Ghosts of the Forum
Sports Experts, one of Canada's largest sports retailer, has been a Montreal Canadiens sponsor for the past decade. To mark and celebrate this partnership, the retailer wanted to activate its sponsorship engagingly.
Despite being the most decorated team in league history, the Canadiens haven’t won a championship since 1993. In fact, they haven’t won since moving from the Montreal Forum to their new arena, the Bell Center. Local legend attributes the Habs’ long history of success to the presence of deceased players’ ghosts. These mystical helpers, known as the ghosts of the forum, bring extra confidence and luck to the team. Unfortunately, as its success has shifted, they didn’t seem to follow the team to the new arena.
Sports Experts decided to help capture, with the help of a real paranormal expert and ghost hunter, the ghosts of the forum to move them to the new arena. Key to this initiative was a three-minute video, documenting a real ghost hunt at the old Forum (now a movie theatre and shopping mall) and are lease attempt at the Bell Centre. The creative was posted to Facebook and YouTube.
A dedicated website was developed, and hosted interviews with retired Habs players, coaches and Montreal columnists, but also an interactive map of the old Forum, with access to the full, unedited footage taken from 20 infrared and thermal cameras during the hunt. The piece was launched on opening day, not long before Halloween, relying on a small media push, but mostly on public relations with organic reach.
The initiative’s impact was immediate. In the first 24 hours following its release, the video had over half a million views organically. Total media impressions reached 7M in the first two days. Fans saluted the initiative, while others debated about the legend. But most importantly: it didn’t go unnoticed. The ghosts of the Forum allowed Sports Experts to gather a strong share of voice amongst Habs’ sponsors on opening day, thus surpassing the likes of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola with less than one-tenth of the budget.
Brand: FGL Sports ltée (Sports Experts)
National CD: Chris Staples, Ian Grais
CD: Nicolas Quintal
Copywriter: Xavier Blais
AD: Maxime Sauté
Strategic Lead: Pascal Routhier
Agency Producer: Marie-Noëlle Rosso
Account Managers: Marie-Sarah Bouchard, Alexe Dupont
Account Director: Alex Lefebvre
Production Company: 1One
Director: Anthony Ayotte
Director of Photography: Mathieu Elie
Producers: Guillaume Dubois, Marc-André Gilbert, Jean-René Parenteau
Editor: Philippe Grenier
Post-production coordinator: Gabrielle Doré
Sound: PO Rioux
Music: 1One / Nico Marquis
Web developers: Alexandre Leclair - Atomes & Pixels, Olivier Mercier Chan-Kane - workwork.club
Media : Touché!