gets sporty new look

The website relaunched today with Labatt on tap as title sponsor. relaunched today with a new look, new title sponsor and new advertising opportunities to reach Canadian sports fans.

With Labatt on board as the title sponsor for the launch, the new site features a cleaner, simpler look that was designed to enhance readability, and new features to increase value to advertisers, Dave Ballingall, VP marketing and GM of, tells MiC.

‘The goal was to upgrade the experience every visitor has with our site from every perspective,’ he explains. ‘For advertisers, we wanted to provide more direct access to our audience through customized ad opportunities, improved video opportunities, embedded sponsorships and improved standard ad positions.’

With its target demographic of males 18 to 49, gets an average of one million unique visitors a month, according to Omniture statistics. To reach those eyeballs, advertisers can access new opportunities such as pre-roll in the new 16:9 widescreen video format, a new site-wide ad unit and new centre-justification of the content to allow for wallpaper creative. The look has also been modified so that more ad units sit above the fold.

Labatt’s launch sponsorship package includes complete takeover of ad units on the day of the launch, Labatt-branded sections of the site and brand tags on all advertising, such as TV promos, live-event lower-third animations, radio and online. Media was handled by M2 Universal and creative for Keith’s was handled by Publicis while Bud, Bud Light and Kokanee creative was handled by Grip.

‘The high-profile nature of the relaunch of the website seemed like a great opportunity for us to integrate messaging for Alexander Keith’s 214th birthday,’ Ruben Jongstra, supervisor, digital strategies, M2 Universal, tells MiC. ‘In terms of tonality, clearly the sports area is a resonant aspect of the young male online experience and the natural tie-in with the notion of ‘birthday’ seemed strong. Beyond this, we were able to work with Sportsnet in order to corporately apportion out certain aspects of the opportunity on a regional basis and also in a manner that linked sport content type with existing Labatt sponsorships, such as Bud and the NFL and Bud Light and the NHL.’