Air Miles goes country with CMT Music Fest

The rewards program is partnering with Corus Entertainment as part of a strategy to roll out experiential activations in markets outside of Toronto and Vancouver.

This week Kitchener, ON plays host to the first edition of CMT Music Fest, a two-day festival with headliners like Eric Church and Zac Brown Band, aimed at building awareness for Corus Entertainment’s country channel.

The festival’s south western Ontario location was one of the selling points for chief sponsor Air Miles. Anna Medeiros, associate director, brand engagement, Air Miles, said her company is always on the hunt for opportunities to connect with Canadians outside of major urban markets like Toronto and Vancouver.

“Anytime that we find something exciting is happening outside of the major city areas we like to try and capitalize on it,” she said.

Air Miles will be activating in a number of ways at the festival. The rewards company is giving cardholders the opportunity to purchase tickets using their Reward Miles. A single day equates to  975 Miles while a weekend pass equals 1675 Miles. The company will also have an Air Miles Smile Booth on site, an interactive vending machine and photo booth that will be rewarding members with VIP upgrades, after-party passes and CMT Music Fest merchandise.

In addition to the location, Medeiros said the festival’s country music focus was a draw for the company. Air Miles collects data from its Air Miles Stage Pass holders, and found that 35% of its members are country music fans.

Also on board as sponsors for the first time event are Molson Coors, Twisted Tea, Häagen-Dazs, Jim Beam, Schick, Rockstar Energy, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Nescafé and Mott’s Clamato.

Corus Entertainment will have booths set-up throughout the festival promoting its own brands as well, such as an HGTV Canada Photo Booth, The Bachelorette Canada Pop-Up and a Food Network Canada Harvest Table. Among the more extreme activations is the CMT Racoon Rodeo, a mechanical racoon built to promote upcoming CMT show Billy Goes North, starring Billy Bretherton of Billy the Exterminator.