Case Study

Delivering actionable results for brands

How Toyota effectively drove qualified leads from their partnership with the Vancouver Canucks using StellarAlgo Partnership Solutions

BACKGROUND

Toyota + Vancouver Canucks + StellarAlgo Partnership

Toyota has been the exclusive automotive partner of the Vancouver Canucks since 2015. Over the years, the partnership has helped them drive improved affinity and awareness in the local market to support local Toyota dealers.

Six years into that relationship, Toyota wanted to understand how their relationship could innovate beyond traditional partnership activities and how their activation investments could drive more lower-funnel impact.

Like many partnerships across professional sports, Toyota’s exclusive Canucks relationship primarily delivered a broad spectrum of awareness-focused assets, placing the Toyota brand in the most visible parts of the Vancouver Canucks organization. Assets included broadcast visible signage, in-arena signage, in-game activation, digital advertising, and e-newsletter inclusions.

While these assets provided Toyota with significant media exposure and impressions, entering the sixth season of their partnership, Toyota wanted to get more innovative with their strategy and approach. Three main factors drove this interest:

  • Partnership Fatigue: Falling activation engagement and declining brand health metrics signalled early partnership fatigue amongst the fan base.​
  • Poor Understanding of Partnership Impact: Toyota was unclear what business value was being driven or derived from their Canucks partnership – specifically sales impact for regional dealers.
  • Urge to Innovate: After six years of the same activations and assets, Toyota was itching for something new and looking for ways to stand out from other Canucks 
brand partners.​
OBJECTIVES

Toyota’s strategic objectives

It was time to integrate a more targeted ROI-driven approach into their partnership strategy and evolve from a broad, association-based sponsorship agreement. In 2021, Toyota partnered with StellarAlgo to help them level-up their activation capabilities and drive specific strategic objectives:

  • Deepen Fan Understanding: Better understand the Canucks fan base and how their own audience and target personas overlapped.
  • Improve Activation Performance: Update fan partnership touchpoints and develop experiences that would resonate more with fans.
  • Deliver Leads to Regional Dealerships: With renewal on the horizon, regional dealers wanted to see more tangible, measurable impact to their businesses in the form of qualified leads.
GOALS

How the StellarAlgo Platform Enabled
a Targeted, Data-Driven
Campaign Approach

Using the StellarAlgo Platform, Toyota and the Canucks identified which individuals overlapped between Canucks fans and the target customers Toyota was looking to reach, which gave the Canucks and Toyota a clear picture of the behaviors, preferences, and interests of these fans. With this data, they designed a lead generation campaign personalized to Canucks fans matching Toyota’s targeted customer personas.

1.6 M

Known
Fans

15

Customer
Segments

3

Distinct
Personas

Beginning with the Canucks fan base of more than 1.6 million known fans the team at StellarAlgo conducted an overlap exercise using the ideal target personas provided by Toyota. These personas were based on psychographic and demographic traits StellarAlgo mapped to Canucks’ fan purchases, engagement, and demographic data. This existing wealth of data provided essential insights that enabled the StellarAlgo Platform to map to consumer priorities, brand loyalty, lifestyle, and discretionary spending.

With mapping complete, the StellarAlgo Platform surfaced 15 customer segments made up of fans whose geography, demographics, and other behaviors were identified as making them most likely to make a sales inquiry, arrange a test drive, and potentially purchase a Toyota vehicle.

The fans in these segments received an invitation – via various digital channels, including email, Facebook, and Instagram – to enter to win a Toyota vehicle.

RESULTS

Measuring Performance
and Next Steps

The project, and its data-driven approach, was wildly successful.

24,000+

Marketable Persona Matches

5,000+

Top-tier Matches

3,350+

Lookalike Matches

Of those who received the campaign, more than 2,700 Canucks fans opted-in to receive future Toyota communications. Email marketing drove the highest engagement for this campaign – with an engagement rate of more than 40% – while Facebook accounted for the highest social engagement at 20%.

Details gleaned from these interactions surfaced new information for both Toyota and the Canucks, including the discovery that fans engaging with the Toyota campaign were more ethnically diverse than the average Canucks fan, and that they trended younger than the average Canucks fan.

2,700+

Canucks Fans opted-in to receive
Toyota Communications

10,000+

Meaningful
Engagements

1,000+

Sales Inquiries made to Toyota Regional Dealers to date

Only one-third of fans who engaged with the targeted campaigns were past ticket purchasers, meaning the Canucks successfully connected with a new segment of their fan base. When all was said and done, the personas targeted over the course of this two-month campaign resulted in a conversion rate that was as much as 5x higher than that of the standard Canucks audience.

The survey data and engagement metrics that came out of this campaign continues to live within the StellarAlgo Platform – providing Toyota with yet another valuable layer of fan understanding. Future campaigns between Toyota and the Canucks will greatly benefit from the insights unlocked over the course of this project.

After the undeniable success of this campaign, Toyota adopted the StellarAlgo Platform as an evergreen capability in their partnership with the Canucks.

In 2023, Toyota added StellarAlgo’s new StellarActivate platfrom to their technology portfolio to help them deliver more impactful activations and drive more tangible partnership ROI.

In 2023, StellarAlgo expanded upon these capabilities and launched StellarActivate, a partnerships-focused platform that leverages best-in-class Data Clean Room technology to offer Brand Partners the fastest, easiest, and most secure way to make data collaboration part of their sports partnership strategies. For more information, visit https://stellaralgo.tillerstaging.com/products/partnership-solutions.

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