2018-01-05
Why cities should stop building museums and focus on festivals
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has offered a catchy statistic: the United States has more museums than all the Starbucks and McDonald’s combined.It’s easy to understand why cities will leap at the opportunity to invest in new structures: “Starchitect”-designed buildings, from the Santiago Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Art Museum to Brooklyn’s undulating Barclays Center, could add an iconic image to the cityscape and garner positive media buzz.However, such massive public investments in permanent structures (what I’ve dubbed “concrete culture”) are bad deals and bad policy for urban economic development. Once the hoopla fades, cities can be saddled with millions in debt and mixed results. Take, for example, Charlotte’s NASCAR museum. Built in 2010 at a cost of US$160 million, the facility has not met attendance projections and, according to the Charlotte Observer, is losing $1 million a year.Given the economic costs and risks, why do museums, stadiums and other “concrete culture” receive such a privileged place in urban development? After spending the past 10 years conducting research on the topic, I’ve found that this privilege should end; as an alternative, cities should champion music festivals as a cheaper, adaptable way to bolster urban communities.The cracks of concrete cultureAmerica – as Pacific Standard says – “has a stadium problem.”From 1990 to 2010, over 100 sports stadiums opened across the country. Economists have long argued that these are dreadful public investments for myriad reasons: they’ve been shown to stall economic growth, become underused eyesores and fleece local taxpayers. Billionaire sports team owners profit immensely from sports stadiums and – in many cases – don’t spend a dime on their construction.While museums and performing arts centers are often nonprofits, they require cobbled-together funding from a variety of sources, ranging from corporate philanthropy to federal, state and local governments. These, too, have come at a cost. The University of Chicago’s Cultural Policy Center found that a whopping 725 arts and cultural facilities were built in the U.S. from 1994 to 2008. Construction didn’t just greatly outpace demand; it also overextended public resources. Though they cost over $15.5 billion to build, only 12 percent of the cultural institutions that were surveyed for the report saw increases in attendance.Museums, stadiums and other permanent structures purport to revive deteriorating parts of the city. In some cases they do. In other cases, rosy expectations aren’t met. Museums struggle in recessions, while stadiums like Washington, D.C.‘s Washington Coliseum and Houston’s Astrodome are left derelict. The New York Times notes that, with the NFL’s St. Louis Rams’ relocation to Los Angeles, St. Louis dodges a fiscal bullet by not having to sign a bad stadium deal. The city wins by losing.Meanwhile, invasive “mega events” like the Super Bowl, the Olympics and the World Cup can be economic and cultural calamities for their communities as well. Economist Andrew Zimbalist’s book “Circus Maximus” notes that, beyond prestige and perhaps some tourist revenue, these events create concrete cultural infrastructure that monopolize scarce real estate, leaving spaces underutilized for decades.A cheaper, more equitable pathThere is a cheaper, more equitable path toward creating culturally vibrant cities, one that requires less public funding and much less steel and glass.Festivals, both big and small, are becoming a more prominent feature of our cultural landscape. These events range from small street fairs to extravagant events that inhabit a city’s downtown area for a long weekend. They include Austin’s massive South by Southwest (SXSW), Boston’s smaller Jamaica Plain Music Festival, Manhattan’s mainstream Governor’s Ball and Brooklyn’s two-day AfroPunk Fest.Billboard has noted that over 32 million people attended U.S. music festivals in 2014, and popular festivals can sell out within hours, even before announcing the lineup of acts.Music festivals have become popular for three reasons. First, musicians and music labels are eager to perform live to offset declining record sales. Next, today’s music fans are seeking out more and more live performances. And third, municipalities – in an era of intense urban branding and competition for tourists – are becoming amenable to developing music- and event-friendly policies.Unlike permanent stadiums and museums, festivals are nimble; they’re able to switch venues and change up programming if necessary. They’re also much more inclusive. Many are free to the public, utilize existing public spaces and cultural assets, spark interactions among community members and nurture positive images of urban areas, especially neighborhoods that might need a boost.A model for the 21st-century cityRecognizing the value in cultivating events, cities like Nashville and Austin have learned to promote a festival-friendly environment over the last decade. Both cities established entertainment zones that balance relaxed noise ordinances with affordable, mixed-use housing. At the same time, these cities champion their distinctive character and communities by embracing their festivals as “signature events.”These cities have made it easier to hold cultural events by streamlining the permitting process and allowing public parks to be used. Even their city halls have designated offices devoted to culture and music that wield bureaucratic influence and act as liaisons with local arts organizations. Some cities have even established a new position: night mayor.In Austin, SXSW coordinates with some local nonprofits and artistic groups to better serve the local communities by offering legal, health and housing services for working musicians.In Nashville, the Country Music Association Festival funnels millions of dollars into grade school education through its “Music Makes Us” program.Now other cities are following their lead.In New England, a burgeoning scene of club owners and musicians congregate each year at Newport’s Jazz and Folk festivals, where they leverage local resources to attain international notoriety. Up-and-coming musicians have a voice in the festival’s planning as members of the Newport Festival Advisory Board. They can also influence resource distribution by directing fundraising to targeted local groups.Replicating these successes can be challenging. Research has indicated that festivals sometimes exclude local residents, and many events become vulnerable to overcommercialization. Brands, for example, often flood the visual landscape of these festivals. When I began conducting research at the Newport Folk Festival, it was the Dunkin’ Donuts Newport Folk Festival, and nearly every surface of the facility seemed to be sheathed in corporate pink, orange, and brown. (The festival has since become a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, and now brands have a more muted profile at the event.)Carefully articulated policies around short-term events need to highlight community input and assessment, including greater representation of marginalized groups.Some might wonder if it’s worth investing in something that leaves after only a few days. But the impermanence of festivals is a feature, not a flaw. Festivals are adaptable, using spaces that might otherwise go unoccupied, and they can act as platforms for existing local artistic groups.As Toronto Mayor John Tory noted in his introduction to the 2016 Canadian Music Week’s Music City Summit, building buildings can be risky.“We should build the events,” he said, “and maybe a building will follow.”Article by Jonathan Wynn as posted on Philanthropy Daily...
2018-01-04
Fifa milking Chinese companies for sponsorship shows World Cup dream is a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’
As another month has passed, so another Chinese corporation has become a Fifa sponsor. In December, China’s second-biggest dairy firm, China Mengniu Dairy (CMD), became the latest 2018 World Cup sponsor.The Inner Mongolia-based company has thus acquired the less than catchy title of ‘official supplier of drinkable yogurt and pre-packaged ice cream’ for the tournament.CMD’s deal with world soccer’s biggest competition brings to four the total number of Chinese corporations whose names we can look forward to seeing in Russia in June.It joins Wanda, Vivo and Hisense as a sponsor – probably prompting many people outside East Asia to ask: who?For those unfamiliar with the brands, it perhaps matters less who they are and what they do, than what they signify.Four years ago, at the World Cup in Brazil, China’s Yingli was sponsoring its second World Cup. Few may recall the company’s name on the pitchside rotational signage; even fewer are likely to know the company is one of the world’s leading solar panel manufacturers. The sponsorship was probably more about China’s emerging status as a leader in green technology than anything else.Four years on, the situation has changed. Late in 2014, President Xi Jinping made his proclamation that China should host and win the World Cup by 2050 and, since then, corporate China has become increasingly interested in partnering with Fifa (it is worth noting that Alibaba is also a sponsor, but of the governing body’s Club World Cup).As several of the country’s business giants have encircled Fifa, the issue therefore seems to have become ‘when’ not ‘if’ China will host the tournament. There has been some speculation that this could be as early as 2030.Whatever Fifa’s vulnerabilities might have been over the past four years (especially financially), and whatever moves China may have made in the corridors of power at the organisation’s Zurich headquarters, corporate China’s growing influence is telling.After all, behind every great Chinese corporation is the not-so-hidden hand of government providing appropriate direction.If China’s growing influence is to result in Xi’s endgame, it raises some interesting questions about what a Chinese World Cup might look like.The precise nature of China’s World Cup will ultimately depend upon Xi’s influence beyond 2022, when he is technically supposed to leave office. There remains some question about whether he will cede power at that point, and about what influence he will continue to exert into the 2030s.If Xi’s successors uphold his vision, then there will be an expectation that China will need to do well in its home tournament and not lose face.Following a decision to host, there will consequently be further investment in grass roots football – and probably more investment still once the event is over. Indeed, if China’s admiration for Brazilian and German football means anything, then winning the World Cup once may not be enough.The emerging evidence already indicates it will be a showcase for Brand China and its corporate might. Whereas the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was something of a coming-out party for a newly emergent China, a 2030s World Cup is more likely to be a show of strength from an increasingly dominant force keen to flex its muscles and take its place at the world’s top table.We should expect a tournament that subtly yet forcefully communicates a strong political message about China and its identity. This in turn is likely to be underpinned by further additions to Fifa’s Chinese sponsor portfolio.At the same time, unlike the 2008 Olympics when the world was watching Beijing, the World Cup will be an opportunity for China to get the world looking westwards beyond its affluent eastern coastal belt.One suspects that cities such as Chongqing, Chengdu, Kunming and Xian may become not only host venues, but also part of a wider strategy to promote tourism in such areas.While the Beijing Olympics may have ventured to leave a political legacy, the World Cup will be expected to embrace a far broader notion of event legacy.The Bird’s Nest might be a globally iconic sporting venue, but its legacy is questionable, as it has remained grossly underutilised.Xi will look towards a far less ostentatious World Cup; the Chinese government has begun clamping down on wild architecture, and it is likely that stadiums will be required to deliver a tangible return on investment by fulfilling a post event role or being linked to civic infrastructural developments.It is also likely that Xi, and his successors, will see the organisation and staging of the tournament to sustain its One Belt One Road (OBOR) ambitions. Stadium construction and development contracts may therefore be awarded to key OBOR partners.As for the tournament itself, Fifa’s announcement in 2017 that an increased number of teams will be permitted to compete in the World Cup from 2026 surely improves the prospects for the Chinese national team to qualify in subsequent tournaments.But other outstanding issues remain that will smooth the path to China’s success in its own World Cup, one of which is its scheduling.It is hard to imagine the competition taking place without games being held in Guangzhou. However, during June and July, temperatures in southern China can reach upwards of 40 degrees Celsius, while humidity is often 80 per cent or more.Not to mention, it is typhoon season. During midsummer in Beijing and Shanghai, temperatures and humidity are also rather more challenging than in, say, western Europe.At this time of year too, the Chinese Super League (CSL) is normally on its mid-season break, so there might be local pressure to rearrange the tournament to another time later in the year – by November, the CSL season could have finished and the weather would be more temperate in the south. Europeans and Americans may have to get used to the idea the Beijing government could press for a Qatar-style scheduling change.Scheduling would not be the only difficulty. Unless China sorts out its air traffic delays, moving around the country may prove to be an issue for fans. And if host cities want to avoid Delhi’s recent embarrassment, when severe air pollution during a cricket test match stopped play and left Sri Lankan cricketers vomiting on the field, then China must do much more to improve air quality across the country.For football fans and the sport’s other stakeholders expecting their regular, four-yearly staple of international football, China is likely to demand that they change their view of the World Cup.Article by Simon Chadwick as posted on South China Morning Post....
2018-01-03
FIRST® and Caterpillar Partner to Strengthen the STEM Pipeline and Drive Innovation in the Workforce
Global Infrastructure Company becomes FIRST Strategic Partner, expanding its 12-Year Support of the Nonprofit FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a global K-12 not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), announced Caterpillar Inc. as a Strategic Partner. The global infrastructure company, which has supported FIRST since 2005, is recognized as providing the highest level of sponsorship through cumulative and overarching support of the youth-serving organization.“Through the company’s dedication to building a STEM pipeline, Caterpillar has a long history of supporting FIRST by providing team sponsorships and valuable mentorship from employee volunteers. We are grateful for its ongoing and meaningful contributions,” said FIRST President Donald E. Bossi. “FIRST is proud to call Caterpillar a Strategic Partner in our mission to inspire young people to become innovators, leaders, and creative problem solvers. Together, we can help even more students gain both the STEM and soft skills they need to achieve successful careers in the 21st century.”Caterpillar began supporting FIRST in 2005 by sponsoring 10 FIRST teams near the company’s headquarters in Peoria, Illinois. That year, over 50 employees volunteered more than 5,000 hours with 200 students in the Peoria area. Since then, Caterpillar has expanded its support to sponsor over 200 FIRST teams around the world, contributing 800 employee volunteers, donating over 100,000 hours and directly reaching 2,500-plus students annually. Today, Caterpillar’s engineering workforce includes many FIRST alumni.In 2017, Caterpillar was among the sponsors of the FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grants to address inequalities in STEM education.“As an engineer, I think it’s critical that we develop interest in and excitement about science and technology at early ages. As a company, Caterpillar has a vested interest in building a strong pipeline of future innovators,” said Caterpillar Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Tom Bluth. “Our purpose is: Our solutions help our customers build a better world. Strategic partnerships with organizations such as FIRST help us grow the next generation of engineers, scientists and technologists that will fulfill this purpose.”Caterpillar joins more than 20 other companies (including one federal agency) that have achieved the top-tier level for sponsorship of FIRST. Together, these Strategic Partners provide significant funding, mentorship, volunteerism, equipment, and more to enhance the reach and overall impact of FIRST....
2017-12-20
Subaru Canada Announces Enhanced Involvement in Canadian Rally Series
Subaru Canada, Inc. (SCI) is pleased to announce its enhanced involvement in the 2018 Canadian Rally Championship (CRC) season in the form of an improved contingency and all-new rally purchase program.Intended to strengthen the sport as a whole in Canada, the programs will provide financial support to current and aspiring rally participants in Canada."With such a rich rally history, we wanted to find a way to support enthusiasts at the grassroots level," said Subaru Canada, Inc. president, chairman and CEO Yasushi Enami. "We think these two programs will do exactly that by encouraging more people to get involved in the sport in Canada — and helping them keep at it."Rally Purchase ProgramOpen to Canadian residents holding current, valid CRC licences, the all-new Subaru Canada Rally Car Purchase Rebate Program is intended to provide current and aspiring participants with a rebate on any new Subaru vehicle for rally use.Approved applicants to the program will be provided with a one-time rebate of up to $10,000 off the purchase price of any new 2017 model year or newer Subaru vehicle. The vehicle must be purchased through an authorized Canadian Subaru dealer, and it must be converted to rally specifications as per the CRC guidelines.Effective April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, the rally purchase program is designed to bring even more competitors into Canadian rally competition. For more information, log on to the CRC website.Subaru Rally ContingencySubaru Canada, Inc. continues its contingency sponsorship for the 2018 CRC season, with an enhanced program that provides all participating Subaru entries with even more financial incentive opportunities.For the 2018 season, any registered Subaru participants will be eligible for payouts for simply starting a national CRC event. Additional payouts will also be awarded for the top six Subaru finishers in every CRC event regardless of their overall finish, as well as every Subaru that finishes in the Top 6 overall. Subaru Canada will also provide payouts at the conclusion of the 2018 CRC season for the top Subaru drivers.Administered by the Canadian Association of Rally Sport (CARS), the official sanctioning body of the CRC, the optional contingency program is open to all Subaru entries regardless of home country. To register, log on to the CARS website.With the conclusion of the 2017 CRC season, Subaru Rally Team Canada (SRTC) will no longer participate competitively. Subaru Canada, Inc., however, will continue its support as presenting sponsor of the 2018 CRC season."This is far from the end of Subaru's involvement in rally in Canada," Enami said. "With a record 13 Manufacturer's championships, rally has really shown the strong attributes of the Subaru products under the most extreme conditions. We look forward to helping the sport continue to grow."...
2017-12-19
Air Canada Proudly Flies the Flag with Renewed Team Canada Olympic and Paralympic Partnership
Official airline of Canadian teams for PyeongChang 2018 Games and Tokyo 2020 GamesAir Canada announced today that it has renewed its sponsorship as the Official Airline of the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee. The four-year agreement extends through the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games."As Canada's official airline, we believe our country deserves to be celebrated," says Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. "The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams represent the best of Canada, showing off the ambition and drive of our people. We're proud to be a piece of home connecting those athletes to their country while they're abroad, and helping to make sure they arrive ready to perform at their very best.""We're thrilled to be renewing our relationship with Air Canada for another four years," says Chris Overholt, CEO and Secretary General of the Canadian Olympic Committee. "Games after Games, our athletes have experienced the world-class comfort and surpassing professionalism that Air Canada offers.""As a world class travel partner, Air Canada plays an important role in our athletes' care and comfort while travelling to the Games, which has a direct positive impact on their readiness to compete," said Karen O'Neill, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Paralympic Committee.Air Canada has been a sponsor of Canada's Olympic Team since 1988 and a sponsor of Canada's Paralympic Team since 2007. The partnership builds on Air Canada's commitment to Team Canada from their efforts at 2016's Games, when Air Canada flew more than 690 Canadian athletes, coaches and support staff to Rio.Through these arrangements, the airline provides special services and transport for competitions. As well, under the renewed agreement Air Canada will:Renew its Altitude Podium Program to provide qualified athletes 35K status and access to International Maple Leaf lounges while competing abroad;Give athletes individual Care & Share packages for added comfort during the flight and include memorabilia they can share with others at the games;Sponsor the outdoor area, available to the public, at the Canadian Olympic House in PyeongChang;And host airport celebrations as athletes arrive at and return from the games.To further show its support, Air Canada has entered into an agreement with five high-profile athletes who will be featured in a campaign beginning in January. They include figure skaters Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir; freestyle skier (halfpipe) Cassie Sharpe; and Paralympic biathlon skier Mark Arendz....
2017-12-18
Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada, Inc. Bringing NHL Alumni Darcy Tucker to Toronto Stop of NHL® Centennial Fan Arena
Mitsubishi Electric's Ultimate Home Game Contest Running Until December 31Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada, Inc. (Mitsubishi Electric), as part of its National Hockey League sponsorship, announced that it will reach the last stop of the NHL® Centennial Fan Arena, a traveling fan experience celebrating a century of extraordinary players, teams and unforgettable moments, on December 19, 2017. As part of the final celebration, Mitsubishi Electric will host a ball hockey game with children from the Boys and Girls Club of Canada, at 11a.m., at Yonge and Dundas Square, featuring NHL Alumni Darcy Tucker. He will also be available to sign autographs from 12 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. in the Mitsubishi Electric heated tent.The NHL® Centennial Fan Arena allows Mitsubishi Electric to showcase its energy efficient residential products, while engaging with NHL fans throughout Canada. Mitsubishi Electric has set up its home comfort tent at all stops along the Canadian tour. NHL fans can escape the cold and venture inside the tent to experience working models of the company's home comfort equipment. While inside the tent, consumers can enjoy photo opportunities as well as a chance to win one of ten daily $50 NHLShop.ca gift cards, which will be awarded randomly. Details and official rules will be available onsite at the Mitsubishi Electric tent during the tour.The NHL Centennial Fan Arena features an interactive museum truck with exclusive memorabilia and content; alumni appearances, trivia and games; a pop-up ball hockey rink; a first-of-its-kind virtual reality ice resurfacing game; and an opportunity for fans to have their picture taken with the most revered trophy in sports, the Stanley Cup®.In conjunction with the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, Mitsubishi Electric's Ultimate Home Game Contest is still running until December 31, giving consumers a chance to win a trip to the 2018 NHL® All-Star Weekend, in January 2018. The grand prize includes travel to Tampa Bay, Florida, a three-night hotel stay, two tickets to the game at AMALIE Arena on January 28 and $1,000 in spending money. To enter the contest, NHL fans are invited to visit www.UltimateHomeGame.ca and upload a photograph of themselves depicting what they feel reflects fan spirit by cheering on their favorite NHL® team from the comfort of their own home.Mitsubishi Electric is in the second year of a multiyear corporate marketing agreement with the NHL as the League's official heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and hand dryer partner of the NHL in Canada. As the NHL celebrates its 100-year anniversary, Mitsubishi Electric is celebrating more than 30 years of doing business in Canada. Consumers can get information about rebates in their area on home comfort solutions from Mitsubishi Electric by visiting www.MitsubishiHVAC.ca.NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the NHL All-Star logo is a trademark of the National Hockey League.  © NHL 2017.  All Rights Reserved....
2017-12-15
Under Armour announces official partnership with Team Canada through 2024
Innovation leader signs on as Official High Performance Footwear SupplierUnder Armour and the Canadian Olympic Committee are proud to announce Under Armour as the Official High Performance Footwear Supplier for Team Canada for the next eight years. Under Armour also announces a limited number of its red winter boots and training shoes, featuring Team Canada's mark, will be available for purchase leading up to the Olympic Winter Games through underarmour.com/en-ca, as well as through retail partner Sport Chek via sportchek.ca exclusively.  This is Under Armour's first sponsorship with a National Olympic Committee. Team Canada athletes will first appear in Under Armour high performance footwear at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony.Team Canada will be provided with the following winter boots, running and training shoes:The UA Govie Boot: The ColdGear Reactor™ active insulation in these boots will provide superior comfort for the PyeongChang winter and the UA Storm™ waterproof membrane provides breathability. The boots feature an iconic Canadian design and bright red colour which will be sure to stand out in the opening and closing ceremonies.UA HOVR Phantom CT running shoe: The Canadian Olympic Team athletes will be among the first to wear the new UA HOVR running shoe for their final preparations. UA HOVR is engineered to provide the ideal combination of cushioning and energy return without compromise.UA Ultimate Speed training shoe: This dynamic training shoe presented in Canadian colours, is designed to support low-to-high impact training. The shoe has a dual density midsole with Charged Lite Cushioning in the forefoot for a responsive ride and a firm EVA foam in the heel for stability....
2017-12-14
Cyria Group Confirms Supporting Sponsorship for GNEX 2018
Cyria Group, Inc. ; a Canadian-based company specializing in resort developer solutions for timeshare ownership trade-ins and transfers has confirmed participation as a Supporting Sponsor of GNEX 2018 which will be held in Miami, F.L. on February 26-28, 2018. Cyria Group, Inc. ; a Canadian-based company specializing in resort developer solutions for timeshare ownership trade-ins and transfers has confirmed participation as a Supporting Sponsor of GNEX 2018 which will be held in Miami, F.L. on February 26-28, 2018.Since 2011, the Global Networking Experience (GNEX) has claimed its position as the most dynamic networking conference in the vacation ownership industry, constantly innovating to find new ways to help its senior-level attendees to meet prospective new clients and strategic partners, and bringing fresh new ideas and interesting content.GNEX 2018 will held onboard the $40 million, 228ft SeaFair Grand Luxe, the world's first mega-yacht venue. This impressive vessel boasts over 22,000 square feet of meeting space after recently completing a $10 million renovation project.Located in Ontario, Canada, Cyria Group is committed to supplying resort partners with effective solutions for trade-ins. Cyria Group's cloud-based software makes it easy for sales rooms to accept trade-ins at point of sale without delay, and the company's superior customer service team is dedicated to helping its clients every step of the way during the transfer process. As a Supporting Sponsor of GNEX 2018, Cyria Group will be participating in a 60-second pitch session.'It's important to us to support our industry through the work that we do, while also supporting its events. Being a part of the conversations that are going to keep vacation ownership at the forefront of the travel industry is vital. Similar to other industries, innovation & communication are key to long-term development & stability, says Cory Stegemann, Founder & CEO of Cyria Group.Always staying ahead of the curve, GNEX is reinventing their educational session format by introducing 'X-Talks. These high impact, 10-minute solo speaker sessions will cover a variety of pertinent topics, while creating a more dynamic schedule that lends itself to even more networking. There is also the addition of several networking and interactive sessions. GNEX 2018 will also include other guest speakers, dedicated networking sessions, cocktail hours, several social gatherings, and a keynote speaker.'We are delighted to welcome Cyria Group as a first-time sponsor at our upcoming event. GNEX Conferences aim to attract all areas of the vacation ownership, hotel & resort marketplace, and Cyria Group represents a sector that is rapidly evolving and grabbing the attention of resort developers. Says Paul Mattimoe, President & CEO, Perspective Group.Signature Sponsors for the event are:,and. Additional sponsors and supporters include: Send Me On Vacation, VacationCondos.com, Walltopia, Resort Management Services, Resort Travel & Xchange, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, Access Development, Concord, Cyria Group, Vacation SafeGuard, AMDETUR, American Resort Development Association, Canadian Vacation Ownership Association, Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers, National Timeshare Owners Association....
2017-12-13
New private member's bill could mean end of the Happy Meal in Canada
The bill introduced by a Tory senator and adopted by the Liberal government seeks a nationwide ban on food and drink marketing aimed at childrenIt’s rare that a Liberal government adopts a private member’s bill introduced by a Conservative senator, but Nancy Greene Raine’s Child Health Protection legislation was given second reading in the House of Commons Tuesday and looks set to usher in a nationwide ban on food and drink marketing aimed at children.The bill will amend Canada’s Food and Drinks Act with the goal of reducing the obesity rate among children and teens. Recent statistics suggest as many as one-third of Canadian kids are grappling with being overweight or obese.Liberal MP Doug Eyolfson, who was formerly a doctor in Winnipeg, said he saw an increasing number of young people suffering from heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. “We need bold action now,” he said, as he introduced Greene Raine’s legislation into the House of Commons.The former Olympic skier’s bill proposes to ban advertising and packaging aimed at youth under the age of 17.But Eyolfson, who is sponsoring the bill in the House of Commons, said he is suggesting an amendment to limit its scope to children under 13, mirroring legislation that has existed in Quebec for years.He said the original bill was at risk of being challenged as a limit on freedom of expression — a challenge the Quebec ban has already weathered at the Supreme Court.The food industry is striking back, claiming the new legislation doesn’t even provide a definition of “unhealthy food” — a guideline will be supplied at a later date by Health Canada bureaucrats.The industry is also appealing to the libertarian impulse of parents who believe they should be the arbiters of what their children watch and eat. It argues that the debate distracts from the real causes of childhood obesity — the lack of balance between diet, screen time and physical activity.But the government is committed to the bill, despite the risk of unintended consequences for businesses that rely on sales of junk food, like convenience stores, or on advertising by packaged food companies, like broadcasters.Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter to new Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor calls on her to introduce restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children “similar to those now in place in Quebec,” where the upper age limit is 13.Greene Raine said she was persuaded to raise the age limit from her original proposal after hearing expert testimony that suggested when children first leave home and have their own spending money, their tendency is to buy food their parents may not agree with.But that seems a stretch. Children under 13 may not understand the persuasive intent of advertisement — to the extent that McDonald’s is obliged to append its website with a “Hey Kids, this is advertising” label.But 16-year-olds can marry, enter military service and drive cars.There is too much of the nanny state in the age limit.Another concern raised in the House by Conservative MP Gord Brown is that the new legislation could block sponsorship of amateur sports teams, such as the 300,000 kids who benefit from the Timbits minor sports program.Eyolfson said the government will take steps to ensure there are no adverse effects on sports sponsorship.Conservative Marilyn Gladu said she was concerned that the ban in Quebec had not reduced child obesity levels there.Clearly there are many factors at play, but common sense suggests that food companies spend billions on marketing to kids because it works in selling more of their products.By introducing amendments that lower the age limit and protect sports sponsorships the government has got the balance right.There will be no reprieve for the “pester power” of Happy Meal marketing.Article as posted by John Ivison on NationalPost.com...
2017-09-01
Labatt's launches its first eSports sponsorship
If the idea of watching other people play video games holds zero appeal, this sponsorship is not meant for you. If you've never heard of players who go by the handles JWong and FChamp, it's not for you. But if these things do get your attention, then chances are, advertisers are having a hard time reaching you.That's because fans of e-sports are exactly the type of young people who are flocking away from traditional media – and advertising. Competitive gaming draws massive audiences online and at major tournaments to watch the best players compete in a range of video games. In the past few years, marketers have been waking up to the world of e-sports, as they attempt to find new ways to speak to consumers steeped in a digital world.This week, Labatt Breweries of Canada will launch its first sponsorships in this area, hosting a VIP lounge at DreamHack, a series of global digital festivals that include e-sports competitions coming to Montreal starting Friday. For $100, fans can book access to a Bud Light Living Room, where competitors Justin (JWong) Wong and Ryan (FChamp) Rodriguez will host skills clinics, as well as a tournament in which fans can compete for the chance to play against those two on the big screen on the festival's main stage. The brewer has partnered with JWong and FChamp in both Canada and the United States, and will try to reach more fans through their social media followings. It has also signed a partnership deal with Twitch, a popular gaming website and social network. It plans to develop "branded content" for Twitch to reach visitors to the site, which live-streams competitions and allows players to connect with each other.Bud Light first launched its e-sports efforts in the United States last year. The new deals are a Canadian-specific initiative."I've seen some of the live events that happen even here in Toronto, filling stadiums. That was one of the tipping points for me: thousands of people coming to watch people play live. It's a true spectator sport," said Todd Allen, vice-president of marketing for Canada at Anheuser-Busch InBev, which owns Labatt. "We're looking to be long-term in e-sports."E-sports have already begun attracting mainstream recognition in the marketing world. The global e-sports market is estimated to be worth $1.13-billion (U.S.), and is still growing, according to research firm SuperData. Nearly three-quarters of those earnings come from advertising and sponsorships.Big-name sponsors have included Arby's, Audi, Chipotle, Coca-Cola, Gillette and PepsiCo. Talent agency giant WME-IMG, which represents celebrities including actors, musicians and athletes, moved into e-sports in 2015, and now runs an e-sports league, ELeague, in partnership with Turner Broadcasting.Some games are now shown on television on TBS in the United States, and on Super Channel in Canada. ESPN2 has broadcast some tournaments. But the overwhelming following is on digital channels. This year, Rogers Communications Inc. signed an exclusive deal with ESL (formerly Electronic Sports League) to launch e-sports TV live-streaming through Sportsnet Now. And Facebook has been moving into streaming e-sports content.Twitch, which Amazon bought in 2014 for $970-million, also draws significant audiences for live events and allows gamers to upload their own videos of their play. In 2015, Cineplex Inc. acquired WorldGaming, a platform for hosting e-sportscompetitions – both online and larger tournament events – for $15-million."While the very idea that people are willing to pay to watch other people play video games may seem strange to some, we have no doubt that eSports is big, and getting bigger," CIBC analyst Robert Bek wrote in a research note last year, adding that of the 214 million people that watch e-sports worldwide, 69 per cent are aged 18 to 34 and 85 per cent are male. "For sponsors/advertisers … the appeal of eSports is rather obvious; the genre appeals to a narrow, desirable, and increasingly hard-to-pin-down demographic."Bud Light's first "All Stars" sponsorship was criticized by some for hand-picking nominees that didn't seem like the top of the field in e-sports, including some who weren't competing actively on the latest or most popular games."The way they engaged [in the United States], it's very corporate. It's very forced. They don't bring fans in to help mould the program, it's like they have a set vision," said Dan Ciccone, head of RevXP, a division of Chicago-based sports marketing agency Revolution that focuses on e-sports. However, he said the company is correct not to pull away as a result of the criticism."Traditional sports organizations, they're talking about the attrition especially of that younger male audience," Mr. Ciccone said. "E-sports affords marketers the opportunity to finally reach that audience that they've had a difficult time reaching for years now."E-Sports still has room for growth in Canada, said Charles Watson, founder of Kitchener-based SetToDestroyX, the largest group of e-sports teams in the country. He believes the market needs more tournaments – and more sponsors."There's still a lot of work that needs to be done here from a marketing perspective," he said. There's a huge amount of potential that hasn't even been touched. It blows my mind sometimes, that you have such a huge market … and you're just starting to see traditional companies right now focusing on Canada."Bud Light's strategy in Canada is borrowed from other live events that have been the brand's focus for years: it hosts various "living rooms" at music festivals, sporting events and elsewhere, such as alongside a UFC event in Edmonton next week."Experiences are the new currency," Mr. Allen said. "The trend has been away from 'premium' as defined by your accumulation of possessions. Younger people value experiences over things. … This is no different than our strategy of bringing fans closer to music or sports. We're super excited to bring that same philosophy to e-sports."Article by Susan Krashinsky Robertson as posted on TheGlobeandMail.com...