BMO comes together with Toronto FC

A series of videos around the bank's sponsorship of the club taps into the camaraderie of soccer fans.
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BMO’s latest campaign is trying to show Toronto FC fans the value of the soccer club’s community and how it reflects the human customer experience the bank wants to provide.

In a series of videos, members of the Toronto FC community – including a body-painted drum-beating fan, the bearer of a giant Toronto FC flag and star player Sebastian Giovinco – find that trying to do what they do by themselves in the empty BMO Field doesn’t have the same impact. The spots then cut to shots of the stadium, full of fans and players, to show that they are better when they come together.

FCB Toronto led creative on the campaign with Maxus handling the media buy.

BMO has been a sponsor of Toronto FC since the team began playing in 2007. In addition to Toronto FC, BMO is also a sponsor of the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps FC soccer clubs. Outside of soccer, the bank was again named the official bank of NBA Canada and the Toronto Raptors in late 2013 (its previous deal with the Raptors had expired in 2010), and it also sponsors the Canadian Hockey League and a number of marathons.

Jennifer Carli, managing director of North American brand, advertising and market research at BMO Financial Group, says while the execution around each of its sports sponsorships is slightly different, the strategy behind them is the same.

“Our strategy is really to engage and create memorable, positive impressions that will influence behaviour over time, and with our sponsorships we do this by recognizing and respecting the fan voice,” Carli says. “Every sport has something about it that makes it special and every fanbase has something that makes it unique. In soccer, there’s a camaraderie and togetherness among fans, perhaps more than in every other sport. We really want to demonstrate that we understand TFC fans and want to be a part of that excitement and energy.”

One of the bank’s early attempts at communicating its involvement with basketball in 2015 took a more serious tone. Earlier this year, ahead of the NBA All-Star Game hosted in Toronto, its efforts shifted to a more fun and humorous approach, providing a better fit with the bank’s “BMO Effect” creative platform.

This year’s campaign around Toronto FC is also creating more of a connection with the platform, which Carli says is going to happen with all of its sponsorship activities to tie them back to the brand promise of providing an exceptional, human customer experience.

“The ‘BMO Effect’ is the unifying force behind our marketing efforts now,” Carli says. “By tying our sponsorship activities together with the brand strategy of showing the genuinely human side to the things we do, it’s going to help us not just connect all our efforts, but amplify them.”