Grey Cup expands for 100th anniversary

Scotiabank and Molson Canada have signed on as title sponsors for the 2012 Grey Cup Festival in Toronto.

The 2012 Grey Cup Festival promises to be bigger, broader and longer. It’s not all going to be about football and tailgate parties, rather a celebration of the cup’s legacy with an eye on what Toronto has to offer, according to the Grey Cup and CFL speakers at yesterday’s launch event at the Scotiabank Theatre.

Marking the 100-year celebration of the Grey Cup tied with the slogan “An invitation to our Nation” will be a nine-day festival in November 2012 with events being held in the entertainment district of Toronto. The festival aims to bring together Canadians from all over the country, in celebration of the enduring sport and its heritage.

Scotiabank and Molson Canadian make are already on board as title sponsors. Sponsorship opportunities are open for brands to get involved with events during the celebration.

The festival will kick off with a football-focused film fest on Nov. 19. Additional events revealed at the launch include an interactive Family Zone at Yonge-Dundas Square, a Festival Central at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Scotiabank CFL Experience and Molson Canadian beer gardens. The Grey Cup will also make an appearance during the Santa Claus Parade on Nov. 18.

Traditional Grey Cup Festival events such as team parties, concerts and street festivals will also be on the celebration agenda.

The Argonauts, who were recently given rights to put on the festival and game, will be working closely with the 100th Grey Cup Festival Committee in developing the events.

“There is a chance for partners to get on board with us early on in the game to help us with planning with what [the festival] looks like and in doing so, meet their objectives,” said Argonauts VP, marketing and communications David Bedford.

“The biggest thing we want to do is have an alignment between the Argonauts sponsors and the Grey Cup sponsors,” he added. “For the Argonauts brand to be strong in the future, we need the corporate partners to come in, stay through the hype of the Grey Cup and support the team right through.”

Toronto-based Endeavour Marketing is taking creative reigns for the festival while the media strategy is still being ironed out, but will include an array of platforms, said Bedford.