In Canada, we have some of the best sponsorship marketing programs anywhere in the world. The innovation and creativity of such sponsorship programs as the CBCF’s CIBC Run for the Cure, Timbits Soccer, Enerflex Walk for MS, Chevrolet Hockey Helmet program, Johnson Bike for MS, Kraft Hockeyville, Canadian Western Bank Homeless for a Night Event, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, LiveGreen Toronto Festival and Canadian Tire, Affinity Credit Union’s sponsorship of Wascana Park, and the list goes on. We have some of the brightest, most innovative, and most importantly, most successful ROI generating sponsorship programs in the world.
Some of these programs are huge, such as the partnership of communities across the nation with CBC, the NHL, and NHLPA, and of course, Kraft for Kraft Hockeyville that deliver measurable and accountable results and ROI beyond expectations for each of the partners. Then there are the small programs that don’t have national media attention such as the Fas Gas sponsorship of Western Fair in Red Deer or the Timewise Event Management success at the SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™, or even our own Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists™ sponsorship at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities or BC Parks and Recreation Annual Conference. Almost all properties and brands in Canada have great stories to tell. Every one of us has an amazing outcome sponsorship story, but unfortunately, we fail to tell them. We fail to get the recognition we deserve on the national stage. We fail to share our success so that others can learn.
Every year, the SMCC (Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada) hosts an April event we should all be aware of, attend, and submit to. It is called the SMCC Sponsorship Marketing Awards (SMAs). This year, it will be held in Toronto on Thursday, April 25. In addition to the SMAs, there is a full day of professional development, speakers, and panel discussions. This is a must-attend annual event for all properties and brands in Canada.
Most importantly right now, I urge anyone who reads this commentary today to think about, plan, and submit for the Sponsorship Marketing Awards. If you are a property, do it on behalf of your sponsor. If you are a brand, do it for your property. Or do it for yourself. You deserve to win. No matter how small or large the organization or investment, the winning properties are judged on innovation and outcome. You can submit in multiple categories, but I urge you to submit. As the lottery people say, “You can’t win without a ticket.” And with the SMAs, you can’t win unless you submit. You have the talent and the results. Show the rest of Canada how great you really are. This showcasing will, in turn, lead to new partnerships with brands and properties you have yet to meet.
These are just one person’s thoughts. Yours are welcomed as well. Please add your thoughts or comments below. Thank you for reading and your feedback.