FCB Canada communicated “The Grass of Greatness” for BMO

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A longstanding association with soccer at both the grassroots and professional levels has helped BMO establish strong community roots. Those roots are now literal, thanks to a new initiative called “The Grass of Greatness.”

“We know that community sports teach kids the value of teamwork and work ethic among other invaluable life lessons and skills,” says Catherine Roche, Global Head of Marketing and Strategy at BMO Financial Group. “Which is why BMO strives to create soccer sponsorship programs that provide both access to sports and inspiration for youth participation. So when the pitch at Toronto FC’s home stadium, BMO Field, was due for replacement, BMO saw an opportunity to save the field by replanting it at Toronto’s Keelesdale Park. This field is an investment in the future of a vibrant community as well as another generation of aspiring athletes.”

That particular field has legitimate championship pedigree. Not only was it the field where Toronto FC won their sixth Canadian Championship and their first ever Supporters’ Shield in a historic MLS season, it was also the site where Toronto FC brought home the MLS Cup in 2017, beating out Seattle Sounders F.C. to become MLS Champions.

The move gave children in the neighbourhood access to improved grounds and preserved an important part of Toronto’s championship heritage. More importantly, playing on the same field as their soccer heroes provides inspiration for the next generation of players.

“The stadium lights. The championship banners. The thunderous crowds. Every young athlete dreams of playing on the same arena ice, basketball court and soccer pitch as their heroes. BMO turned that dream into a reality for youth soccer players,” says Jeff Hilts, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Canada.

The initiative is being supported by a stirring new ad from FCB Canada that shows how the pitch at BMO Field was preserved, transported and replanted at Keelesdale Park. It tells the story of a young player reliving Toronto FC’s historic season, and the journey of how BMO brought the championship field to a new generation of soccer players.

Client: Bank of Montreal

  • Global Head of Marketing and Strategy: Catherine Roche
  • VP North American Brand & Enterprise Content: Jennifer Carli
  • Director, Canadian Brand and Sponsorships Advertising: Deny Soto
  • Advertising Manager, Brand & Sponsorship Advertising: Todd Bennie
  • Marketing Manager, Brand & Sponsorship Advertising: Geoff Hutchinson

Agency: FCB Canada

  • Chief Creative Officers: Jeff Hilts, Nancy Crimi-Lamanna
  • Group Creative Director: Jeremiah McNama, Andrew MacPhee
  • Senior Art Director: Naeem Walji
  • Senior Copywriter: Jason Soy, Brahm Finkelstein
  • Chief Strategy Officer: Shelley Brown
  • Strategy Director: Shelagh Hartford
  • VP, Managing Director – Account: Tracy Little
  • Group Account Director: Ravi Singh
  • Account Director: Kait Babin, Allison Lochhead
  • Account Supervisor: Jillian Simmonds
  • VP, Director of Integrated Production: Stef Fabich
  • Broadcast Producer: Dana Klyszejko, Sarah Michener, Anne Marie Martignago
  • Project Manager: Elizabeth Lane
  • Director of Print Production: Bruce Ellis

Media Agency: UM

  • Group Director: Tim Davies
  • Senior Buyer: Shadab Zaman
  • Director, Connection Planning: Katey Gault
  • Connection Planner: Clare McKellar

Director: Jake Kovnat

Director (Field Footage): Ante Kovac

Director of Photography: Evan Cinello

Director of Photography (Field Footage): Liam Benstead

Executive Producer: Liane Thomas

Editor: Graham Chisholm

Assistant Editor: Matthieu Belanger

Colourist: Wade Odlum

Flame Artist: James Andrew

Executive Producer: Sam Simpson

Music: Apollo Studios

Mix: Apollo Studios