Canucks Business Network – The Power of Branding, presented by KPMG
Blog post: Jen Schaeffers, Founder, NetworkinginVan.com
The Canucks Business Network is the brainchild of David Comuzzi, Senior Director, Business Development for the Vancouver Canucks. It is a series of events put on by the Vancouver Canucks at their Captains Club in Rogers Arena, connecting senior leaders in the lower mainland and showcasing how the Canucks can act as an example to other businesses in a variety of business related topics.
It currently is invite only and was primarily made up of Canucks ticketholders, suiteholders and sponsors. A very well connected and networked group with well over 100 in attendance. Emcee’d by John Shorthouse, March 2nd’s discussion focused on branding on how the Canucks have come to be a powerhouse in this NHL and professional sports in this arena.
Mark Raham, Creative Director for the Vancouver Canucks led the discussion and focused on some key areas. This guy eats, sleeps and breathes brand and just totally get’s how people can feel not connected to just a logo, but the heart of the brand.
Mark touched on the importance of the look and feel of Canucks brand through every touch point, from the website to tickets to entering Rogers Arena – how does that connect the fan with the Canucks brand?
Brand really is about discovering brand essence, bringing the brand to life. How you’re going to do that and in a way in which your customers will relate to.
What is a Brand?
A brand is obviously more than just icons – the apple, the swoosh, the logo. It’s about how that brand makes you feel. People engage with a brand as if it were a person, and thus is must have CHARACTER, PERSONALITY and REPUTATION.
Why does a hockey team need a brand? It’s more than just team performance. You want to try and lessen the impact that team performance has on how people feel about the brand and team in general.
The Opportunity the Canucks saw in shaping their brand was strengthening that emotional connection between the fan and the brand. In doing this, they focused on three pillars:
1. Respect our game
2. Honor our family
3. Build our legacy
Do something different, be special and incorporate both THRILL and INNOVATION into the mix.
Bringing the Canucks Brand to Life
The Canucks placed a huge focus on environmental branding – outside + inside of the building.
- Story telling and creating interactive touch points for the fans.
- Touch feel share
- Connect with brand
- New projections to enhance fan experience in arena
Earlier this year, the Vancouver Canucks won the ‘National Sports Forum Award’ for Best In-Stadium Creative with this ‘This Is What We Live For’ intro both for their open video and overall game experience. To jog your memory, check it out here:
They incorporate all their touch points with fans to centralize on one them – whether that be the 40th Anniversary from last year or the Heart of a Canuck this season.
- Outdoor, website, radio, broadcast, tickets, social media, tickets – everything connects with the brand and attempts to tap into that emotional connection.
400+ sellouts, #1 NHL website, 20th biggest market in NHL, #1 mobile app + more accolades for the Canucks make them one of the best case studies in the NHL on how to connect with your fans.
Biggest motivators to Canucks -team performance, emotional connection, sense of belonging. Being part of something bigger and special.
Do you know that 85% of people will recommend a brand to a friend if they feel connected to it? I would agree. I think of the brands that I love, the local ones – Glowbal Group, Mink Chocolates, PopChips…and time and time again I recommend these brands to people. I am in a sense one of their sales people, because I am SUCH a brand advocate and I feel a connected to their brand that I will go out of my way to recommend them. What brands are you emotionally connected to and why?
Thanks to the Vancouver Canucks and Mark Raham for producing a stellar presentation on branding. I came away with not only a very nifty new CBN notebook (featured below), but also a new level of respect & admiration for the work the team has done (not just on the ice, but off the ice). I’ll let you know if this group opens up so others can attend.