Mini has struck a new partnership with Burton snowboards to promote the auto brand’s new Countryman model at the Burton Canadian Open and other events in the Burton Global Open Series.

“Creative use of space is central to both brands,” said John Cappella, director of Mini Canada. “With snowboarding, it’s using the air in creative way, and the boards themselves speak to creativity. And Mini has always been about creative use of space and maximizing the interior space of the vehicle.”

The worldwide partnership includes the addition of a Mini-branded event to the competition. At the end of the season, Mini will award the men’s and women’s winners of its “Creative Use of Space” award $50,000 and a new Mini Countryman. The winners will be chosen by a panel of judges in tandem with fans, who can watch video of riders’ snowboard runs on Facebook and vote for their favourites.

Prospective voters must visit a Mini Facebook page and become a Mini fan by “liking” the page. Visitors can then vote by “liking” the video of their choice.
Voters are also eligible to win prize packs that include tickets to future Burton Global Open Series events.

The Burton Canadian Open takes places this weekend in Calgary and is the third event in this year’s series. The Mini Countryman, which launched in January, will be available for attendees to test-drive on site.

According to Cappella, Mini’s sponsorship agreement with the Burton series was born in Canada. The two companies partnered on co-promotions at Ontario ski slopes last year.

“Mini Canada actually partnered with Burton last year as a local initiative, which was very successful and a perfect match for the brand,” said Cappella. “We then shared this internationally, and that led to this worldwide partnership.

“It’s a great fit. We’ve found that people who are very enthusiastic about snowboarding are also enthusiastic about Mini.”

The auto brand was also a presenting sponsor of Burton Global Open Series events held in New Zealand last August and Switzerland in January. The company will also sponsor a U.S. event scheduled for March.