Event Marketing

SkyDome also owns, operates some eventsMichael Lang is president of Lang & Associates, a Toronto-based international event marketing agency with offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Atlanta.Jennifer Scace is an associate with Lang & Associates, and co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column....

SkyDome also owns, operates some events

Michael Lang is president of Lang & Associates, a Toronto-based international event marketing agency with offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Atlanta.

Jennifer Scace is an associate with Lang & Associates, and co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column. Contributions, ideas, media releases and feedback should be directed to Jennifer at (416) 229-0060 or fax (416) 229-1210.

Event marketing, by definition, is the process that integrates a range of marketing elements (e.g. advertising, sales promotion and public relations) around the core event sponsorship.

In other words, it includes all of the potential communication activities that can be used to leverage the event and make the sponsorship work for the corporation.

In addition to buying the right event at the right price, the ultimate success of any program is, therefore, determined by the ‘rights and benefits’ negotiated in the sponsorship agreement.

When choosing an event, corporations should align themselves with an event organizer which has proven its ability to deliver on executional details and ensure that a flexible partnership arrangement between the event owner/organizer and sponsor is attainable.

Once the event has been chosen, potential sponsors should also ensure that certain elements have been incorporated into the written contractual agreement with the event owner/organizer including: category or industry exclusivity; sponsorship fee; official sponsor status; number of other sponsors; signage requirements; merchandising rights; advertising placement; use of sponsor and promoter logos, and first right to sponsor future events.

In summary, a contractual agreement serves not only to clarify the rights of the event sponsor and event owner/organizer, but also to protect both parties from unwanted liabilities.

Since the intent when drafting the sponsorship contract is to anticipate every eventuality and determine how the various parties might be affected, it may be wise to consult a lawyer experienced in entertainment/event law.

Upcoming opportunities

The SkyDome in Toronto is widely recognized by event owners/organizers as a unique facility for hosting sport and entertainment events, offering features such as the 35-foot x 110-foot JumboTron screen, a fully retractable roof and seating capacities of up to 30,000 (SkyTent) and 59,000 (full stadium.)

Lesser known is the fact that SkyDome also co-produces, or owns and operates its own events through its in-house marketing and event production group, SkyDome Productions, which offers sponsorships, as well as advertising, promotion and public relations services.

SkyDome Productions has title- and associate-level sponsorships available including: The Great Canadian Bar-B-Que (June 3-5), Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Nov. 1-6) and Walt Disney’s World on Ice-Beauty and the Beast (Dec. 24 to Jan. 8, 1995.)

While the Great Canadian BBQ will appeal to corporations interested in targetting the teen and adult markets, the circus and Beauty and the Beast performances target families with young children.

All of the above-mentioned sponsorship packages include complimentary tickets as well as vip seating or hospitality, media support (tv, print and radio), signage, on-site sampling and couponing opportunities, on-site product display opportunities and promotional rights.

In addition to the regular sponsorship package, SkyDome event sponsors also get exposure through ‘upcoming event’ mentions on the JumboTron, poster displays throughout SkyDome, mention on the 24-hour Bell Cellular phone line, inclusion in SkyDome’s quarterly newsletter and exposure on the new SkyDome Gardiner Expressway Video sign.

For more information, contact Paul MacLaren, marketing manager (416) 341-3280.

Runners’ Choice

Runners’ Choice owns, markets and executes an annual six-event running series with more than 11,000 participants from April 9 to Sept. 25.

Each of the six events are sponsored by six running shoe companies in support of six charities including the United Way, the Kidder Foundation, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation (cancer research), the YMCA Community Outreach Program and Villa Columbo Old Age Centre.

Sponsorships are still available for the entire running series, or on a per event basis.

For more information, contact Geoff Linton or Alan Brookes at (416) 340-8959.