The Edmonton Oilers sent players to share the holiday love onsite at partner Tim Horton's.
Sponsorship Buddy's Take:
1) The Edmonton Oilers and Oilers Entertainment Group have been plenty busy opening up Rogers Place, the country's largest multiuse sports and entertainment facility. Excitement surrounding the team's new digs has certainly piqued fan and sponsor interest. Considering the demands of opening, selling and servicing a new arena in-season, it's easy to get caught up on maintaining 100% focus on the new facilities. Kudos for the team for taking its players and services off campus to the "home field" of its Tim Horton's partner during the season of giving.
2) Surprises can be fun, but to maximize player appearances involving sponsors, schedule the visits a few weeks in advance at priority locations for the sponsor. Instead of the generic meet & greet or autograph sessions, which are difficult to ensure sizable turnouts, work with the sponsor to find unique ways to get the players involved and familiar with the sponsor's business directly that can drive engagement. Having a social posts ready to drive fans to these locations will help ensure those available get the rare opportunity to interact with their heroes in everyday life. Socially sharing at or after the appearance further helps positively humanize the team and players, while generating some positive buzz, awareness and appeal for the sponsor that can positively effect sales.
3) In the spirit of holiday giving, not only do fans love the chance to interact with the players and team, but it's a huge morale boost and lift for the sponsor employees as well. Turnover is very high and recruiting is a priority when it comes to hourly employees, who may not get the chance to see the team play. Appearances like this can make all the difference when it comes to retention while creating lifelong fans, brand advocates and happy sponsors.