Event Marketing

Quebec events offer variety of opportunitiesMichael 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....

Quebec events offer variety of opportunities

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.

The winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway will long be remembered in Quebec.

So will names such as Brasseur, Brassard, Bedard, Blackburn, Britten, Lambert, Langlois, Laroche, Gagnon, Chouinard and Fontaine.

Their sports and their achievements have brought athlete endorsement and event marketing to the forefront of marketing activities in Quebec.

In fact, event marketing has become one of the most effective methods for corporations to actively demonstrate their support of regional culture and values.

It is important for companies interested in effectively reaching Quebec’s population of seven million (especially its 85% francophone population) to consider its distinct nature when developing marketing strategies: tactics that Quebecers can relate to, and Quebecers best relate to anything ‘homegrown.’

This explains the popularity of using regional spokespersons (comedians, actors and athletes) to endorse products through advertising campaigns.

Quebecers can identify with the spokesperson, and by using regional spokespersons, marketers can demonstrate their understanding of the subtleties that differentiate Quebec from other regions.

Quebecers respond more readily to emotional appeals than do English Canadians.

Events are fuelled by emotion, and Quebecers are people who can be effectively reached through an emotional medium. Be it a Stanley Cup victory or an open-air concert, events are the medium through which Quebec culture and joie de vivre are expressed.

In Quebec, sponsorships are not in any way limited to sports or celebrities.

Festivals are more popular in Quebec than in other Canadian regions, running back to back throughout the year.

Festivals often offer interesting sponsorship packages and celebrate a wide range of themes. From international jazz to humor to local potato crops or blueberry picking, if Quebecers support it, they will celebrate it.

Upcoming opportunities in Quebec

Le Tour de l’Ile de Montreal, the world’s largest mass participation cycling event, attracts 45,000 participants and 4,500 volunteers each year.

In addition, a tour, for children only, was created three years ago. Le Tour des Enfants draws 6,000 youngsters ages six to 12.

For more information, contact Suzanne Lareau (514) 847-8356.

L’Equipe Spectra produces several events and tv series, and offers numerous sponsorship opportunities.

The Montreal International Jazz Festival, which reaches 1.4 million spectators, is seeking a major sponsor for its largest outdoor stage, as well as a sponsor for all family activities.

Les FrancoFolies, a French music festival, will be held Aug. 5-13 on the same site and in the same manner as the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Other events include a Quebec tour of pop star Paul Piche and several tv sponsorship opportunities, including the famous humorist group, Rock et Belles Oreilles on cbc.

For more information, contact Jacques-Andre Dupont at (514) 525-7732.

The Festival Bell Juste pour rire/Just for laughs (July 21-31), which attracts more than 635,000 spectators in the streets and theatres of Montreal, is also seeking sponsors for its stage venues.

For more information, contact Stephane Cherpit (514) 845-3155.

A ‘stay-in-school’ educational opportunity and awareness campaign reaches 1.4 million students in 3,000 schools: J’accroche includes a tv property and a stay-in-school video with promotional extensions.

For more information, contact Yvon Arseneault at Jules et Cie at (514) 495-9529.

The Montreal Marathon on Sept. 18 will draw 7,000 runners from more than 20 countries, 100,000 spectators and tv audiences of more than 400,000.

Gold-, silver- and bronze-level sponsorships are available, as well as title sponsorship of the relay race and the three-kilometre Youth Challenge.

For more information, contact Stan Slopack at (514) 284-5272.

The finals of the Quebec Games/Jeux du Quebec will be held in March 1995 in Granby, and in August 1995 in Sherbrooke.

More than 100,000 athletes will participate in the regional qualifications throughout this year, and 4,500 athletes will participate in the finals.

For more information, contact Jean Dussault at (514) 252-3114.