Leveraging Ford’s Sponsorship of the Montreal Canadiens to Create a Charitable Event
SINCE 2002, FORD HAS BEEN A TIER 1 SPONSOR OF THE MONTREAL CANADIENS. THE CANADIENS IS ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY RECOGNIZED SPORTS BRANDS IN CANADA AND ARGUABLY THE MOST BELOVED AMONG HOCKEY FANS IN QUEBEC.
Utilizing a key sponsorship asset, namely the use of the Bell Centre ice for one day, Ford founded and created a first-time standalone event called, Ford Celebrity Face-off for Charity (or Face à Face which stands for the event’s name in French, Face à Face Célébrités Ford), a charitable hockey event wherein the teams were made up of Quebec’s top celebrities in music, film, television, radio and sports. All proceeds to the one-day event at the Bell Centre would go to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation, an organization that helps create hockey rinks for communities across Quebec, as well as fund other programs that assist its children in need. Face à Face was created to be a fun family-style event, accessible by all families with tickets priced at just $7.50 (including fees and taxes). Through this event, many families in Quebec would attend an event at the Bell Centre for the very first time. Knowing that the money from ticket sales was going to the foundation and giving back to the community, the incentive to participate by the public was even greater, driven by the notion of ‘people-serving-people’. What started as a simple sponsorship deliverable, became an initiative to create a never before seen extraordinary event and utilization of the arena that the Canadiens call home.