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Recent Events


The SMCC hosts breakfast forums, events and education sessions throughout the year designed to create a forum for discussion where sponsorship professionals can gain insights, share learnings, identify best practices, network, and celebrate achievements in the Canadian sponsorship industry.

Recent Events 

SMCC Webinar - October 28, 2020

The Raptors NBA Restart

The NBA has been applauded for pivoting their business in a way that got them back on the court and re-engaged with fans in entirely new ways despite the pandemic. For those invested in pro sport, or simply pivoting brand and campaign plans as the global pandemic and its effects continue, tune into this valuable webinar. The Toronto Raptors will breakdown how they pivoted their plans to achieve return to play success with their fans, brand and partners.


SMCC Vancouver - Webinar - October 15, 2020

Shaking Off the COVID Funk – collaboration and innovation in our new world 6 feet apart

SMCC Vancouver Chapter takes a close look at how Vancouver organizations are collaborating and innovating to bring culture and just a little bit more fun back to our communities and daily lives without actually sitting together around the same table.

Team members from the Arts Umbrella, Best Buy Canada, Rogers and the Vancouver Mural Festival join us for a robust discussion on how to collaborate and plan projects within our COVID-19 safety guidelines in our new normal of now.

Sponsorship has always been a leader in bringing creative activities to life while strategically leveraging a property. We’re so pleased to see that the creative work rolling out in our community is helping us all shake off some of this COVID-19 funk. Even if it’s just for an afternoon or a moment, we’ll take that!

SMCC - Webinar - August 19, 2020

The Hard Truth about the Future of Live Events: What Sponsorship can Learn from Population Disease Modeling

In this webinar presented by Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada (SMCC) and the University of Guelph (UoG) we explore the COVID-19 pandemic from a Population Medicine perspective to inform the sponsorship industry on what epidemiologists know about pandemics and how this knowledge can be applied. Two of Guelph’s best-known professors, Dr. Amy Greer and Dr. Norm O’Reilly, are joined by Julie Raheja-Perera, Vice-President of Marketing at PepsiCo, to discuss this important topic and share key learnings about the pandemic that brands, properties and agencies in sponsorship can learn from as Canada initiates its return from COVID-19

Click here to view the Market Watch presentation 

Presentation Slides

SMCC - Webinar - July 22, 2020 

Confronting Racial Inequality and Systemic Change as an Industry

The death of George Floyd set ablaze the Black Lives Matter movement globally and continues to shine a light on present-day realities of systemic racism. Many of us, and our organizations, have taken the time to pause, reflect and begin to develop action plans on how we can improve racial equality internally, while also addressing bias and behaviours impacting how we show up for our fans, customers and Canadians in our work as an industry.   

In this virtual forum, we’ll speak with leaders at the forefront of driving change within their own organizations, to learn how we can all contribute to creating a more inclusive community that is representative of diverse voices and perspectives.

If you weren't able to attend, see below for the presentation slides and webinar recording.

Presentation Slides

SMCC - Webinar - June 24, 2020

Esports' Continued Rise: Unpacking the insights driving the decision-making process leading to brands, leagues, consumers, and charitable initiatives turning to Esports pre, during, and post COVID-19.

Esports has reached even greater heights in popularity and engagement than achieved in recent years as a result of COVID-19’s disruptions to everyday life and professional sports leagues. A panel of North American experts discuss how Esports properties and sponsors are activating online during the COVID-19 period. We also delve deeper to explore the requisite analysis for sponsorship investment in Esports properties and how this compares to traditional media.

If you weren't able to attend, see below for the presentation slides and webinar recording.

Presentation Slides

SMCC - Webinar - May 13, 2020
'Stronger Together': Bell Media and Food Banks Canada Recount an Unprecedented Journey in an Unprecedented Time

A star-studded television special became the capstone of a nationwide movement and response to the COVID pandemic for and by Food Banks Canada, driven by an unprecedented level of collaboration between NFPs, media, production, and personalities nationwide.

‘Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble’ has raised over $8 million to date for a Canadian food bank network that is under intense pressure during this pandemic, while also paying tribute and thanks to front-line workers battling the virus’ impact each day.

In the first of a series of upcoming webinars, we discussed the following topics with Tania Little, Chief Development and Partnerships Officer of Food Banks Canada and Tyson Parker, Head of Music & Podcasting, Bell Media:

  • How ‘Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble’ came together and what the lead up planning was like
  • How stakeholders have helped the cause while staying true, authentic and relevant
  • Takeaways on how we can all work with our partners to contribute to the COVID response

If you weren't able to attend, please see below for the presentation, webinar recording and live poll results.

Presentation Slides

Live poll results



SMCC Toronto - Breakfast Forum - January 22, 2020 
State of the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape

Since 2006, the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study (CSLS) has assessed, annually, the state of the industry in Canada. The 2019 version (the 14th annual) found some stunning – and very positive changes – for our industry, following many years of flat growth and areas in need of improvement.

In this session, the lead author on the study – Dr. Norm O’Reilly – presented and shared the results, and highlighted the key findings.Then, each in a 3-5 minute response, a series of industry experts gave their view on one of the key findings. Each respondent is a leading sponsorship expert, who has sponsor, property and agency experience. 

Below you will find the presentations from this event: 

SMCC Vancouver - Education Event - July 30, 2019

IMPACTFUL EXPERIENCES: How Brands Spark Meaningful Connections with Consumers at Live Events

Alongside one of Vancouver and Canada’s biggest outdoor events, the Honda Celebration of Light, panel experts discussed industry best practices and how sponsors are successful in developing emotional connection and loyalty through impactful event activations.

  • There is now a movement to flexible sponsorship packages which speak to the needs of both the prospective partner & the property. Helping share the story of the prospective partner is key (usually the primary goal)
  • Very important that when activating, creative and engaging experiences are created and shared
  • “Successful sponsorship/partnership starts with solving unique problems on both sides of the bargaining table”
  • How do we begin evaluating ‘activations’ and their effectiveness and ROI
    • Smart Tech Measurement Tools
    • Example: Pre-experience and post-experience surveys (measure the difference in responses after completing an experience)
    • Example: Dwell Time (in an activation/experience)
  • Successful sponsorship should be all about addressing business challenges, not simply marketing objectives
  • As a rights-holder, when seeking out partners it is crucially important to “eliminate line items” that you wouldn’t usually be able to cover (costs/expenses)
    • Example: At Skookum Festival, TenTree provided t-shirts for all volunteers, security and event staff
  • Integrating partners that are highly aligned and share values is crucial
    • Example: Skookum Festival is incredibly focused on sustainability
      • Their partner Clean Canteen provided water bottles for all event staff, producers, musicians, etc., virtually eliminating single use plastic bottles
      • Shared goal of eliminating/reducing single-use plastics
  • As a brand, Phillips Brewing has chosen to diversify and create their own events, while also sponsoring and activating at local events in the community. They have seen success in this collaborative approach

Click here to view the Market Watch presentation.

SMCC Toronto - Breakfast Forum - May 8, 2019

Cracking the Customer Loyalty Code

Canadians love their loyalty programs, on average participating in more than 12 each. On Wednesday, May 8th we explored how brands use sponsorship to bolster this growing and competitive share of the Canadian wallet. 

The morning begun with an insightful Market Watch from MKTG on decoding the loyalty power-users. We also had the opportunity to hear from experts from AIR MILES Reward Program and SCENE who both shared their thinking behind their success, followed by an insightful Q&A.

Below you will find the presentations from MKTG and SCENE:

SMCC Toronto - Breakfast Forum - April 4th, 2018 

Approaches to Sponsorship - Targeted versus Mass Reach Sponsorships

We explored the unique approaches brands and properties employ to achieve their desired marketing and partnership objectives while staying on-target, on-time and on-budget. A brand’s approach to sponsorship is as unique as the properties they sponsor. Whether generating mass brand awareness in a highly-charged sports arena or pursuing a highly-targeted VIK deal, each approach offers compelling reasons for sponsorship depending on the brand. 

We heard from two groups of panelists representing targeted sponsorships and mass reach sponsorships. Below, you will find the key takeaways from the April Breakfast Forum presentations and panel discussions: 

  • VIK is as good as cash as long as it relieves a property’s predetermined budgeted line item.
  • When VIK is an integral part of the deal it should add value to the event/program and/or enhance the experience for participants/attendees; achieving this can deliver additional impact for the sponsor.
  • Targeted Properties can provide brands with a higher concentration of the desired demographic, and have less sponsor clutter thus potentially offering better value. 
  • Brand activation is a key sponsorship success factor: minimum activation ratio should be 1 to 1 and ideally higher 2+:1 (Canadian industry average is .48:1 and the U.S. is over 2:1)
  • Ensure to leverage all of your internal departments to maximize activation of your sponsorship and make effective use of all assets in a partnership; total organizational buy-in is key for success.
  • CSR based sponsorship not only is good for the society, if done well, it can drive business and positive brand association/equity. It can also be a tool for employee motivation; a sense of purpose.
  • Sponsorships can be used as a platform to help communicate marketing messages. E.g. using sport sponsorship to help deliver and amplify a relevant CSR community/health message creates added brand impact for the sponsor.


SMCC Toronto - Breakfast Forum - December 14th

What is the role of influencers in marketing? We explored that and more at the last of 2016‘s informative breakfast forums. The audience heard from a panel moderated by A&C Vice-President Deborah Belcourt, which included Diego Moratorio, Coca-Cola Canada’s Director of Marketing; Erica Ehm, CEO & Creative Director of Ehm & Co; and Rob Jack, President of Alomar Sports Inc.

To frame the idea of influencers of our digital age, Intact Senior Marketing Consultant Tanya Thomson presented the Market Watch and highlighted some key campaigns and influencers we’ve seen as of lately. Think Grumpy Cat, Boston Red Sox’s Mom Approved Campaign and the power of celebrity (e.g. Leonardo DiCaprio). What other influencers can you think of?

So exactly how are we incorporating influencers into our campaigns? The reality is that the art of being influential has not changed, but the landscape of marketing has. Audiences care less about what marketers have to say and more about influencers because they choose to listen to them.

As a marketer, choosing your influencer can be an overwhelming feat. Thankfully, Ehm & Co. gave us some real truths to consider when picking an influencer.

#1: It’s all about who you know. Find a creative partner with the right voice and audience.
#2: An influencer should care about their audience first, and then you. Your brand should come second.
#3: The story matters. Create compelling and engaging stories.
#4: The stories don’t matter if you don’t amplify them.
#5: It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. Invest time and effort in the process.

And once you choose an influencer, the partnership can be invaluable. Coca-Cola’s partnership with iiSuperwomanii Lilly Singh is a prime example of how the influencer effect can become the influencer network effect. As a result of this partnership with a Canadian born internet star, Coca-Cola has unprecedented organic access to a large fan base across all key digital platforms: Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and Vimeo.

And if you’re looking to gain an influencer to amplify your brand in the future, Alomar Sports’ Rob Jack gives us some questions to consider for future partnerships:

#1: Where does the influencer come from?
#2: What is their statement of purpose?
#3: Are they ambassadors or brand builders?
#4: What is realistic vs. what is obtainable? 

Thank you to our moderator, panel and Market Watch presenter for their insights into the role and importance of brand influencers.  And thank you to you, SMCC members, for your continued support of our monthly education events. Remember: we’re always interested to know what topics you’d like to discuss so be sure to let us know! We’ll see you at the next #SMCCBF in January 2017.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the exciting news about our organization’s leadership.

SMCC is proud to announce that Bonnie Hillman, President & Owner of A&C, will be stepping up as incoming Chair of the Board. We have reached new heights under the leadership of Tyler Mazereeuw and cannot thank him enough for SMCC’s recent growth and unique initiatives such as Activate, for his innovation and leadership and for his infectious positive energy. And thankfully, Tyler won’t be leaving us completely! He will continue to help shape this organization as a Member of the Board.

Bonnie - you are a force of the industry with extensive leadership experience and a passion for driving things forward. We are thrilled to have you on board and look forward to all of the incredible things we will accomplish under your leadership!

Congratulations to our new appointments to the Board of Directors:

Paul Joliat, AVP, Philanthropy & Sponsorship, Global Marketing, SunLife Financial
Ryan Bullock, Vice-President, Marketing, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar
Laura Amantea, Marketing Director, Wrigley Canada
Brian Collins, Senior Manager, Sports & Entertainment Properties, Molson Coors
Matt McGlynn, Vice-President, Brand Marketing, RBC
Kelly Fawcett, Director, Sponsorship Strategy, TELUS
Steven Lewis, Co-Founder and President, XMC
Hubert Richard, Partner, Effix Marketing
Ryan Hudecki, Vice-President & Executive Director, Canadian Hockey League Properties (CCMC) 

Thank you to the following outgoing directors for their invaluable contributions:

Dan Alvo, Wrigley Canada
Bart Given, TORQUE Strategies
Marlene Hins, Lowes
Dan MacKenzie, NBA Canada
Geoff Robins, Live Nation
Kim Saunders, Canadian Tire Corporation
Hari Sihvo, Molson Coors

SMCC Toronto - Breakfast Forum - November 16th

How have valuations been shaped by the ever evolving world of Canadian sponsorship marketing? In a context where how brands connect with and engage consumers is changed rapidly, so should our approaches to valuation. 

And we discussed all that and more in November’s breakfast forum at Real Sports. 

But before we got into the details of valuation, Lisa Ferkul, Scotiabank’s Director of Hockey Partnerships highlighted the biggest and best campaigns of the day. They’re bold and powerful partnerships from which we can all learn a thing or two. We looked at Sick Kids’ ‘VS’ campaign, UBER’s delivery of on-demand merchandise to Chicago Cubs fans, Covergirl’s 1st male spokesperson James Charles, Cristiano Ronaldo’s $1B lifetime deal with Nike, NBA’s partnership with Next VR, Shaw’s Road to the Grey Cup content hub, Toronto Maple Leafs’ #STANDWITNESS Campaign and the upcoming NHL Centennial Classic. If you haven’t heard of any of the above mentioned partnerships, take a minute because they’re definitely worth a look! 

So how has valuation evolved? 

Starting us off by presenting the most up to date view of the current landscape of Canadian sponsorship, Norm O’Reilly, Fox Professor Management, Ohio University & Partner Consultant, T1, presented the latest findings of the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study. The CSLS showed us that while spending has grown over 60% since 2006 (up to $1.70B in 2015), the 10-year evaluation average is only 3.7%, indicating that evaluation has declined. But why? Reasons cited by O’Reilly included: 1) properties are now picking up the slack; 2) agencies are integrating more evaluation into their work; and 3) doubt that current evaluation tactics are effective and reliable. But what activation tactics do we really think drive the best business results? 44% of agencies and 35% of properties said branded content, while sponsors listed branded content, public relations and broadcast as equally effective drivers of positive results. 

To access the full report, visit the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study at

Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorships & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC, outlined the bank’s three main objectives for evaluating every partnership. 

  • Does it build the business? Will it build revenue? The expectation is that for every dollar spent on sponsorship, CIBC gets two dollars back in ROI.
  • Does it build the brand? Given that CIBC already has a claim of notoriety amongst the Canadian public, the search for partnerships focuses on ones that will provide amplification and enhancement of the brand.
  • Does it engage employees? Successful partnerships should build employee pride and provide them with substantial and exciting volunteer opportunities. 

Presenting an agency’s perspective, Lindsay Rennie, Director of Sponsorships at Lumency started off with this thought: it’s called VALUE-ation. Valuation is not a take-it-or-leave-it price tag generator, but everything has a value and good properties know their value. Partnerships should be organized around shared objectives: build a world class experience by exposing your audience to innovation; create more revenue streams by maximizing brand engagement; and provide a memorable interaction with a highly engaged clientele.  Bottom line: customized and weighted criteria will always give you a better valuation because every brand’s strategy is unique. 

Thank you to our moderator, Norm O’Reilly and to our speakers Monique Giroux and Lindsay Rennie for their time and incredible insights. And thank you to Lisa Ferkul for presenting an exciting and thorough Market Watch! 

Upcoming Events: 

December 14th - Final breakfast forum of 2016 and AGM. Registration details to follow. 

Activate applications are still open! SMCC’s unique program is looking for the next generation of sponsorship marketers. Visit for more details. 

Follow us on Twitter! @SMCC_CCC

SMCC Toronto - Breakfast Forum - October 26th

Content is king. 

That was the idea on the table at October’s breakfast forum, which was as engaging as it was informative. But before we got into the details of effective content, our very own Executive Director Heather Field introduced herself to the SMCC’s Toronto chapter, touching on her valuable experience and inspiration. Not that we need to say it, but we are more than excited to have her leadership on board to propel SMCC into the next chapter! 

Presenting the Market Watch as well as leading the panel discussion, IMI’s Dan Hunter set the exciting tone of the morning by highlighting a number of activations and sponsorships that have used content to make an impact, such as NBA’s partnership with NextVR, Visa & UBER RioPool, Sport Chek’s Chase the Gear campaign and The Party Drone project by BASE Mobile and Spotify. 

Getting more in-depth, Anthony Habib, Cinco’s Director of Digital & Innovation, was the first of a three member discussion on content which, for sponsorship and marketing pros, has become the single most powerful way to tell your story. Depending on who you speak to, content can mean a lot of different things. Presently, 60% of what people consume is on their smartphones. But not only are they consuming content, they’re producing it as well. Innovation in technology is constantly creating new platforms for content and new ways to consume it; think virtual reality and how it has changed the consumer experience. Habib left us with three things to consider when thinking about content: 1) forget the sizzle, sell the steak; 2) know your crowd by identifying the potential of new content channels and defining a clear delivery strategy; and 3) measure your success by making the distinction between social benchmarks and business success indicators.

Dave Rivers, Director of National Sponsorships at Bell defined content as the “delish filling in the middle,” the experience directed towards an audience and something that isn’t just digital, but rather set design. He touched on partner strategy and how it needs to underpin your content strategy, similar to Bell Outside the Box. But nothing beats a connection to the community: get your fans as close to the experience as possible and then let it all take place as an avenue of authentic integration. Leverage social amplification by giving people the platform you want to use and then letting them run with it. When it comes to content, always be mindful of your audience and the ways to engage with them. 

NBC Producer Lior Etziony introduced the forum to the idea of a clear mixed message with three ways to leverage social influencers to enhance the impact of a good story: 1) combine partners from different worlds in an organic way; 2) identify the right vehicle for the story; and 3) find the right balance between integrated content and the overall story. And once this increases your viewership, you can then double down on that success by creating cost-effective vertical strategies through partnerships as the next step to increase revenue. 

We finished off the morning with a panel of the speakers. Dan Hunter asked the panel: who’s doing content well? Anthony Habib said anything that feels organic and natural, such as the TD Thank Account campaign that positioned consumers as the stars of the content. When asked to name the next ‘big thing’ of content, Lior Etziony went with co-created content and Dave Rivers went with augmented reality. 

Thank you to our speakers Anthony Habib, Dave Rivers and Lior Etziony for giving us some incredible insights into importance of content and the ways in which the right content can enhance a campaign, and to Dan Hunter for moderating such an interesting discussion. We’d also like to give a huge thank you to Cinco for not only being our presenting sponsor, but also for providing us with an awesome interactive display for the morning! 

Upcoming Events: 

Our next breakfast forum is on November 16th. Registration details to follow. 

We are proud to present the Fundamentals of Sponsorship Marketing, a two day seminar on November 14-15, 2016. Full details can be found at

Activate is back! SMCC’s unique program will be accepting applications starting on November 16th. Visit for more details. 

Follow us on Twitter! @SMCC_CCC


SMCC Toronto - Breakfast Forum - September 21st


On September 21st, we started our Fall season off right with a panel discussion about strategic partnerships: what they can bring to the table and what qualities to look for in a successful partnership. And to give us some insights, we asked Metrolinx’s Rick Radovski and Brad Keast from Osmington to join us for the September edition of the SMCC Breakfast Forum. 

To kick off the morning, Francis Dumais, Partner at Elevent, started the discussion of strategic partnerships with the SMCC Market Watch. Here’s what we learned. 

We are entering a world of stability in sponsorship. Almost everything has been sponsored before and as such, long-term deals are becoming the status quo. Instead of inking short-term sponsorship deals or frequently switching alignments, existing partnerships are looking for ways to build flexibility into a contract to make it stronger. Partnerships are also growing by way of segmentation, specifically with the increasing use of lifestyle. H&M took this theory to practice, for example, by tapping into the equestrian niche that represents only 0.2% of the U.S. population. The growing interest amongst young girls prompted the fashion brand to partner with riders for their latest campaign. Looking at sub-groups and creating alliances with brands tied to the same subgroups is where partnership success can be found. Look for synergies within your company, with other sponsors and with other properties. 

Following the Market Watch, our panel got into the details about what makes their strategic partnerships work. Metrolinx’s Rick Radovski, Manager, Non-Fare Revenue, Strategic Business Planning & Development and Brad Keast, Vice President of Development of Osmington both highlighted the unique aspects their partnerships. Metrolinx, whose vision is to transform the way the region moves, and Osmington, currently working on the transformation of Union Station, both have partnerships that grew specifically because their objectives were so tightly aligned to each other to begin with. For example, Metrolinx’s partnership with the CNE both supported a local event and gave riders an incredibly convenient way to travel. Osmington’s project with Union Station unites in a mutual respect for Toronto’s history and an investment into the future of Union as a destination and a consumer experience. And what both these partnerships have in common is a unique element from each partner that promises to improve the overall experience of the consumer. 

But being on the same page matters just as much on the good days as the bad. We asked our panel: In a state of change, how have your partnerships helped you? Rick Radvoski highlighted that in a state of change, a good partnership shows support demonstrating a level of flexibility. Brad Keast said that good partnerships have taught him to always be confident in your alternatives; if you have a plan b, believe in it. 

We also asked the panel what attributes are most important when selecting strategic partnerships. Rick Radovski strongly answered with alignment of strategy, unity in brand goals and objectives and a mutual dedication to the success of the partnership. Brad Keast had three important words: communication, flexibility and innovation.

Thank you to our speakers Rick Radvoski and Brad Keast for walking us through their truly unique partnerships that we can both learn from and watch evolve. Thank you to Nielsen for being the presenting sponsor of the September breakfast forum and to Yoeri Geerits, Senior Vice-President of Nielsen Canada for being a part of the morning by representing Nielsen and providing an informative overview of Repucom’s rebranding and transition into Nielsen Canada. And finally, we’d like to thank Eric Nachman, Director of Global Partnerships, MLSE, for moderating the panel and to Real Sports for hosting. 

We look forward to seeing you at the next breakfast forum in October; details to follow.

Past SMCC Vancouver July Education Event – July 7, 2016 – Fort McMurray and Corporate Canada

It can be argued that the Fort McMurray Wildfires are one of the worst natural disasters in Canadian history. On the other side of that coin we have seen one of the largest outpourings of corporate support in Canadian history. The Red Cross has committed over $50 million to support community initiatives in Fort McMurray. Companies like Live Nation and Save-On-Foods have also made significant contributions. This session saw a lively discussion on the Fort McMurray Wildfires and how corporate Canada has jumped in with both feet!

Past SMCC Toronto Summer Social – July 6, 2016

SMCC Toronto’s 2nd annual social event, presented by TORQUE Strategies, was hosted at the CC Lounge & Whisky Bar. This fun evening offered attendees an informal setting in which they could catch up with their peers and meet new people. Attendees enjoyed drinks, appetizers, and a complimentary whisky tour.

Past SMCC Montreal June Networking Event – June 22, 2016 – La Ronde

Six Flags and Samsung, an innovative partnership! New Revolution, a Virtual Reality Coaster.

This Spring, Six Flags and Samsung introduced a ground breaking new ride experience – The New Revolution, North America’s first dedicated Virtual Reality Roller Coaster.

In partnership with Samsung Gear VR and Oculus, La Ronde equipped the Goliath with wireless Headsets that, while wearing, allow you to enter a virtual world with high-resolution imagery and 360- degree views that synchronize to the action of the coaster.

During this presentation, Stephanie Borges, Vice-President of North America Strategic Marketing & Partnerships for Six Flags shared how this partnership came about and the thrills associated with it.

Attendees were able to try out the Goliath New Revolution Coaster and access the park after the presentation.

Past SMCC Toronto Breakfast Forum – June 15, 2016 – Big Events

Incredible events are coming in 2016 - Rio Olympics, World Cup of Hockey, the Grey Cup & more and sponsors have a unique opportunity to showcase their brands to Canadians on home soil and around the world. This session featured a panel discussion on the evolution of Big Event sponsorship. Sean Moffitt led a panel of senior experts regarding how sponsorship of big events has changed over the years and how it is evolving to best leverage the evolution of social and digital marketing, technology and other key factors.

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Past SMCC Vancouver May Education Event – May 25, 2016 – The Evolution of Golf and Sponsorship

From Tiger to Rory to Rio, the sport of golf has seen a lot of change over the last decade. In celebration of the Freedom 55 Financial Open at the Point Grey Golf & Country Club, the May 25th panel discussion revolved around the evolution of golf and sponsorship. Score Marketing's Andrew Merai led a panel of experts in a discussion on how golf sponsorship has changed over the years and how it is evolving to adapt to, and seize the opportunity of, environmental factors such as digital media and inclusion in the Olympic program. Each attendee received a complimentary pair of tickets to the Freedom 55 Financial Open which took place from May 26th-29th.

Past SMCC Toronto Breakfast Forum – May 25, 2016 – Breakfast of Champions: Sponsorship Marketing Awards Winners

On the heels of the 2016 Sponsorship Marketing Awards (SMAs), this session on Wednesday May 25th was a Breakfast of Champions. Three gold award winning brands from the 2016 SMAs provided insight into how they crafted award-winning sponsorship marketing activations. Representatives from the 2016 Judging Panel shared details of what stood out in each submission, what they looked for, and tips on how to create a winning activation.

This session featured behind-the-scenes, not-to-be-missed discussion that would help attendees shape their winning submission for the 2017 Sponsorship Marketing Awards.

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 Past SMCC Calgary Speed Networking Event - May 3, 2016

SMCC Calgary hosted its first Speed Networking and Bring A Friend Night at the critically-acclaimed One18 Empire in the newly renovated Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel.

New to town? New the industry? New to SMCC? Long-time member looking for more? This was the perfect opportunity to network, meet, or get re-acquainted with members of Calgary’s sponsorship marketing industry.

The evening featured an open networking, speed-networking game/session, delicious feature snacks from One18 Empire and tours of the newest, on-brand property and Canadian Flagship Marriott Hotel, highlighting the future direction of hospitality with latest and greatest in hotel technology, modern comforts.

2016 Sponsorship Marketing Awards - April 27, 2016

On Wednesday, April 27 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto, the SMCC honoured properties, brands and companies who have raised the bar in sponsorship marketing through not only meaningful connections with communities across Canada, but also through elevating business standards to drive brand and business results.

Out of 72 award submissions this year, winners were announced in ten categories, as well as an overall Best in Show award and Hall of Fame inductee. The event also featured a keynote address from former CFL Commissioner and Chair of the JUNO Awards, Mark Cohon.

See the winners' videos here.
See pictures from the event here and here.
Join the Twitter conversation here.

Congratulations to all our 2016 SMA winners!
Thank you to all who submitted a case, attendees, sponsors and supporters!

Past SMCC Montreal Cocktail Reception - April 21, 2016

SMCC Montreal hosted its first networking cocktail, organized by Tennis Canada, and which took place at Uniprix Stadium on April 21st.

With the arrival of spring, SMCC Montreal invited members of the industry to live the unique experience of a professional tennis player, by playing on a Uniprix Stadium court, followed by a meet and network with members of the Quebec sponsorship industry.

The reception included a special presentation on a topic very controversial to our industry: in a time where illegal substances, and athlete performances are making headlines, how do sponsors manage these difficult situations, and how does it impact their athlete endorsements? How do sponsors choose which sports to invest in, or go about choosing a specific athlete to brand their image around? Marie-Annick L’Allier, Specialist in Sports Public Relations spoke on the importance of sports sponsorship, and on the brand-athlete relationship.

Past SMCC Toronto Breakfast Forum - April 20, 2016 - The Modern Economy: How Tech Brands are Disrupting the Sponsorship Industry

This session dove into brands born in the online economy that have been disruptive businesses over the past 5 years with unconventional approaches to traditional models. Companies Frank & Oak, Spotify and AirBnB resonate with the modern consumer by serving up products/information when and how they want it, and ultimately capturing their hearts, imaginations and spending in ways that leave traditional brands playing catch up. As more and more consumers adopt their platforms, the influence and reach of these brands cannot be ignored.

Digital first brands are not only changing the shape of business but also the marketing and sponsorship industry. How do they work with both brands and properties to help engage consumers in deeper and more relevant ways? How are they leveraging these alliances to grow their own business? What can we learn from their unconventional approach to connecting with the online, on-demand and tech-savvy consumer?

The forum began with a general overview on the landscape of digital brands and sponsorship. Following, we plunged into specific case examples with each of our speakers. The session ended with an open panel Q&A featuring key lessons that any brand, property or agency can take away and apply to their business.

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Past SMCC Toronto Breakfast Forum - March 30, 2016 - The Changing Face of Sponsorship: Attracting & Engaging Multicultural Customers

The face of Canada is changing and has already transformed the face of sponsorship marketing. Look down the street in most neighborhoods today, and you will see people from all over the world. We are a nation of newcomers. Each new wave of immigration has added to the nation's ethnic and cultural composition. The tastes and buying habits that set trends in Canada are quickly shifting towards those of ethnic communities. Foreign-born Canadians are already 20% of the country’s population representing an audience equivalent to the size of Quebec. It’s a demographic tsunami that is transforming how we think about and manage brands, communications and sponsorship as “multicultural becomes the new mainstream”.

If you are a sports property, festival or event, you need to understand this demographic shift in order to properly program to attract this massive audience. You need to understand passion points, touch points and how to effectively target. If you are a brand or assisting brands in sponsorship decisions, ethnic opportunities can’t be missed.

The March forum saw the Partners of Ethnicity Multicultural Marketing + Advertising ( share demographic trends, multicultural insights and multicultural marketing best practices – from a sponsorship lens.

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Past SMCC Calgary Education Event - March 9, 2016 - Culture, CARE and Collaboration: An inside look at Community Investment and Sponsorship at WestJet

Greg Plata, Team Lead, Sponsorship & Experiential Marketing, and Jenifer Badry, Team Lead, Community Investment from WestJet Airlines – a company known globally for their community investment and sponsorship excellence – provided an inside look at the highly successful WestJet Community Investment and Sponsorship programs and how they are leading the industry when it comes to Culture, CARE and Collaboration. Greg and Jenifer showed how collaboration can deliver across several marketing and sponsorship objectives and how team culture has a major impact on all campaigns. We also learned about the impactful WestJet CARE campaign – Create A Remarkable Experience – and how this can be easily translated into our day to day.

Past SMCC Vancouver Engage Conference - February 25, 2016

This event was a chance to learn from, and mingle with the brightest, and most experienced minds in the marketing, sponsorship and event industry in Canada.

The Engage Conference touched upon key aspects of effective sponsorship marketing while using real-world case studies (and the minds behinds the scenes) such as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Squamish Valley Music Festival, Sportsnet and the NHL, Crankworx, Vancouver Whitecaps, Honda Celebration of Light and more.

Past SMCC Montreal Breakfast Forum - February 23, 2016

As we say goodbye to 2015 and begin the new year, SMCC Montreal's education event reflected on the highlights and key events that shaped the sponsorship industry in the United States and Canada in 2015. How will they influence our strategies in 2016? What new trends will allow us to achieve our targets and innovate? Francis Dumais, co-founder of Elevent, spoke about the sponsorship forecast for 2016. Francis' talk was followed by a panel discussion featuring perspectives from the client, agency and property side, weighing in on these trends and how they will influence their sponsorship strategies in Quebec.

To review and download Francis’ presentation from the event, please click here.

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Past SMCC Toronto Breakfast Forum - February 17, 2016 - Embracing Sponsorship ROI

This event brought together the different points of view from Sponsor, Property, Agency and Measurement for a deep dive discussion on sponsorship and activation ROI, valuation and Return on Objectives (ROO). The group discussed the broader context of sponsorship ROI with commentary on maximizing returns, building brand equity and program evaluation/measurement.

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Past SMCC Vancouver Education Event - February 4, 2016 - Sponsorship and the Arts

Industry experts, making waves in sponsorship of arts & culture, shared their experience, best practices and case studies. The panel examined the state of arts & culture sponsorship and how the industry can deliver a meaningful value proposition to brands and their consumers.

Past SMCC Toronto Breakfast Forum - January 20, 2016 - What's Hot, What's Not: Sponsorship Forecast 2016

It’s that time of year again! As the new year begins, this SMCC Breakfast Forum focussed on what’s new and in store for 2016. With an ever-changing sponsorship and marketing landscape, every brand, property and agency will continue to look ahead and seek creative ways to make a lasting impact with consumers. This session featured experts from the brand, property and agency side, who shared their insights and unique perspectives on what they’ve learned in 2015, and what to watch for that will help you succeed in 2016 and beyond.

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Past SMCC Toronto Breakfast Forum - December 15, 2015 - The NBA All-Star Game: Leveraging a Pop Culture Behemoth

The NBA All-Star Game is arguably one of North America’s most competitive, innovative, and coveted sponsorship platforms. For the NBA and its sponsors, this paramount event fuses sport, pop culture, music and entertainment. This February 2016, for the first time in its history, the NBA All-Star Game will leave the United States, making Toronto the centre of the sponsorship world.

Why is the All-Star Game one of the most critical properties for the NBA's sponsorship platform? What implications does hosting the event outside US soil, for the first time in its history, have for the NBA? How is the industry gearing up to take advantage of the NBA All-Star Game property in our own backyard? What can we expect to see from sponsors and how will they stand out amongst all the entertainers, celebrities and athletes?

SMCC Toronto's December Breakfast Forum saw representatives of the NBA, MLSE and key sponsors share insights on one of the biggest international sponsorship events to hit Canada.

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Past SMCC Toronto Breakfast Forum - November 18, 2015: Interactivity & Technology

Technology has changed everything in our lives, but how are Brands and Properties maximizing the use of interactivity & technology to enhance the fans’ experiences while fulfilling their ROO and maximizing their ROI?  How has technology helped excite and engage consumers and driven value?  What are some key interactive and tech options based on a brand’s objectives, metrics and budget? Attendees of November’s Breakfast Forum gained the insights of both agencies and brands who shared their experiences and success stories.

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Past SMCC Toronto Breakfast Forum - October 21, 2015: Music & Brand Partnerships

Attendees of the October Breakfast forum had an opportunity to gain the insights and experiences of The JUNO Awards as it relates to music and brand partnerships.

“Sponsorship” and “Music” used to be like oil & water. Now, the brand and music partnership space is in full evolution. Goodbye seat & signage deals, hello custom music programs that extend brand marketing strategies. Are artists and music properties open to new experiential and content initiatives? How can the brand connection be authentic and how does the artist or event make it relevant to their fans/attendees? How are rights handled and at what cost? What can media partners and new technologies bring to the mix?

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Past 2nd Annual SMCC Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament - September 24, 2015

On September 24th, attendees compete against their peers, networked with industry professionals, and won great prizes! The tournament was followed by team trivia where attendees flexed their sponsorship and SMCC muscles!

Past SMCC Calgary Education Event - September 24, 2015: The Art of Negotiation: Winning at the Game

This presentation was designed to assist all those who have to deal with negotiation. Whether it is to pitch and close or buy a sponsorship from a professional side, or if you are engaged in buying a new house, selling your car, or looking for a raise, this presentation sent attendees forward on the winning track.

Brent Barootes, a negotiator since a child, illustrated through examples and tips on how to become a better negotiator. Attendees left with fresh ideas and tangible tools to help them win their next negotiation.

Past SMCC Toronto Breakfast Forum - September 23, 2015: Cause & Sponsorship

How has the landscape of cause and sponsorship changed over the years for brands and non-profits. Is traditional philanthropy dead? Does consumer loyalty and community engagement impact the cause a brand aligns with?  What strategies and benefits are causes incorporating to secure, engage and maintain corporate sponsors? On September 23rd, Shoppers Drug Mart and the Heart and Stroke Foundation opened up and shared their insights at the September Breakfast Forum, sponsored by Scotiabank.

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Past SMCC Summer Social - August 12, 2015: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Oakland A's

On August 12th, we hosted SMCC Toronto’s first-ever summer social at the Rogers Centre. Attendees got the opportunity to enjoy a night of food, drinks, networking, and as a bonus - watch the Jays beat the Oakland A's!

Past SMCC Vancouver Education Event - July 22, 2015: FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015: Who Won the Sponsorship Game?

Over the last month, the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 has captivated our country with heart stopping goals, front page headlines, and a determined Canadian team that carried the weight of a nation on their shoulders. As the dust settles, we take a look back on one of the largest sporting events to ever take place in Canada. SMCC Vancouver and our panel of experts discussed the sponsorship marketing hits and misses of this year's tournament. 

As an added bonus, IMI has shared a few slides available for download here.

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Past SMCC Calgary Event - July 7, 2015: Calgary Stampede Networking Event with Client Relationship Panel Discussion

SMCC Calgary hosted an educational and networking experience at Cult Collective which then transitioned to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth to watch the GMC Rangeland Derby and to network with members of the Calgary sponsorship community. This event was a combined agency/client discussion where panelists discussed what makes a GOOD relationship GREAT and the role of sponsorship in their clients’ overall marketing plan.

Past SMCC Fundamentals of Sponsorship Marketing Course - June 22 - 23, 2015

Attendees joined our expert team of sponsorship marketing practitioners for SMCC's intensive, two-day seminar and enhanced their understanding of:

  • The role of sponsorship marketing within the MarCom plan
  • How to select the right partner
  • Activation of a program
  • Measurements for success
  • And best practices

Past SMCC Breakfast Forum - June 17, 2015: Hollywood & Sponsorships

In this exciting session, featuring Julius Comia, Director of Marketing & Promotions, Entertainment One, attendees found out how Canadian brands can sponsor/partner with Hollywood films without paying blockbuster fees.

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Past SMCC Calgary Education Event - May 28, 2015: Building and Leading Teams for High Performance to Achieve Sponsorship Goals – Presented by Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists™ 

What are the two key components to any business? Revenue of course, but the other is People. Without strong talent to perform at high levels and support the vision of your organization, the revenue will not grow to the expectations of senior management or your board.

This education and networking event showed how the sponsorship department at the Calgary Stampede doubled their annual revenue in under 10 years through innovative partnerships and by bringing on a high level of talent who came together with a common purpose.

Past SMCC Vancouver Networking Event - May 27, 2015: 1st Anniversary Celebration

SMCC Vancouver celebrated its first anniversary with an evening of games and drinks with Vancouver's sponsorship marketing community on May 27th at Tavern at The New Oxford.

Past SMCC Breakfast Forum - May 20, 2015: The Home Field Advantage: 2015 Pan Am Games

The Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games will be the largest multi-sport games ever hosted in Canada with 41 countries and over 10,000 athletes and officials participating in the summer of 2015. Sponsors have a unique opportunity to showcase their brand to Canadians on home soil and the world. In May’s Breakfast Forum, we explored how sponsors are differentiating themselves at an amateur athletic event in an otherwise cluttered, pro-sports addicted Toronto market.  

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Past SMCC Sponsorship Marketing Awards & Conference - April 29, 2015: Amplify: Bolder, Braver, Better

On April 29th, we immersed in SMCC’s Amplify: Bolder, Braver, Better conference where the leading sponsorship professionals across Canada came together in the name of sponsorship innovation. Content centred on brands, properties and agencies that have created dynamic and impactful sponsorship activations by reinventing their approach to sponsorship programming. Whether it was innovative deals being struck, digitally charged activations, or ground breaking technological enhancements that changed how we consumed property content, Amplify: Bolder, Braver, Better was a day to focus on best practices within sponsorship that reshaped what we thought was possible in the world of sponsorship.  

Past SMCC Vancouver Event - February 26, 2015: A Tangible Example of Success in Cause Marketing

We had an intimate discussion with Loring Phinney, Vice-President of corporate marketing at Bell, about the motives behind, and success of Bell Let’s Talk Day and Clara’s Big Ride, as cornerstone programs in encouraging the conversation on mental health. 

Past SMCC Breakfast Forum - February 18, 2015: Going Viral: Branded Content & Sponsorship

Content is everywhere but how can we leverage it to deliver on our brand and sponsorship objectives?  In February's forum, we explored the state of branded content, what it means to your consumers, best practices for integrating branded content into your sponsorships and the future of what's to come in our content culture. We were joined by Jana Masiewich, Director, Sponsorship & Events at Publicis as the moderator and Alister Adams, VP Digital at Publicis, Tony Chapman, Founder at Tony Chapman Reactions and Christina Litz, VP, Broadcast & Media Asset at CFL as our panelists. 

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Past SMCC Breakfast Forum - January 28, 2015: What's Hot, What's Not: Sponsorship Forecast 2015

To kick-off the new year, this SMCC Breakfast Forum focused on what's in store for 2015. With an ever-changing sponsorship and marketing landscape, every brand, property and agency will continue to look ahead and seek creative ways to make a lasting impact with consumers. This session was moderated by Owen Welsh, Canadian Football League. Panelists were Joanne Bull, TD Bank, Mark Harrison, TrojanOne and Brenden Mallette, MLSE & Live Nation each of whom shared their insights and unique perspectives on what they learned in 2014, and what they think we should watch for to succeed in 2015 and beyond.

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Past SMCC Vancouver Event - January 28, 2015: Winter Social

The SMCC Vancouver chapter kicked 2015 off in style at The Back Forty. Members and non-members participated in an evening of networking games and drinks with Vancouver's leading sponsorship marketing pros. 

Past SMCC Calgary Event - January 20, 2015: All Access Pass to WinSport 

As Sponsorship Director for WinSport in Calgary, Joyce Van Zeumeren oversees the organization’s sponsorship activities. Located on the ever-expanding site of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, WinSport has built successful partnerships with brands such as Under Armour, Molson Coors Canada and Calgary Hotel Association. Joyce began her career in event marketing on the agency side working with clients such as Labatt and KFC, followed by five years with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. After a transition to Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central pay movie service called, Joyce returned to her passion for sports marketing when she joined WinSport in 2010. The audience of this event got an inside look at WinSport’s marquee sponsorships: Molson Coors, Calgary Hotel Association and Under Armour, the official performance athletic apparel and footwear sponsor of WinSport. Joyce shared why and how these sponsorship opportunities created unparalleled value for WinSport's sponsors.

Past SMCC Vancouver Event - November 27, 2014: Vancouver Grey Cup Education Event & Concert 

The Grey Cup is a national icon. For a few days a year consumer interest in the CFL transcends demographics and consumer segments as loyalists and casual viewers alike embrace the tradition. The CFL and Grey Cup are also rich with a variety of sponsorship opportunity. SMCC Vancouver has assembled a panel of sponsors of various CFL-related properties who shared anecdotal case studies, activation tactics, ROI metrics, and reasons for their investment. They provided us with invaluable insight into how to find and amplify an activation voice within the various and parallel CFL-related sponsorship properties.

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Past SMCC Calgary Event - November 20, 2014: 2014 Sponsorship Year in Review and What to Expect in 2015

This SMCC Calgary event looked at the 2014 sponsorship marketing year, and forecasted what to expect for 2015. Brent Barootes focused on the public and not so public highlights of what has happened in the sponsorship industry in 2014. It revealed highlights of trends, shifts, and great stories of this past year, while laying the groundwork for 2015,including a sneak preview and highlights of the propriety research from the Repucom 2014 Consumer Sponsorship Rankings.

Past SMCC Vancouver September Education Event - September 30, 2014: Leveraging Festival Partnerships

SMCC Vancouver’s first education session, featured a keynote presentation by Paul Haagenson, President of Live Nation Canada. Paul has more than 20 years’ experience in the music industry, and leads the Canadian operations for Live Nation, one of the most diverse brands in music today. Last year alone, Live Nation Canada produced 1,300 shows nationwide, including Paul McCartney across Canada, Squamish Valley Music Festival, Digital Dreams, and various other tours from Michael Buble to Prince to Katy Perry.

In an ever-evolving industry, Live Nation remains ahead of the curve by delivering memories to music fans, and tailored opportunities for partners. Paul's presentation discusses how partners participate in the passion of the festival experience in the ever changing landscape of festivals.

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Past SMCC Calgary Event - September 24, 2014: Sport Tourism Fueled by Sponsorship

Sport is a dynamic platform that has the ability to unite a range of audiences, both demographically as well as geographically. Cities around the world have come to realize the significant economic impact that coincides with the bidding and hosting of sporting events. With a winning bid comes the opportunity for cities to market themselves as an exciting visitor destination, to build new legacy facilities for the community to enjoy for years to come, and specific to sponsorship, to provide a new platform for corporate partners to market their products and services. SMCC Calgary was thrilled to welcome Jeff Daniels of Tourism Calgary to share his insights on sport tourism, the building of a successful event bid, the unique opportunities available to corporate partners in sponsoring these events and how Calgary became recognized as one of the Top 5 Sport Cities in the World. The event was an intimate setting providing all guests the chance to be engaged in conversation. Tourism Calgary delivered a great presentation and all left with more information on how the bidding process for sporting events are successful or not when they come to the City of Calgary and the impact on many forms of sponsorship. 

To view photos from this event click here.

Past SMCC Breakfast Forum - September 10, 2014: Research Secrets - The Why & How Behind Sponsorship

Many have identified research as an important factor for achieving success in sponsorship, yet few are using it. This forum will go through a few case studies from industry experts and those that are correctly leveraging research to achieve and exceed objectives.

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Past SMCC Breakfast Forum - June 25, 2014: For Your Eyes Only 2: 50 Shades of Sponsorship Sales 

Join the SMCC on June 25th for a discussion featuring a panel of sponsorship development all-stars. This interactive session will provide a candid look at sponsorship sales success strategies, with tangible takeaways that can be used to enhance your own sales efforts.

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Past SMCC Breakfast Forum - May 28: "Glocal" - Leveraging the World's Beautiful Game to Maximize Local Engagement   

With the FIFA World Cup taking place this summer in Brazil, the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014, and next summer's FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015, football (aka soccer) is about to take centre stage in the world of sponsorships! In this exciting time, there is a tremendous opportunity for sponsors of soccer at various levels including global partnerships with major international events and NSO's, activation in Canada around professional clubs, and events and programs at the grassroots level. Join us on May 28th to hear first-hand from industry leaders, who have built leading soccer strategies, about how you can win on and off the pitch by going Glocal! 

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Past SMCC Breakfast Forum - March 26: Getting Festive - The Why and the ROI on Festivals

Increasingly, more sponsorship dollars are moving into festivals. It's an opportunity to tap into people's passions and speak directly to consumers. Learn about the power of experiential marketing and activations at two of Canada's leading festivals: TIFF, and Taste of the Danforth. Special introductory comments by Norm Reilly as to the shift of marketing dollars to sponsorship. Moderated by James O'Connor, VP Partnerships, A&C.

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Past SMCC Breakfast Forum - January 22: Sponsorship Resolutions

5 Minute Recap from EvolveFilms

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