It Pays To Sponsor

Since 1976, Torontonians, and people from all around the world, have spent the year counting down to The Toronto International Film Festival.

Now, the festival lasts ten days, and draws attention from countless media outlets due to the flood of celebrities visiting our fair Canadian city. In the past few years, TIFF attendance has grown to close to 300,000 – and that’s only film attendance. Given the number of people that venture to Toronto just to walk around Yorkville to star gaze, TIFF is a great conduit through which companies can advertise.

With film festivals, or even big art festivals like Nuit Blanche… wait, it’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche… Or giant celebrations like Caribana… wait, now it’s the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival… whatever. We’re all richer than we think. Anyhow, big companies clearly have a great opportunity to advertise through sponsorship.

During TIFF, it’s Bell that makes a big splash through sponsorship. Being TIFF’s lead sponsor has its advantages, like having many of the films play at a theatre named for Bell, and having the Bell logo plastered throughout the festival venues.

Bell also owns CTV, E!, CHUM FM, all of which will be covering TIFF extensively, including live coverage of red-carpet events and also press conferences. Says John McLarty, Bell’s director of sponsorship and marketing, “TIFF gives us the opportunity to reach all our customers, not only with what we do on the ground to make the experience better, but across all of our [delivery] platforms,” said McLarty. “When we look at the value of a property, that’s how we evaluate it.”

Many of our clients opt to sponsor events like music festivals, venue launches, and sporting events. For example, Disaronno just sponsored Toronto Life’s Most Stylish event at the Shangri La.

Other TIFF sponsorships this year include RBC, Skyy Vodka and Canada Goose (the company that makes those insane expensive, ill-fitting, albeit warm jackets).

For Skyy Vodka, there is now an award named after the brand for best Canadian first feature film, which features a $15,000 prize. In short, it costs to sponsor, but it pays to sponsor, too.

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