Scotiabank making a big play at World Cup of Hockey

Sponsorship spawns new spot that recreates famous hockey moments

Rebecca Harris August 18, 2016

Scotiabank has been long been involved in hockey, so when the company was approached by the NHL and NHL Players Association (NHLPA) about sponsoring this year’s World Cup of Hockey, it decided to make a big play.

Scotiabank is now the title sponsor of the World Cup of Hockey Fan Village, a free 10-day festival in Toronto’s Distillery District that kicks off on Sept. 16. The festival will include musical performances, book readings, kids activities and food from each of the countries participating in the tournament.

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“We knew immediately that we needed to be involved in a big way because you’re getting the best talent from across the world competing in one tournament,” said Clinton Braganza, senior vice-president of Canadian banking at Scotiabank.

Scotiabank’s primary activation is the Scotiabank Sport Pad ball hockey rink, and the bank is inviting local community teams it sponsors to play in the rink. The company is also hosting a “virtual arena” that gives participants a virtual reality hockey viewing experience. Visitors can also sign up for the Scotiabank Passport, a new online platform designed to enhance the fan experience. Those who sign up will have the chance to win daily prizes and a grand prize of game tickets.

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Scotiabank currently sponsors more than 5,000 hockey teams across the country and is the “official bank” of the NHL. This marks the third year of its marketing campaign, “The Fifth Season.” The idea is that Mother Nature gives us four seasons, but in Canada, there’s a fifth: hockey.

“Quite simply, we love hockey because Canadians love hockey, and we find it’s a wonderful platform to bring our message forward to Canadians,” said Braganza.

As part of its sponsorship of World Cup of Hockey, which will be held Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, Scotiabank is launching a new spot called “Hockey Dreams” (which, at press time, was still being finalized).

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Created by Bensimon Byrne, the spot shows kids playing street hockey in different locations — from a farm to a school parking lot. The young hockey players recreate some of the sport’s most iconic goals by Bobby Orr, Lanny McDonald, Mario Lemieux and Paul Henderson.

When each famous goal is recreated, the spot cuts to a black-and-white image of the real thing. Actual commentary from the announcers during those epic games runs throughout the spot. It ends with the message, “The 5th season is when kids dream big.”

Joseph Bonnici, creative director at Bensimon Byrne, said World Cup of Hockey gives the “The Fifth Season” campaign a bigger stage.

“If this is the biggest stage, then the creative needs to be just as big – just as big in an emotive sense, and just as big in a way that connects with people who see the spots, and the campaign has a whole,” he said.

“It was a really simple insight in the end. Whether you are an adult or a child, you can relate to the notion of dreaming and putting yourself in the position of your hockey heroes. And if you’re going to do that, you’re never going to dream bigger than the World Cup.”

It was important that the spot was authentic, added Braganza. For example, “when we were looking at casting, we erred on the side of children who could actually play hockey versus being an actor,” he said. “It was really important to capture not only the moment where the screen goes from child to hockey hero, but also children enjoying themselves playing hockey.”

“Hockey Dreams” is running online, in cinemas, and on the Rogers’ broadcast of World Cup of Hockey.