As Canada’s only NBA team, the Toronto Raptors reputation as an underdog changed in Spring 2019 when they began their championship run. Building momentum game after game, the country rallied behind them as they kept winning, eventually becoming the first non-American team to ever win the 2019 NBA Championship. Celebrations ensued in every comer of the country.
During all this, Tangerine needed to stand out amongst the dozens of other Raptors sponsors, all vying for consumer attention and trying to capitalize on the team’s success.
To do this, Tangerine approached the sponsorship title with a refreshing twist: instead of being a sponsor of the team (like all the other sponsors), we were going to be the sponsor of the fans. Side-by-side with them every breathless step of the way, Tangerine became the “Official bank of the Raptors & their fans”.
Our focus was not only to be visible everywhere for the fans to experience, but to more importantly, select cohesive media tactics that allowed our visibility to stick. With content that fans actually looked forward to consuming, we developed an agile online/offline media strategy that piggybacked on the most essential moments.
We strategically placed our ground-breaking “Meditation” spot during the most intense game time — the fourth quarter. Unlike every other sponsor, the creative didn’t feature brandsell messaging, but instead used soothing music to remind fans to breathe amid the game’s stress.
Following the final win, we had new congratulatory messaging in market within minutes. Tangerine was the only brand to have coverage on the front page of the city’s biggest newspaper (the Toronto Star) the following day, the only brand to have a Snapchat filter live within 24 hours, and the first to secure the most essential inventory, including boards at Yonge & Dundas where tens of thousands of fans converged to celebrate.
We had integrated coverage across all channels: transit, outdoor, in-arena, TV spots during the game, radio ticket giveaways, and front page newspaper positioning after game days. We utilized online channels to drive engagement and acquisition, with enticing ‘chance to win Raptor tickets/swag’ communication. We used online outlets including exposure on all NBA online channels, social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), YouTube, sport related sites/apps such as The Score, a national Snapchat filter (which was live within minutes of the last game win), and Programmatic OOH to celebrate with fans after the game.