An On-the-Road Update from Our Rogers Hometown Hockey #Humans
6 Minute Read
MKTG catches up with Matthew Smeaton who manages the Scotiabank team on the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour.
Matthew provides insight on what Rogers Hometown Hockey means to the cities they visit in Canada and how they adapt to changes along the tour.
Matthew also discusses the close-knit, strong and fun dynamics that happen within the team.
Since early October, MKTG’s Brett Farrelly, Trevor Hoff, Jared Blowatt and Matthew Smeaton have been travelling on behalf of Scotiabank, a presenting sponsor of the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour. These Humans of MKTG will be making stops across 24 different Canadian communities. MKTG sat down with Tour Manager Matthew Smeaton for his perspective on the key learnings, highlights, and best practices when activating a national tour.
Meet the Rogers Hometown Hockey #Humans
What are the best practices when executing a national tour?
MATTHEW: One of the first things we do is take the time to diligently plan and organize our schedule to ensure a smooth execution of each and every activation along the tour - all of us on the team have a clear understanding of our roles and responsibilities. We consistently review the timings of key events throughout each weekend. Accountability and communication amongst the team allows us to improve each week and deliver the best product to consumers and stakeholders at every stop.
How does the team maintain consistency while adapting for nuances in local markets?
MATTHEW: By communicating with each other and studying our key learnings, we are able to adapt to the challenges presented with each stop. After developing a solid understanding of how the Scotiabank Community Locker Room activation should operate in the first few weeks, we are comfortable with the framework of the event which in turn allows us to focus our attention to the small details that change with every new city we visit!
How do changing weather conditions impact the approach to on-site activation?
MATTHEW: We are embracing the Canadian climate! The changing weather conditions of outdoor events definitely provides a challenge. Keeping a close eye on forecasts leading up to the setup of the event gives us a general idea of what to expect but surprises do arise when we arrive on site during the load-in period. The expertise and support provided by all Scotiabank activation team members help with the build of the tent, lighting, and heating systems to ensure that every event is safe and set up for success.
What are your thoughts on representing Scotiabank who has sponsored 1,000,000 kids and counting through community hockey?
MATTHEW: The team truly believes it is an honor to represent the brand and celebrate the milestone of supporting 1,000,000 kids and counting across Canada. Hockey matters to Scotiabank because it matters to Canadians and the lessons and values that the sport provides to Canadian children is critical to their coming of age. By donating $15,000 at each and every stop this year, Scotiabank continues to prove themselves as leaders in this field – and we are proud to help make this happen.
What does Rogers Hometown Hockey mean to these communities you visit?
MATTHEW: With hockey being so important to many Canadians, Rogers Hometown Hockey provides the platform for each of these communities to shine. Through stories told on broadcast and the history we learn through our consumer interactions, people truly gravitate towards the event and show their best selves. When we had Cody Hodgson as our Alumni representative in Haliburton, it was interesting to meet his old skating coach and extended family which provided us a great impression of what Hometown Hockey really means to the communities we are activate in.
What is it like living out of a suitcase/car/hotel?
MATTHEW: Living on the road provides some unique challenges. Whether we are on the move across Canada in our Dodge Durango or pulling into our hotel for the week, we are constantly on the move. Sometimes it’s hard to get settled, but it is part of the excitement of being on the road! What we have found is that it the process has taken us out of our comfort zones and pushed us to develop ourselves in ways we have never done before. The team has become extremely close due to working together daily which has developed great friendships. Not only have we become great friends but it feels more and more like a family each day that passes.
What are you doing in your down time?
MATTHEW: This tour has definitely been rewarding throughout each working weekend but we have had no shortage of fun during our off days. Whether it was mud-rafting in Truro, NS or playing Archery Tag in St. Thomas, the team has enjoyed some new activities along the way. We have also been given the opportunity to see the country in a way that many others may never have. Exploring places like Thunder’s Cove in PEI and Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia have provided us a perspective of Canada that many of us have never had. Keeping active through working out or taking some time to ourselves and resting in our rooms also allows us to alleviate some stress from the week and keep us fresh for the entire tour.
We wish our Scotiabank team on the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour safe travels. Keep up the great work!