Oh happy day! Today we celebrate a very special moment in TTG’s history: our 6th Birthday!
To celebrate we would like to share:
- Andrea’s Living Room:
On June 1, 2010, the company was incorporated and a small but intrepid team of five took over Andrea’s living room with computers, printers, papers and relentless enthusiasm. Not long after, the first cheque arrived with clients such as the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Canadian Olympic Committee, believing in the potential of partnering with a group of alumni from the marketing department of the 2010 Vancouver Games organizing committee (VANOC). In February of 2011 we helped launch John Furlong’s best-selling book ‘Patriot Hearts’ and took the opportunity to declare the party our official opening as well.
- COC Partnership:
The COC was our second client, and a worthy one at that. With a bold and courageous vision we embarked on an incredibly successful relationship with sponsorship sales nearing the $200M mark! We feel proud to have been part of ‘relaunching” the COC on a very positive trajectory following the 2010 Games.
- Opening the Toronto Office
“Wasn’t that a party”!!!! Opening our TO office was worthy of a huge celebration….lots of friends and family came by to be greeted by ALL employees from coast to coast. It was a very proud evening for us all.
- Launching XL
In 2014, to commemorate four years since the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the TwentyTen Corporation staged the XL Leadership Summit, designed to share the good fortune we enjoyed from great leaders in the lead up to, during and since Vancouver’s Games. TTG invited a stellar line-up of visionary leaders to share insight and lessons with a room full of 400+ like-minded delegates. It still stands as a momentous learning milestone for us and enjoyed exceptional reviews from those who joined us.
- Launching TORQUE Strategies
The launch of TORQUE Strategies, on the anniversary of our figurative birth – the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games – we publically ignited the second phase of our corporate evolution. Operating independently, yet sometimes collaboratively with TTG, the team at TORQUE has sprinted out of the gates and has been collaborating with some of the best brands in Canada.
- Canada Sevens
In early 2015 we started working with Rugby Canada on a bid for the right to host an event on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. That passion-fuelled submission was followed by Vancouver’s granted selection to host a hugely successful inaugural HSBC Canada Sevens in March 2016. The TwentyTen Corporation is immensely proud of having been intimately involved from start to finish with this project and we are equally proud to continue the collaboration as this annual event prepares for an exceptional future in Vancouver.
YES! We survived through thick and thin…. We have lived, we have learnt, we’ve failed, we’ve excelled, but one thing we know for sure is we have enjoyed the journey through the good times and the bad, and we will continue to do so with the best team ever! Here is to a lot of “Yes’s” in our future!!!!
Six years may have passed, but the lessons and learning have never lessened.
With each new client or project we learn new variables to contemplate when conceiving of our next project. And each time, despite being taught new lessons, it becomes clear we are made better by those of the past that we have listened to and applied. Despite the clarity of evidence though, we still find ourselves periodically stumbling over obstacles, that lessons of the past could have helped us avoid had we brought them to bear on the challenge in front of us. With that in mind we share that perhaps the greatest lesson to be learned from lessons is that they carry little value unless they are listened to! Behold a non-exhaustive list of lessons learnt over the last six years.
- True Partnership
At its surface partnership can be mistaken for an over-used word, but when partnerships are truly built on mutual trust, commitment and the passion to rise to potential; the word takes on an added depth. In our first six years of operation we have nurtured, observed, learned from and benefited from hundreds of partnerships. And time and again, we have re-learnt the invaluable lesson that true partnerships never pause. Whether there be exhaustion or elation, the mutual commitment continues and thereby blossoms on a periodic and continual basis.
- Optimize Your Team
When a company is young you learn through necessity that optimizing your entire workforce is vital in order to get everything done. But as you grow you can soon get lost in the work volume-induced tendency to micro-manage or a reluctance to delegate. At the TwentyTen Group however, we are frequently reminded by the competency of the incredibly high calibre interns and junior staffers we have been fortunate enough to have on our team. They have proven to us time and again that having the courage to stand back, delegate and empower can allow team leads to remain focused on the big picture and continue to elevate partnerships through a sustained focus on the horizon, rather than being bogged down by the needs of today.
- Have a Vision – Ours is: To Elevate the Potential of Sport, Culture and Community
Our company vision was born on the patio of Andrea Shaw’s home and it was authored by the collective voice of those who actively built the company. As a result it is an authentic representation of where our industry can take us and where we can go if we rise to our potential. Despite our vision’s excellent roots though, we have, over the course of our six years, stumbled and wavered at times. Hindsight has consistently shown us that those periods inevitably surface in tandem with a temporary distraction from our vision, and once our vision is dusted off and put back at the top of our dashboard, we travel much more efficiently.
- Truth Telling With Our Clients and With Ourselves
Another benefit of our early days spent in Andrea’s home is that we have spent an unusually large amount of time in the kitchen. While there, we debated our path, our deliverables, our highlights and our miss-steps. And there is no better conduit to truth than a kitchen. This simple truth merits emphasis because there is a certain humility to frank discourse in a kitchen that cannot be replicated in a board room, restaurant or bar. When team members are gathered and collectively contributing to a shared meal, they instinctively up the ante on truth and frank discussion. We learnt this quickly and harnessed it as a trait and value set that clients now call out as one of our company’s strongest points of appeal. So addressing complex problems, like rising to remarkable potential, can often be best launched through frank discussion with colleagues while nestled in the comfort and humility of a shared meal – preparation and clean up included!
- Work/Life Harmony
We learnt within minutes of corporate inception that we are made better by our people. But what is often forgotten is that our people are made better by their own passions and interests. This lesson resurfaces frequently over the years as we undertake countless renditions of our trademark ideation sessions to conceive of tailored strategy, tactics and marketing initiatives for our clients. The unique perspective and attributes of our people inevitably enrich the ideas we share with our clients. In response we have brought considerable focus towards initiatives such as establishing an ‘Elevate You’ spending account, ‘Elevate Community’ donation matching program, ‘Elevate Community’ volunteer day matching, summer hours, and flex days to ensure our team members have the wherewithal to rise to their passions and thereby elevate their own potential (and by extension ours).
- Stay True
As a company moves along it is defined by both the projects and clients it aligns with as well as those it decides not to align with. This series of important decisions, that heavily influence the path and direction of a company, can often be myopically influenced by the bottom line. Perhaps understandably, when an annual target or quarterly result are on the line, companies can sometimes undertake a partnership that might be a path to short-term revenue, but not an alignment with their values, objectives or core competency. The challenge with this intimidating reality is conceiving of an evaluation process tailored to your respective company.The process needs to allow you to contemplate both tangible and intangible influences in your decision, to proceed on a project or partnership.As we gradually digested this lesson over the last six
years and wrestled with how to consider all sides, we settled on populating a hedgehog diagram with our tangible and intangible corporate objectives. This diagram and the philosophy captured within has become our compass as we contemplate new business. This tool helps us grow in a manner that is true to our values, aspiration and profitability targets alike.
6 POINTS OF PRIDE
With six years behind us we have had the great good fortune to work with an unparalleled portfolio of clients and grow through the contribution of exceptional colleagues. Throughout the journey we have established and nurtured an approach to strategic marketing, brand evolution and sponsorship that is market leading. The following are some of the points of pride that characterize our approach.
- Consumer Continuum:
Early on in building the TwentyTen Corporation we started to specialize in sponsorship of properties that are story rich, but own less in the shape of traditional media assets. Our objective in working with such properties was to optimize the opportunity for advertisers and sponsors to harness meaningful points of engagement with consumers in and around the sponsorship property in question. In order to do so we conceived of a discovery process that calls upon us to identify and explore the consumer experience and rituals that are quintessential to the property in question.This process has in turn allowed us to bring to life sponsorship activations and benefits that enable authentic interaction with spectators, fans, loyalists or attendees of a property We have called our unique approach the ‘Consumer Continuum™’ and it enables us to understand and harness the full cycle of consumer engagement with sponsorship properties from anticipation and planning all the way through to sharing and planning for the next experience.
- The Red Jellybean:
No two partners are the same and certainly their needs and objectives never match. Every organization has a unique set of vision, mission and objectives and correspondingly they need tailored solutions and activations in order to fully optimize sponsorship, marketing and brand building initiatives. It can be tough to have the patience to tailor with full optimization as the goal, particularly because there can be some pretty attractive compromise that distracts and tempts you when deadlines and budget constraints are looming. We equated this to plunging your hand into a jar of jelly beans and the work it takes to sometimes get a red one close to the bottom. In sponsorship, strategic marketing and brand evolution, if it is a red one you want or need, you should not be satisfied with a handful of yellow or green – rather you should dig deep and reach for the red jelly bean.
- The Courage To Explore Blue Water:
Starting a company from scratch takes courage. And so the courage that Andrea Shaw showed on day one by establishing TwentyTen Corporation and populating it with strong teammates before recurring business had been secured, laid a foundation of pride. Since that point of time we have seen the apprehension, nervousness and ultimately success that courage creates through both our clients and ourselves. During periods when resource limitations, contracting timelines, limited budgets and uncertainty in new deals have diminished or diluted our own or our clients’ courage we have seen correspondingly diminished results. And at times when we or our clients have allowed courage to rise above environmental constraints we have seen an elevation to much greater potential. We drew a parallel between this growing point of pride and the existing literature on the concept of ‘Blue Water’. The concept is the avoidance of spending too much time in water where the bulk of sharks are feeding and instead having the courage to explore ‘Blue Water’ with a view to being the first at a new feeding ground. This philosophy and the corresponding courage required has grown to characterize our approach to sponsorship and marketing and has become a great point of pride here at TwentyTen Corporation.
- Our Values:
We were blessed on so many levels to have started this company from Andrea’s home, not the least of which were some memorable afternoons on a sun-drenched patio contemplating how we wanted to distinguish ourselves within the market. In the company of colleagues we quickly focused on the simple but profound concept that people buy people. Not matter how good your process or widget, if the person selling it is bereft of passion, values and emotional intelligence they will likely have a hard time selling it. With that in mind, and with the assistance of good friends we brought in to help ensure our corporate foundations were sound, we collectively authored values that have enjoyed incredibly vitality through six years of ups and downs, highs and lows. The values are continually referenced and embraced in team meetings, job interviews, client presentations, social settings and have become, as they should be, part of our core DNA at TTG & the TwentyTen Corporation.
- Chill & Chat:
Much good can come from taking the time to unplug and chat with colleagues, It can foster spontaneous ideation around project or client challenges and it nurtures a stronger team environment from coming to know each other better. It is a huge point of pride and a cornerstone of our corporate personality that we have been taking the time every Friday afternoon since our inception to do just this. We put out a donation jar to raise money for KidSport, serve up some drinks and open our office to staff and frequent guests to ‘Chill & Chat’ together before the weekend is upon us. Yet another golden tradition that started on Andrea’s patio!
Having built our team with such exceptional people there is no better engine for tailored client solutions and deliverables than a room full of ideation. Having learnt that lesson early on, we have fallen into an established pattern of pulling colleagues into ideation sessions about certain areas of client needs regularly. These sessions are typically made up of a mix of both account-focused team members as well as colleagues not as familiar with the respective account. This style of setting is a catalyst to innovative and fresh discussion no matter how long we may have been working with the client in question. The importance of our ideation sessions has grown to such a degree that it has become an influential factor as to how we lay out and furnish our two offices so that space for compelling ideation exists. We also empower our team members to prioritize participation in ideation for their colleagues’ clients so that there is a sustained diversity in who participates in such sessions. The process is an immense point of pride and it is a significant ingredient to our company’s success.
CHEERS TO ANOTHER SIX(TY PLUS)
Looking back, we are overwhelmed with gratitude to the clients, partners and friends whom have invited us in and made us better over the years. As we look forward to many more “birthdays”, milestones, memories and lessons – it all comes back to our vision and goal to elevate the potential of sport, culture and community. We are energized by all we’ve done and what’s yet to come, and can’t wait for six(ty +) more!