TTG Insights: Canadian Sponsorship Forum 2013

From May 24-26, a few TTG team members and clients attended the 2013 Canadian Sponsorship Forum in Saskatoon. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Building Community’ which explored national sponsorship deals with a local feel and the importance of building grassroots engagement. We asked Bart Given, Senior Partner and Jordan Harding, Associate to provide us some insights from their time in Saskatoon.

1. What was your favourite session and why?

BART
Lots of great sessions, but if I have to choose one – I’d say Kathy Henderson’s presentation about the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. I enjoyed learning more about the overall scope of the event, but was mostly intrigued by the level of integrated strategy Andrew Greenlaw and the CIBC team are employing to leverage their associative rights and benefits.

JORDAN
My favorite session was presented by Michael Prosserman, the founder of UNITY Charity, on Creating Strong Partnerships Through Aligned Values: The Story of UNITY Charity. This was my favorite because 26 year-old Michael (a.k.a. break dancer “B-boy Piecez”) is using the power of community, culture, dance and art to make a difference in Canada.

Michael recognized that 13 to 18 year-old youth in many communities needed to find better ways to express their stress and anger, which inspired him to create a group of more than 50 community-minded urban artists to interact and inspire youth in communities across the country. Michael shared his strategy to acquire long-term partners that share UNITY’s vision and grassroots values, while aligning with its organizational culture and creativity.

Michael brought energy and inspired many delegates with his motivational presentation!

2. What was your biggest take away from the conference?

BART
I was intrigued by Don Mayo from IMI and his data supporting the need for sponsors to commit, and activate, a partnership for a minimum of three years to see maximum return on investment. Logically, this makes sense, and it is great to see the data to support the notion.

JORDAN
My biggest learning was the importance of both the sponsor and property putting in the effort to ensure a partnership is activated and mutual objectives are met. Both sides must do the necessary work to achieve the best result, and although this may seem obvious, it does not happen as much as it should.

3. What was the most interesting piece of insight from this year’s Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study?

BART
Was shocked at the low numbers around women involved in sponsorship. I guess TTG is ahead of the curve!

JORDAN
The most interesting piece of insight was learning that 75 cents is being spent on activation for every dollar spent on sponsorship rights. Also, there is a significant increase in activation dollars being spent on digital activations, which will continue to increase, as marketers use their sponsorships to connect through digital channels.

4. What was the best part of having the Forum in Saskatoon?

BART
Although I felt like I’ve been everywhere in North America, first time in the ‘Toon. Love the people of Saskatchewan.

JORDAN
The best part of having CSF 2013 in Saskatoon was the opportunity for our industry to gather in a city that the majority of delegates have never visited. It allowed many of us to leave large cities, and spend time meeting and building relationships with other delegates in the region. 

5. How was the MasterCard Memorial Cup fan experience? (Which partner activations most impressed you?)

BART
I have to say my old friend Cameron Hughes, the Superfan, was the most engaging partner activation. It was smart for BMO to utilize his unique abilities and draw a direct correlation to the BMO Ultimate CHL Fan contest. Of course, it was made greater by the fact I used him to activate my presentation.

JORDAN
It was exciting to see fans rallying around their home teams as a community at the MasterCard Memorial Cup. It was great to see partners, such as BMO, Dodge and Old Dutch, activating at the event. My favorite partner activation was Dodge’s creative fan engagement, playing the sound of the Hemi engine during the game, while having two fans compete to see who could sound more like a Hemi engine.