BMO kicks off a new soccer campaign with a Team Canada star

Alphonso Davies is helping the bank enforce its connection to the game ahead of a historic World Cup for Canada.

BMO-Soccer

BMO is banking on the star power of a Canadian athlete ahead of the World Cup.

Developed by FCB Canada, with a media buy from UM, the “#BMOGrowTheGame” campaign is built around seven spots featuring BMO’s banker (played by New Girl actor Lamorne Morris) alongside Canada men’s national team member and FC Bayern Munich star and new BMO soccer ambassador, Alphonso Davies.

In the ads, Davies literally goes head to head with the banker, and the duo challenges one another’s keep-up skills on a practice pitch, in a contest that extends well into the evening and requiring a pot of coffee.

The campaign is intended to showcase BMO’s continued positioning as “the bank of soccer,” with the brand supporting soccer at both the grassroots and professional level: since 2005, the finance brand has committed more than $25 million to growing the game. It is also a sponsor of the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver MLS teams, the first major bank to heavily invest in soccer sponsorship in Canada.

“BMO’s partnership with Alphonso Davies reflects our mutual commitment to growing the game of soccer in Canada and inspiring the next generation of youth,” says Catherine Roche, CMO at BMO Financial Group. “Our campaign reflects our passion as the bank of soccer.”

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Beyond the pros, BMO also sponsors more than 70 clubs representing 920 teams and approximately 13,000 youth players every year across Canada. And the new campaign brings its main “BMO Effect” campaign together with its community-focused soccer marketing, which have included organizing an equipment drive for youth soccer or repurposing old jerseys to make soccer nets.

Starting this month, the “#BMOGrowTheGame” campaign will run during Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecap broadcasts, as well as a complimentary digital buy on YouTube and Twitch. When the World Cup begins in November, the TV buy will be expanded to include those broadcasts on TSN and CTV, as well as more targeted digital buys on platforms like TheScore. There are also 20 pieces of content from the BMO youth clinic developed for social channels, including Twitter, TikTok and Instagram.

The campaign coincides with the spotlight shining on Canadian soccer, with the men’s team qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in several decades, leading to a number of brands heavily leaning into soccer-linked strategies.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches for Canada’s national men’s team drew an average of 852,000 viewers. By way of comparison, the average views of a typical Hockey Night in Canada range between 600,000 and one million.