Game On: Tech Data’s tour reworked around Stanley Cup Game 7

Reid and Haid

Reid and Haid have a friendly difference of opinion prior to Game 7.

It was the middle of last week when Tech Data Canada knew there was the potential for a challenge with the Toronto stop on its Business Builder Tour.

In between stops in Montreal on June 7 and Quebec City on June 9, the team caught the Bruins downing the Canucks 4-0 in Game Four from Boston. A quick check of the math revealed that if it went to game seven, the Canucks and Bruins would be playing a one-game winner-takes-all affair for hockey supremacy at the same time their scheduled Toronto event on June 15.

Faced with the potential of competing for the hearts and minds of Canadian resellers with the pinnacle of the national passion, the distributor clearly only had one option – it would have to embrace Game 7.

But there was still a chance for things to be over and done with long before the tour hit Toronto, especially after the Canucks eked out a 1-0 win last Friday to set themselves up for a Game Six clincher on Monday. Alas, that one didn’t quite go as planned, and by the end of the first period on Monday, the distributor knew what it had to do.

“We scheduled this thing well before they did, but I don’t think they’re going to change their schedule for us,” quipped Tech Data Canada president .

The marketing collateral for the event was quickly changed, emblazoned with the logos of the NHL rivals, and the quickly had a viewing party added to the schedule. Surely, the jazz band hired to play the event’s after-party wouldn’t mind giving up the stage a little early so everyone could catch Hockey Night in Canada.

Getting a group of Canadians to get behind Game Seven of the Stanley Cup is kind of like asking water if it wouldn’t mind being wet, and soon the game was becoming a major theme at the event. Tech Data staffers on-hand were almost all in Canucks blue or Bruins black, their efforts “captained” by Reid, a diehard Maple Leafs fan who switched allegiances to “anyone but Boston” for the playoffs, and sales veep , a longtime Bruins fan.

Watching the Game

Toronto area VARs settle in to catch the opening faceoff as Roberto Luongo gets ready on the overhead screen

The event went off as normal, with some 250 Toronto-area resellers getting into the event at the Paramount Conference and Event Venue just north of Toronto. It was a day of seminars, followed by an evening tabletop session with some of the biggest technology vendors in the Canadian channel. And then, everyone retreated to the next room, where there was food and drink to be had, and infinitely more importantly, big-screen TVs on which to watch the proceedings.

In the end, the Great Canadian Story of it all was dashed as the Beantown squad took an early command and Bruins netminder Tim Thomas put on a display. But it wasn’t a sour defeat for all involved – with the victory Haid earned final bragging rights for the hockey season off of his boss, a nice little bonus to seeing his team take the Cup for the first time since 1972.

After a summer break (much like the NHL’s) Tech Data’s 2011 Business Builder Tour will reconvene this fall, with stops in Calgary and Vancouver in September and October, respectively.

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