHD on media. The campaign is in-market as of January 18 and runs for five weeks.  

On January 21st, folks can tune into Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada on Sportsnet to learn more. Also on Jan. 21st, Scotiabank is hosting a free book launch celebration open to the public at The Bentway in Toronto, where families can join for an ice skate and get a signed copy of The Hockey Jersey at no cost. 


Agency / Creative
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Categories: Corporate, Social and PSAs, Charity

Rethink, Wed, 18 Jan 2023 15:52:02 GMT