Through 95 years, you’ll experience events that change who you are, or further cement your values. United has experienced several turning points that enabled us to grow into the sports leader we are today. Below are some of the most critical points in our history we felt were worth highlighting and celebrating.
Highlights of our history
Milestone - Sport Central
1991 - Founding of Sport Central
United was a founding partner of Sport Central, a grassroots charity focused on providing access to sports for underprivileged families. It has long been part of our culture to support the community, and this organization exemplifies our ideals of giving back. For over three decades we’ve been collecting donations of money and equipment for the charity which goes directly to families. You can donate today easily through dropping off your equipment at the entrance to our store.
Milestone - A November to remember
2003 - At the Heritage Classic
The Edmonton Oilers played the Montreal Canadians, in the first ever NHL game to be played outdoors as a regular season game. Commonwealth Stadium was outfitted with ice and 57,167 fans braved -30 degree (with wind chill) weather to watch both an alumni game and the league game.
United Cycle, through their contract with the Edmonton Oilers Champions operations, had 14 kiosks and retail outlets at the Heritage Classic game. A crew of over 100 were on location, braving the freezing temperatures and crowd mayhem, to sell programs, branded merchandise and spread Edmonton hospitality. Workers included family and friends, volunteers from Sport Central and company staff members who all came together to create United Cycle magic in a truly memorable event.
Milestone - Stanley Cup
2007 - Stanley the Cup
Stanley is a gift to hockey in Alberta in celebration of Hockey Alberta’s 100th anniversary and United Cycle’s 80th anniversary. Our Stanley is one of a kind – a snapshot of hockey excellence, featuring the cup winning teams since 1892. It captures hockey in the heartland with complete team rosters from Alberta’s first year in the NHL (1979/80 to 2006/07).
- 2.5 feet tall
- 850 pounds
- 320 hours of welding and grinding
- 165 man hours of fabrication and fitting
- 150 hours of computer set up programming
- Pride in workmanship….Priceless
Milestone - Alberta strong
2016 - United with Alberta Strong
2016 saw a devastating event rock our province – the Fort McMurray wildfire. Support efforts started immediately at United Cycle. In June, United Cycle hosted a very special press conference, together with Sport Central and CCM. We announced a tally of over $500,000 in equipment donations to our Sport for the North Equipment Drive. United Cycle and Sport Central partnered with Rosenau Transport in the ‘Sport for the North’ drive to deliver half million dollars of equipment directly to Fort McMurray from our generous customers and partners.
Our stores coming together
How does a family and staff work to together to make the impossible…..possible? Do it yourself of course! Family member Joe Bots, first call for all United Cycle projects involving a hammer and ingenuity, used his experience as a contractor of our 1994 building to tackle the challenge. He surrounded himself with an amazing team of local contractors, subcontractors, and tradespeople that included many familiar faces: Joe’s older brother Bill Bots set the pace, nephew Marvin Bots and son Lindsey logged countless hours with electrical upgrading and running new wires for state of the art equipment, and Ora and Dave Barker (designers of the beloved streetscape in our old building) lent their talents to covering offices with a façade of former United Cycle storefronts. Staff pitched in with construction to ensure the doors stayed open throughout the process. The bicycle and team sales departments, in particular, felt the daily impact of demolition with power outages, cold water (or no water at all!), endless banging, piercing power tools, and dust, dust, and more dust. Our theme for this move was ‘better together’. The cooperation and dedication of all involved is a first class example of just how much can be achieved when pride is involved in a day’s work.
Celebrations and awards
We’ve always considered ourselves an active part of the community. Over nearly a century, we’ve employed thousands of amazing people, invested countless hours into the community and helped the success of numerous charities. It’s impossible to thank our incredible team for their passion and dedication to sport, the customer and the community. Our team has pioneered new sports and provided unrivaled expertise to our customers. This dedication to going above and beyond has meant even through tough economic times, Edmontonians have supported United.We take pride in having become an iconic retailer in Edmonton, and we’re thankful for the recognition our humble sports store has received over the years. Below are some notable awards United has received:
- Enterprise of the Year Award by the Canadian Association of Family Business’
- Outstanding Contribution to Retail Award by the University of Alberta School of Retailing
- Ambassador Award for Commitment to Community by the Retail Council of Canada
- University of Alberta Community Inclusion Award
- Lieutenant Governor’s Corporate Community Leader Award
- Recipient of the ‘Key to Old Strathcona’ in 2018 from OSBA
- April 7th, 2018 was named ‘United Cycle Day’ by Edmonton Mayor Don Iverson in honor of our 90th year.
- Multiple time recipient of Edmonton’s Favorite Sporting Goods, Bike and Fitness Store