TTG Insights: 2015 SMCC Sponsorship Marketing Awards

This year I had the pleasure to join a few of my TwentyTen Group team-mates at the 2015 SMCC Sponsorship Marketing Awards. The annual conference and awards ceremony brings together leading sponsorship professionals from across Canada for a day of discussion, thought leadership, and celebration. The awards showcase best in show brands, properties and agencies that lead our industry, creating strong and meaningful sponsorship activations and innovative partnerships. It was a day of learning and connecting. Below you’ll find a few key insights from the #2015SMAs.

Which speaker stood out from the crowd offering inspiration or tangible takeaways?

Hoss Gifford (VP, Director of Technology) from entrepreneurial creative agency OneMethod definitely stood out, and provided the audience with valuable takeaways. One impactful insight that really resonated with me, was his use of the term Shoshin, meaning “beginner’s mind”. The concept involves approaching tasks with an attitude of openness, eagerness and a lack of preconceptions when learning about a subject or approaching a task.

Hoss then shared a story about the extremely popular Toronto restaurant, La Carnita, which was born out of their agency when one of their Creative Directors decided he wanted to create a restaurant. Since the creators were unaware that a license was needed to sell tacos, the business began by selling postcards and providing free tacos with the purchase of the card. Flash forward to today, OneMethod has 4+ restaurants, an apparel line, a night club / event space and continues to build innovative campaigns with clients through their creative shop. Talk about embodying Shoshin, with an openness to new ideas, initiatives and creativity.

Keeping with the SMCC Sponsor Marketing Awards’ theme this year, which brands have set themselves apart with a bolder, braver, better sponsorship strategy?

I believe CIBC has set themselves apart with a bolder, braver, better sponsorship strategy.

CIBC’s partnerships with the 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games, KidSport, UP (Union Pearson Express), GTAA (Greater Toronto Airports Authority) have raised the bar. The Toronto 2015 Games will be an incredible event for our world-class city, and CIBC will be leaving a legacy with Team Next, KidSport, as well as the infrastructure being built for the Games. The UP Express and GTAA partnerships put CIBC right at the centre of a pressure point for many Torontonians: commute time. CIBC CMO, Rob Assimakopoulos, gave the audience an energetic and well thought out presentation.

Where do we go from here? What do you expect to see from brands, properties & agencies in the future?

I expect to see brands, properties and agencies continue to increase their focus on creating engaging content that can be viewed across multiple screens. Corey Evans (WestJet) and Scott Moore (Rogers Sportsnet) spoke about the importance of meaningful content.

WestJet has done an amazing job creating great stories that people want to engage with, over and over again. Corey Evans made reference to trying new things and seeing what works, which in my opinion is the only way to come up with the next big idea. I also thought it was interesting that WestJet focuses on view time as opposed to the number of views as a measure of engagement. The “WestJet Christmas Miracle” video view time was 277 years… amazing!