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Jun 15 2011

Marketing Magazine - Pan Am Games Hires SapientNitro as Social Marketing AOR


By Chris Powell

SapientNitro’s Toronto office has been appointed social marketing agency of record for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games following a review. The other participants were not disclosed.

The digitally led agency is tasked with rolling out what is described as a “multi-phased, multi-year social strategy and road map” designed around the upcoming sporting event’s three pillars: community, diversity and legacy.

In a release, Katherine Henderson, senior vice-president of marketing and revenue for the Games, said SapientNitro will help create a community of “Pan Am advocates” leading up to the event.

Brad Simms, vice-president and managing director at SapientNitro, said the agency is currently conducting research into the online and offline “chatter” surrounding the Games, which will help determine the agency’s creative strategy.

He noted that the Pan Am Games could be the first major global sporting event to reside primarily on the digital platform rather than traditional broadcast outlets.

“If you think about the curve we’re on in this space, and you look at some recent large [sporting tournaments] where you could watch whatever event you wanted at whatever time… you can envision this is an event that will live in the digital space,” he said.

“One of the critical components of the strategy is acknowledging that three years out, we’re not really aware of what the predominant channels will be,” said Simms. “You can bank on Facebook and Twitter being highly relevant, but we’re not going to have a good handle on what some of the technologies are that we’re going to be able to leverage to really create a very immersive experience.”

SapientNitro has added 100 employees to its Toronto office over the past 18 months, which Simms ascribed to increased activity from existing clients as well as new business wins. The office now employs approximately 220 people and continues to grow “pretty aggressively” he said.

“This is a win that we’re tremendously proud of because of what the Pan/Parapan American Games are going to mean not just to Toronto but ultimately Ontario and Canada,” said Simms of the agency’s newest assignment.

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