The Pan American Games are one of the world’s largest multi-sport games. However, in the lead-up to the XVII games hosted in Toronto, Canada, the TORONTO 2015 Organizing Committee faced a dire situation: with weeks left before the Games’ start, two-thirds of tickets remained unsold.
The Pan American Games began in 1951, and are held every four years for PASO member nation athletes, with the 2015 games awarded to Toronto. Despite being the third-largest multi-sport games (only behind Summer Olympics & Asian Games in size & scope), and even with Toronto being a passionate sports community boasting more than 6 million people within the greater metropolitan area, ticket sales were seriously lagging. This drove the TO2015 organizing committee to seek a media and marketing solution that could sell tickets, and one that could deliver immediate results, with the ability to scale up quickly if successful.
Working with one of TO2015’s agencies, FUSE Marketing Group, we quickly established benchmarks for success, and appropriate tagging & attribution models for measuring our managed media’s impact. Creative was developed to speak to specific events and audiences, and various media strategies were tested to measure ticket sales ROI, all within two weeks of being briefed. Results from our initial test phase using our proprietary Facebook targeting and optimization methodology were so strong, we were confidently able to ensure the ability to deliver profitable ticket sales as budgets scaled up.
Our solution became the primary media channel for the TO2015 ticket sales support the weeks leading to the start of the Games. Our managed media delivered a 7x return on ad spend from online sales partner Ticketmaster, with Facebook alone attributed to driving over $1 million in ticket sales. With media delivering at 15% cost of ticket sales, the campaign was able to scale up extremely efficiently, supporting both the lead-up to the Pan Am Games, ticket sales during the Games, and the ensuing Parapan Am Games. The results were so strong that it has since been published as a global Facebook Case Study.