New experiential network hits Quebec

Why a trio of French firms eschewed a complete merger to become a go-to source for all things sponsorship.
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There’s a new network in Quebec, dedicated to event sponsorship and activations.

Montreal-based Youville has partnered with Elevent and Annexe Développement to create a trio of agencies available to clients to maximize sponsorship reach and measurement.

Founded in 2009, Youville specializes in sponsorship and experiential marketing, and works with clients including Telus, Vichy and Mazda. “Over the past six years, we’ve witnessed the evolution of the role of sponsorship in the overall marketing mix of our clients,” says Rabih Sebaaly, president, Youville. “Sponsorship has really evolved from a visibility proposition to more of a content and experiential proposition.”

The decision to create a network came as a result of increasing demands on integrating social and digital into offline experiences and the need for stronger web metrics. To that end, Youville sought out partners to fill the niche, including Annexe Développement, a digital marketing firm that specializes in e-commerce, and Elevent, a metrics firm that specializes in measuring sponsorship success, giving all clients access to all services, Sebaaly says.

Sebaaly says he eschewed the idea of a complete merger in favour of each agency retaining its own identity and business operations. “Whenever there is a complete merger, I feel the essence of an agency gets lost,” he says. “One of them wins and the other disappears.”

Though they are cognizant of the risk of client conflicts, he’s not worried about this network partnership having a negative effect on existing clients. The first batch of marketing from the trio is likely to hit this fall, he adds.

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