This Company Is Creating Branded Highlight Videos for Canada’s Olympic Coverage

Sport Chek's spots air during CBC broadcasts

Canadian sports retailer Sport Chek has constructed a war room for its Olympics coverage, using real-time footage of the games to create supercuts highlighting Canadian Olympians for 90-second spots.

The resulting campaign from TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, dubbed #WhatItTakes, premieres on the brand's social feeds before it appears on television as part of a deal the company struck with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The first spot, which debuted last week, has already garnered 2 million views across social platforms, according to the company. 

"The Olympics period is busy from an advertising perspective," said Frederick Lecoq, svp of marketing and ecommerce for Sport Chek. "You have those big companies pouring millions into advertising on TV, and I think that I don't have that kind of money to compete with big boxes. It's more about trying to break through with content relevancy, less of just like one piece of commercial that's airing every day during the games so many times a day." 

The aforementioned supercuts, which are voiced by Canadian spoken-word poet Shane Koyczan, don't appear as part of the CBC's commercial breaks during the Olympics. Instead the branded content is part of the CBC's coverage of the Olympics, with anchor Scott Russell introducing the videos before they air on TV. 

Lecoq added: "I'm trying to create buzz and get away from the noise that's been created during that period of time. The content that we're trying to create is very digital, mobile driven. Why? Because the games are becoming more and more social, and when you say social you mean mobile, so the whole thing is to create content here that is mobile-centric. You start with producing something that's not TV-led or designed for TV, but you actually change the platform, and you start thinking content for mobile first." 

To do that, Sport Chek's war room is stocked with parent company FGL's content team, TBWA creative and account management, as well as an editor for CBC. Pre-written scripts have already been created for the brand's upcoming videos (new spots will air on August 10, 14, 18 and 21). And each day the war room team combs the last 72 hours of game footage to find moments worth highlighting in the upcoming supercuts. 

In order to make the company's digital-first strategy work, it spends nearly 80 percent of its entire Rio 2016 advertising budget on digital, and more than 60 percent of that spend is dedicated to mobile platforms. The company has also invested heavily in Facebook's mobile products using Facebook Carousel, Facebook Canvas and Facebook Live. 

"The difference between buzz and noise is all about ad relevancy," said Lecoq. "If you're able to actually create real-time content that's just 100 percent aligned with what's happening in the news of sports, then that's how you're creating that ad relevancy and connecting with your audience." 



Chris Garbutt, Global Creative President & CCO NY

Serge Flores, Group Creative Director

Denver Eastman, Associate Creative Director

Jake Greer, Associate Creative Director

Greg Wells, Senior Art Director

Shane Koyczan, Writer/Vocalist

Alyssa DeSilva, Associate Project Manager


Jason Souter, Head of Integrated Production

Katie Boyko, Integrated Producer

Deb Horvath, Business Affairs


Aki Spicer, Chief Digital Officer

Sam Glassoff, Strategic Planner


Rob Schwartz, President/CEO NY

Nancy Reyes, Managing Director

Eryn McVerry, Group Account Director

Emily Zale, Account Supervisor

Olympic Manifesto Films TV Production Company – CBC (Toronto, ON)

Chris Irwin, Executive Producer

Sherin Manji, Coordinating Producer

Giorgio Saturnino, Producer

Louis Saturnino, Editor

Ryan Ferguson, Editor

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