Budweiser wins big at 2013 SMAs

The Labatt brand took home the Best of Show at the Sponsorship Marketing Awards for its activation around the Winnipeg Jets' 2011/2012 NHL season.
Budweiser Releases Limited Edition "Winnipeg Jets Fan Brew"

The Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada handed out the big prizes yesterday at the ninth annual Sponsorship Marketing Awards, part of the organization’s annual conference in Toronto.

Budweiser emerged as the big winner for its activation around the Winnipeg Jets’ 2011/2012 NHL season, earning the Best of Show award, as well as the Gold Award in the Sports category.

To build hype around the season, which marked the team’s return to the city after a 15-year absence, the Labatt brand collected water from Winnipeg landmarks like the Red and Assiniboine Rivers and from fans’ homes.

It then toured the water around the city as “Honour Water,” allowing fans to interact with it. Lastly, the brand used the water to brew up a limited edition Fan Brew, which it sold at a 5% premium, and created Pride of Winnipeg, a documentary chronicling the beer’s story.

All told, Bud sales in Winnipeg for October 2011 to May 2012 were up 19.2% year over year, compared to the objective of 5%.

Other winners included Scotiabank and BMO, which both nabbed two prizes. Scotiabank took home the Gold Award in the Media Sponsorship category for Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada, as well as an Award of Distinction in the Arts and Entertainment category for its sponsorship of the Giller Prize.

Meanwhile, BMO won the Gold Award in the Sustained Success category for its local soccer clubs program and an award of distinction in the Special Interest category for its sponsorship of the Calgary Stampede.

Honda took home gold in the Art and Entertainment category for its Celebration of Light, while Ford earned gold in the Cause category for its Celebrity Face-off for Charity.

Rounding out the list of gold winners are RBC’s Play Hockey Charity Challenge in the Small Budget category, and Captain Morgan’s Tall Ships sponsorship in the Special Interest category.