Outdoor and Sponsorship Advertising: New Media Opportunities

Two hot topics that are being discussed lately are the future of Metrolinx advertising and the lack of sponsorship for the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association (PWHPA). It’s apparent that when choosing which platform to advertise with, a lot of planning must commence. Planning that takes into consideration the benefits that advertising will have on its audiences, while still serving the best interests of the advertised businesses.

There’s a tossup when it comes to sponsorship advertising: should it be progressive to meet greater change in a community or traditional enough to resonate with “business as usual” target markets of people. Of course, there will always be debate as to which approach garners more results. Political power also has a great influence over advertising that’s being pushed to people in OOH settings, which we’ll get into. This article will take a look at how Metrolinx is developing in the advertising realm as well as touch on the little regard for sponsorship advertising being addressed in the PWHPA.


Metrolinx As A Media Property

This provincial transit agency which operates GO transit, along with Union-Pearson Express and Presto, has released very little advertising so far that may influence consumers to buy into brands or evoke feelings in them. However when the Ontario provincial government made the announcement that they were planning to sell the naming rights to GO transit stations, a lot of advertising speculation occurred. First off, conservative Doug Ford spearheaded this movement, which had Tony Chapman, founder and CEO of Tony Chapman creations, a bit worried to say the least. Due to Ford’s polarizing, stark public image and daunting political affairs, it’s a bold move to allow the man behind the Metrolinx mask to give the nod to any future advertising, for it may stay 100% one-sided and opportunistic for the conservative party. But, Chapman was still hopeful that Metrolinx would move into an experiential route with the selling of naming rights.

Moving into the future, and after Metrolinx released the list of stations they would sell naming rights to, prominent people in the advertising world, such as Kristin Wozniak VP of analytics and insight at Cossette Media, shared their opinions. Wozniak believed that Metrolinx should implement advertising that pleases the commuting consumer, rather than serve to just take up unnecessary space on their journey. Mike Lang, president of Lang Partnerships Network, thinks that Metrolinx has the opportunity to partner with financial services to provide more than one benefit for commuters. The greatest point to take away from this is that brands can meet to give consumers more of a pull and, with the revival of Metrolinx, these cross-sectional opportunities can unfold. Brand messaging can take place when a commuter has arrived at their destination on the train in ways that have never been done before. Commuters shouldn’t feel bored when traveling anymore, but stimulated by what they see and hear.


The PWHPA Needs Advertising Sponsorship

After the Canadian Women’s Hockey League fell apart due to financial issues, female pro hockey players established a league of their own called: the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association (PWHPA). They also began the Dream Gap Tour, which consists of a series of tournaments in Canada and the U.S. This wasn’t meant to be a long term league, but more of a resistance movement so that the NHL can put more money behind women in hockey. Although there have been two sponsors, Unifor and Budweiser, there hasn’t been much else to back the PWHPA.

It’s certainly a fact that women’s sports teams don’t receive equal funding or ad sponsors, let alone the same level of broadcast or support than men, and change should be afoot. From a marketing lens, emotional response advertising can be highlighted during women’s sportsmanship as it’s more targeted towards storytelling and female empowerment. There should be more social awareness for advertising in the PWHPA, and brands can provide great narrative marketing that centers around a women’s story or perspective. This can mirror the type of action that the PWHPA is taking in getting the funding support they need to continue playing. For the future, live streaming and online engagement seem to be the cheapest ways for sponsorship opportunities in this community. Though that can be effective, there should be more focus in taking women in sports seriously.

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