Just ten months after joining Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc. as vice president of marketing, Andrew Barrett has already made significant strides in taking the company’s sponsorship strategy to the next level.

That includes developing new consumer-facing promotions around the company’s two national sponsorships—Hockey Canada and the NFL in Canada—as well as Seoul-based Samsung Electronics Co.’s partnership with the International Olympic Committee.

In addition, Barrett plans to round out the company’s sports-centric portfolio with art, fashion and other types of properties that support its Pursue Your Passion tagline and drive interest during key sales periods.

The marketing exec has already signed his first deal with the two inaugural Canadian Tough Mudder obstacle course events.

“We’re looking at different types of sponsorships outside of the usual suspects,” said Barrett. “We want to embrace the diversity of Canadian passion.”

Barrett launched a similar strategy in 2009 while serving as vice president of global sponsorship with Seoul-based LG. The sponsorship vet expanded the company’s portfolio with a handful of new ties including a five-year partnership with Formula 1.

Making National Ties Work Harder
Since joining Samsung in Sept. 2011, Barrett has placed more emphasis on activating the company’s two national properties with more consumer promotions.

The company, which previously leveraged the NFL in Canada with B2B hosting events at the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, this year plans to run consumer promotions throughout the entire NFL season.

“We have a whole series of activities planned ranging from retail promotions to online promotions on the Samsung Facebook site,” said Barrett.

Without any NFL teams in Canada, the promotions will center around team merchandise and trips to games.

For example, Samsung this fall will run promotions in Southern Ontario and British Columbia that dangle trips to a Buffalo Bills home game and a Seattle Seahawks home game, respectively. It also plans to a run a promotion with Future Shop that offers trips to games and player meet-and-greets.

Another area focus: video content. Samsung this fall will use content from NFL Films to demonstrate its products at the point of purchase.

“We’ll use highlights from the Super Bowl and other games from last season to demonstrate how amazing football looks on a high-definition TV,” said Barrett.

Samsung also has launched new promotions around Hockey Canada, a partnership it previously activated in advertising campaigns. That includes a ticket promotion around the Dec. 26-Jan. 5 IIHL World Junior Championships in Calgary and Edmonton. 

The company will further activate the tie with retail and online promotions offering team merchandise, game content and other prizes. “We plan to turn up the heat this winter,” said Barrett, who hopes to leverage the growing buzz around the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Samsung Electronics Canada activated its parent’s IOC partnership by sending seven people to participate in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. The company chose the participants based on their passion for the Olympic spirit and contributions to the community through philanthropic activities.

One of the participants: Michael Joseph Bruni, chairman of Hockey Canada.

“That was the first time we activated a sponsorship with another sponsored property,” said Barrett, noting that the chairman ran on behalf of hockey players in Canada and to raise awareness for the Hockey Canada Foundation.

Filling Out Portfolio With Local Ties
Barrett is supporting Samsung’s national platforms with local ties that fill out the calendar year and support key sales seasons.

“Our national properties don’t happen 52 weeks a year. We want to have promotional activity throughout the year, and sponsorship is a good way to communicate key messages at key time periods.”

Samsung plans to sign new deals with one or two major properties and a handful of local events over the next year, he said.

Samsung partnered with Tough Mudder to promote home appliance products during the spring and summer, a period when many consumers buy new houses or renovate existing homes.

The company is using the tie to promote its PowerFoam washing technology.

“We needed an event in the summer that relates to getting dirty and clean and the power of PowerFoam technology. We needed to do something different, and nothing is more different than Tough Mudder,” said Barrett.

The company had a limited presence at the June 23-24 Tough Mudder event in Vancouver but will expand its presence at the Aug. 18-19 event in Toronto.

For example, the company will leverage the event with the Samsung PowerFoam Challenge station, around which brand ambassadors will clean up event participants after they cross the finish line. Samsung will post photos of participants on its Facebook page.   

Samsung is further activating the event with a tie to Samantha Boughen, a 31-year-old mother of two and cancer survivor. Boughen will compete in the event with a group of mothers under the Tough Mothers banner.  

“We want to make an emotional connection with the Samsung brand and Pursue Your Passion. Samantha will show people that you can come back from medical difficulties and be one of the toughest mothers.”