The partnership between Taiga and Club M has been the definition of a mutually beneficial relationship for the business and club as both have been getting off the ground in recent years.
For Chris Painchaud, the founder of Taiga as well as long-time Magma player, working with his club to create and produce their jerseys was an important first step as Taiga got started.
The first year, 2014, was a no-brainer for both sides. Magma needed jerseys, Painchaud played for them and was building a Montreal-based start-up, and the connection was made.
“The first year it was easy because Chris was our friend and it was natural to go with Taiga,” said Marc-André Duchesneau, who sits on Club M’s board of directors in addition to playing for Manic, this year’s flagship team for the club.
For Taiga, establishing that relationship was key to spreading their brand, starting with Magma player’s different league and 4v4 teams.
“It was a huge help to us,” Painchaud said. “In ultimate every player plays for like three, four, five different teams, so a lot of players became ambassadors for the brand locally, referring people to Taiga.”
As Club M—a rebranding of Magma intended to unify Montreal men's ultimate—has taken shape, their relationship with the rapidly-growing Taiga has become more professional.
“We have a big club now, with over 135 members buying jerseys and gear. We decided last year to take bids from BE, Taiga, and all the other big companies, and we got the best deal from Taiga,” Duchesneau said.
Taiga knows that they are not an automatic choice to supply the club’s jerseys just because of location. However, the company and club have formed strong, mutually beneficial ties in a professional sense as well as through friendship and a mutual desire to see the other succeed.
“We’re happy to be working with a Montreal-based company,” Duschesneau added.
“There’s a lot of really nice things with Taiga, the way the system works. As a non-profit club it’s really hard for us to have to always chase after people for money, but with Taiga, everything goes through their website and we don’t have to chase people for cash or cheques. It’s very easy, very user-friendly, and for us, it’s a big relief so we can put more time into developing the sport side of the business.”
On the sport side, this is Club M’s biggest year yet, as they are realizing their goal for one unified men’s club system in Montreal with five different teams and a strong coaching staff in place for each. In addition to Manic, the club features Mesa, a “post-elite” team that features many former Magma players and looks to compete at a high level over the summer series. Magma, a nod to the club’s former branding, is the official “B” team this year and is followed by developmental teams Inferno and Rage.
A partnership with the Montreal Royal completes the chain, with several Manic players practicing with the team as the official “relève”.
Artistically, Marie-Eve Poirier is the mastermind behind all the jersey designs, ensuring unity across the club’s different teams when it comes to logos and colors.
“It’s really important for people to see Club M not just as individual teams, but teams forming part of a bigger club,” Duchesneau said. “That’s why while the jerseys are different for each team, the shorts and the rest of the gear is all branded with ‘Club M.’”
Club M will take the field starting this weekend at Frisbeefest in Trois-Rivières with all their teams in action to kick off what looks to be their best season yet.