Over the past couple of years, the industry volunteers who drive the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada have been working their fannies off to build an organization that is more relevant, valuable, and attractive to the marketing community. This morning proved they have achieved their lofty ambitions.

Every couple of months the SMCC holds breakfast forums in Toronto. In past years they have been hit and miss. Some have had great content, with poor attendance. Others have been attended en masse, only to showcase disappointing content. Finally the light went on and made enough people at the SMCC executive table realize that poorly orchestrated events were more than bad events. They were actually reflecting poorly on the entire sponsorship marketing industry. How can you sell the C-suite on the ROI of sponsorship marketing when our own industry events have zero ROI?

Flash forward to 2013 and you now have all-star panels such as this morning’s featuring my pal Don Mayo of IMI, Jacquie Ryan of Scotia, Nathalie Cook from TSN, Iain Chalmers of Diageo, Alan Dark of CBC and Kyle McMann from the NHL. Today’s 8:00 AM seminar was held in Real Sports, which was great except I had never seen the place sober before. (Bummed that none of the usual waitresses were working either, but I did recognize a couple of their moms serving coffee.)

The topic of conversation was “The Elusive Fan,” with the NHL and its partner programs utilized to illustrate the theory that Fan Value is the key for sponsorship ROI for all parties: sponsor, property, and media rights holder. It’s a sound theory that extends beyond the NHL case study, although hockey is a perfect lesson for us all.

More important than the topic is the effort of the SMCC execs and the commitment of the speakers to ensure that the sponsorship marketing industry in Canada grows, flourishes, and is duly recognized for its impact on business success. That’s ROI for all of us!

Hey SMCC, you have won over this elusive fan.

Feeling Grey

Toronto is feeling pretty Grey today. In a good way!

With our soccer team quietly faded out of sight and our hockey team faded out of mind, and our basketball team fading early as usual, you wouldn’t expect this to be the case.

But the only teams not monopolized by the Toronto sports monopoly formerly known as MLSE are making big news. News is great when it is news. And news we’ve got.

It wasn’t news that Toronto was hosting the Grey Cup this week. It has been big news though how enthusiastic the city has been about it. Good planning aside, this is partially due to the unexpected news of the Argonauts actually playing in the game. Which is as rare a sight as a Leaf shot on goal.

More big news of course is our Blue Jays plucking the Marlins to the bone. Re-signing their formerly fired manager. Plus picking up a one-time MLB villain, who has talent to burn.

Continue reading “Feeling Grey”