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Sponsorship + Experiential = Evidence of a New Model?

It is 2015. People are changing. Thus, sponsorship – which is about reaching people – is changing. In this white paper, Dr. Norm O’Reilly discusses some of these changes and suggests a new model may be emerging in certain context. As we head to CSFX and the results of the 9th annual Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study, it might be a worthwhile read!

Follow this link to download the white paper: Sponsorship + Experiential = Evidence of a New Model

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Content Marketing – Changing The Sponsorship Game

This sponsorship industry we work in grew from a simple concept. Sponsorship was about a brand leveraging the assets and intellectual property of a rights holder. Whether the rights holder was a sports organization, a charity, a festival, a celebrity, a venue or public space, or another type of “property,” the brand was able to associate itself with the great things that the property was doing.

Within this traditional formula for sponsorship marketing, the transaction equation details are pretty standard:

  • The brand pays the rights holder a fee, or provides value in the form of product or promotional efforts;
  • The rights holder provides the brand the right to visibility through its events and initiatives; and/or
  • The rights holder provides the brand with the right to utilize its marks, footage, imagery, etc. in marketing communications; and/or
  • The rights holder provides the brand with experiences or hospitality assets that the brand can leverage in its business activities.

While there are many variations and additional elements in sponsorship transactions, the equation above covers off the gist of it. Or at least it used to.


Photo courtesy of cbc.ca Photo courtesy of cbc.ca

Emotion > Reason

I preface this article with the fact that I am not privy to all the facts in this situation, only a few minutes of heavily edited television coverage and a few news releases reporting on what took place. That said, the core message remains.

For those who missed perhaps one of the more courageous sponsorship pitches (that I have certainly ever witnessed), the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, led by CEO Bruce Robinson, asked highly successful Canadian entrepreneurs on national TV as part of CBC’s hit show Dragon’s Den for an investment of their own money. The ask was not based on an entrepreneurial business venture, but as part of very different kind of investment.


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FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Official Emblem Launch

Sponsors & the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015

The end of 2014 has come and gone, and while we reminisce about the year the was, it is hard not to get excited about 2015, in what has been proclaimed as The Year of Sport here in Canada. In case you somehow missed the news, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM is coming to six host cities coast to coast beginning in June. This sporting momentum is carried into August with the Toronto 2015 Pan American / Parapan American Games occurring in the Greater Toronto Area. Both are major international sport properties, and the hype around them is growing.

With all great international events comes great opportunity for marketers to engage both domestic and international audiences. The 2015 properties are no exception, as a number of brands have already signed on to partner with these legacy events. The focus of this post will be on the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM, as the draw is now complete. Before touching on the upcoming event, I thought it would be interesting to look back one cycle and observe the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™, which was held in Germany.


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Toronto Christmas Market Sponsorships and Activations

Christmas markets have a long history throughout Europe, particularly in German-speaking parts of the continent such as Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, although they are found in other parts of the globe.

For centuries, people have enjoyed these open-air markets as a place to gather, buy and sell goods, purchase food and drink, and generally celebrate a break during the dark and cold winter season.

Many communities throughout the world host their own version of a Christmas Market – with unique features and characteristics representing their history, culture, and preferences. An increasing number of Canadian communities have created their own Christmas Markets. For example, Kitchener just celebrated its 18th annual Christkindl Market, Vancouver and Toronto are currently in their fifth annual Vancouver and Toronto Christmas Markets, respectively.

As a recent visitor to the Toronto Christmas Market hosted at the Distillery Historic District, the sophistication of the sponsorship in enhancing the visitor experience is apparent.


Giving Tuesday

Embrace #GivingTuesday

The dust has settled after the raging masses cleared store shelves on another rampant Black Friday. Servers across North America have recovered after a near meltdown from an influx of internet activity on Cyber Monday. One can only hope that Giving Tuesday doesn’t fade as quickly into the rearview mirror.

Only two years ago #GivingTuesday was founded by New York’s 92nd Street Y, through a partnership with the United Nations Foundation, but has since grown into a global phenomenon, including making its way north of the border to Canada. Influencers, charities, businesses, organizations, students and many others come together in a movement of generosity and giving back. An online platform houses tools for charities and business, webinars, social media kits, and other resources to unite the country in support of giving.


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Utilizing Media Sponsorships

Recently I wrote how brands have three options when pursuing a sports sponsorship strategy: league, team or athlete. I concluded by explaining that a sponsor will consider its overall brand strategy and assess how their objectives can be best met by entering into an agreement with one of the options. I wanted to take this topic one step further and explore another option available to brands interested in leveraging sports marketing: media sponsorships.


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Considering a Sports Sponsorship Strategy: League, Team or Athlete?

There are opportunities aplenty across the entire property landscape when a brand considers where to put their sponsorship dollars. Traditionally, sport is the largest sponsorship category (dollar amount and number of deals), so sponsors have even more to think about when pursuing a sport sponsorship strategy. Focusing on professional sports as an example (the same rationale can also be applied to the amateur side), a sponsor essentially has three broad property categories to choose from: the league, a team (or teams) within the league or an athlete who plays in the league.


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RBC Ottawa Bluesfest

Still Rethinking Sponsorship Valuation

In my last blog post, I referenced a white paper that spoke to the difference between relative sponsorship valuation and absolute sponsorship valuation. I emphasized that sponsors must do a better job of understanding the absolute value of a sponsorship opportunity – that is, its value as a business investment to their company’s bottom line.

A few weeks ago at CSFX, RBC’s VP of Brand Marketing, Andy Shibata, emphasized much of the same. Andy provided an overview of sponsorship marketing’s evolution, from Sponsorship 1.0 to Sponsorship 4.0 (our current state):

–       Sponsorship 1.0: Achieving Brand Presence Through Properties

–       Sponsorship 2.0: Bringing Big Communication Ideas to Life

–       Sponsorship 3.0: Communicating a Message About What the Brand Values and Believes In

–       Sponsorship 4.0: Sponsorship Should Lean Into a Business’s Real Issues and Deliver Tangible Results

In this blog post, I’ve drafted a hypothetical story that aims to better articulate exactly what Sponsorship 4.0 and absolute sponsorship valuation mean in practice.  So no matter what your current job entails in the sponsorship world, I ask that you close your eyes and open your imagination…actually, please open your eyes – assuming you need them to read.


Image Source: Nova News Now Image Source: Nova News Now

Scotiabank Centre: Behind the Deal

It was a few weeks ago that news broke about Halifax Metro Centre’s newest and biggest sponsorship – after over 35 years, Atlantic Canada’s largest sports and entertainment venue was finally getting a naming rights partner. It had long been speculated that Halifax Metro Centre (HMC) would finally sell its name to a corporate partner, but little did Haligonians know that the wheels had been turning since 2012. Working on the valuation and adding strategic guidance to the selling process, TrojanOne would like to offer some insights into how the process of securing Scotiabank came to be, as well as some of the challenges and opportunities along the way.