Supplement helped Games promotion

Last August, the 1993 Canada Games took place in Kamloops, b.c.Although Kamloops is a 4 1/2-hour drive from Vancouver, the Games organizing committee wanted to market it to the major population base of Greater Vancouver, in addition to regional promotion in...

Last August, the 1993 Canada Games took place in Kamloops, b.c.

Although Kamloops is a 4 1/2-hour drive from Vancouver, the Games organizing committee wanted to market it to the major population base of Greater Vancouver, in addition to regional promotion in the interior of b.c.

The Vancouver Area Newspaper Network (van), a group of 18 community newspapers serving the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Squamish and Whistler, became a Diamond Sponsor of the Games and worked with its organizing committee to develop an exclusive eight-page section.

The section, pre-printed and inserted in each newspaper, was entitled ‘Share the Dream’ and was delivered to more than 500,000 households two months before the Games began.

This piece was not designed to drive ticket sales, but to act as a launch for promotions in the area and provide the sponsors with a chance to tell Lower Mainland residents of their involvement with the Games.

More than 50% of b.c.’s participating athletes came from the Greater Vancouver communities.

Sense of excitement

Our goal was to give our readers a sense of the excitement and activities around the Games, plus provide information about local athletes.

The Canada Games committee provided the focus of the editorial content as well as some of the background material on the athletes.

Although the section was identical in each market, wrap-around editorial was created so that each newspaper could localize the section to its market. The newspapers profiled participating athletes from their communities

While the Games were on, van newspapers provided regular updates to their readers on how local athletes performed via a van journalist dispatched to the Games.

Directed to sponsors

The advertising sales effort for the section was directed to Canada Games sponsors.

Randall Taylor, new business development manager, made a multimedia presentation at a sponsors’ conference. Competing media also presenting advertising options included Canada Post Event Media, CBC Sports and TV Week.

Taylor’s presentation included a color mock-up of the section that showed each sponsor’s ad in an editorial environment that related to their sponsorship of the Games.

Promo piece

Each sponsor got a copy, plus a sales promotion piece with advertising rates and information.

The Games promotion was profitable because sponsors understood the value behind van community newspapers’ door-to-door reach and significant 87% readership.

The insert offered them the vehicle they needed to tell b.c.’s largest population base about their involvement with the Games.

Also, the Games piece was ‘plus’ business for van, the majority of the sponsors being non-traditional advertisers in community newspapers.

When the section ran, each newspaper had sold its own advertisers into the wrap-around section featuring profiles of local athletes.

Further advertising revenue was garnered by obtaining sponsorship of coverage leading up to and including the Games.

Individual newspapers succeeded in obtaining new and increased business at a time of year that is often slow.

Cheryl Carter is marketing and promotions manager with the Vancouver Area Newspaper Network.