TORONTO: Scotiabank, the financial services provider, has successfully engaged consumers in Central and Latin America through more closely aligning its sponsorship and philanthropic efforts.

Jim Tobin, Scotiabank’s international director/sponsorship and philanthropy, discussed this topic at the “Purposeful Purpose: How Top Marketers Approach Brand Purpose Effectively” event held by the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and WARC.

The bank’s philanthropic activities, he reported, largely relate to helping young people – particularly in vulnerable communities – using soccer, and are applied in markets including Mexico, Peru, Chile, Colombia, and the Caribbean.

Over the last three years, as Scotiabank combined its philanthropic and sponsorship programs, the merged budget has enabled it to achieve a bigger footprint.

“It gave us what I call our ‘blowfish’ strategy,” Tobin said. “We puff ourselves up to look a lot bigger than we are and, therefore, increase our visibility.” (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Scotiabank found a brand purpose to engage LatAm consumers.)

Linking sponsorship initiatives to the enterprise’s philanthropic endeavors, he continued, “gave us the license to focus on helping youth. So that’s what we went ahead and did.”

To fully engage a wide spectrum of young players, Tobin explained, “We sponsor tournaments, leagues, and teams so kids can travel for free. And we take them on trips. Everything we do is at no cost to the kids and the clubs involved.

“We distribute indestructible footballs, which are in very short supply, for kids who have no facilities. We build football fields in very remote areas and, as I say, all of this [comes] at no cost to the clubs.”

Through a broad association with such elite institutions as the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and FC Barcelona, Scotiabank appeals to a rich swath of potential customers.

In the bank’s key Central and Latin American markets, the competitive set of much larger operators frequently possess marketing budgets ten times greater than Scotiabank’s resources, Tobin asserted.

Strategically coordinating its sponsorship and philanthropic efforts can thus help the brand meet its need for “a solution that would enable us to connect with that very large audience” without a huge budget, he said.

Sourced from WARC