Sid Lee Toronto Welcomes Jermain Defoe’s Move to Toronto FC

By Erik Oster 

Toronto FC has partnered with Sid Lee Toronto for a campaign highlighting their signing of star English striker Jermain Defoe (formerly of English Premier League’s Totenham Hotspur).

Working under the assumption that “soccer isn’t seen as big news in North America until it has become ‘footie news’ across the pond,” Sid Lee crafted a spot documenting the perceived shocked reaction to the news in England. “Our idea for the campaign came pretty early on – let’s elevate the magnitude of Jermain Defoe swapping Tottenham for TFC by having a bit of fun with how people might react to the news in Great Britain,” explains Jeffery DaSilva, creative director at Sid Lee.


Set in the London boroughs where Defoe has been front page news since the beginning of his career, the 30-second spot manages to depict shocked Londoners’ reactions in a clever and funny way (to say anything more would give too much away).  The “It’s a Bloody Big Deal” tagline acts as the perfect ending to the spot, emphasizing the importance of the deal and the connection to how the news is perceived in England.

The integrated campaign launched earlier this week with :10 and :15 second teaser spots appearing in high rotation on major sports networks; the full 30 second spot (featured above) debuts today. In addition to television ads, the campaign includes “a variety of print, online, and OOH executions that will blanket the city for the next five weeks.” Each of the campaign elements feature “a specially commissioned illustration” of Defoe outfitted in his new Toronto FC uniform.

Stick around for credits after the jump.


Agency: Sid Lee

President: Vito Piazza

Executive Creative Director: Dave Roberts

Creative Directors: Jeff Da Silva, Tom Koukodimos

Art Director: Jeff Da Silva, Tom Koukodimos

Copywriter: Jeff Da Silva, Tom Koukodimos, Jeremiah McNama

Account Director: Jared Stein

Account Manager: Jacob Barnes, Nicki Franek

Strategist: Dustin Rideout

Production Company: Jimmy Lee

Head of Production: Jeanic Larocque

Producer: Melanie La Rue

Production Company: Stink // UK

Executive Producer: Jon Chads

Producer: Hannah Clark

Director: Rafael Lopez Saubidet

Director of Photography: Steve Annis

Editorial: Marshall Street Editors // UK

Offline Editor: Patric Ryan

Online: Axyz

Compositors: James Andrews (Lead), Ron Dubuc

Online Producer: Jenna Craig

VO Record/Sound Design/Mix/Music: Apollo Studios