Sports Business Canada was on location at Play On! Mount Pearl this past weekend for what was, according national director Scott Hill, the largest Play On! event in Canada this season. The Newfoundland event attracted 527 teams, over 3,700 participants, and approximately 15,000 spectators.
— CBC Newfoundland (@CBCNL) June 26, 2016
Given the large turnout, both national and local sponsors used the event as an opportunity to connect with their target audience in a meaningful way.
Play On! Mount Pearl sponsors.
BioSteel – a Canadian brand whose line of products include sports drinks, proteins, and nutrition bars – partnered with Play On! this year as the company continues to invest in sports properties and athletes that align with the brand. Last year, Blue Jays’ ace Marcus Stroman joined #TeamBioSteel – a roster that now includes Andrew Wiggins, Connor McDavid, Brooke Henderson, Tyler Seguin, Sean Lee, Santorin, Rosie MacLennan, and Team Jacobs.
— BioSteel (@BioSteelSports) January 19, 2016
As part of the partnership, all player bottles at Play On! were BioSteel branded, as were thirst stations located at various locations on-site. Participants had access to unlimited BioSteel and water throughout the weekend, which was a blessing given the warm temperatures.
BioSteel thirst stations.
Other national sponsors had a noticeable presence including Sportsnet and Booster Juice. Booster Juice had rink signage, a tent setup at the event site, and they hosted the local live registration event prior to player registration closing. Regional sponsor, GoodLife Fitness, also had a footprint on-site.
Booster Juice and GoodLife tents.
One of the local sponsors at the event were the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps. The team’s mascot interacted with spectators throughout the weekend, while their street team had a hardest shot competition setup where participants could win prizes. The team also created a Snapchat geo-filter for the event, a design users can overlay onto a photo taken in the app. This was a smart activation given 70% of the event’s participants were 16 and younger.
St. John’s IceCaps’ Play On! Snapchat geo-filter
— St. John’s IceCaps (@IceCapsAHL) June 25, 2016
— Kory Harnum (@Koryharnum) June 25, 2016
The success of Play On! really is a community effort that involves a large number of volunteers and officials. Providing staff meals and snacks for the event were Panago Pizza, Swiss Chalet, and Dominion (Loblaws). Panago has aligned itself with Play On! in a grassroots effort to connect with sports fans across the country and grow their social media following. I enjoy that they also sponsor the Steve Dangle Podcast.
— Play On! Mount Pearl (@PlayOnMtPearl) June 25, 2016
— Panago Pizza (@Panago_Pizza) June 27, 2016
Overall, Play On! Mount Pearl appeared to be a success for both participants and brands. “Big Blue” now moves to Ottawa for the final event of the season on July 9-10.