The Grass of Greatness

//  10.01.19


BMO Passes a Championship Field on to a New Generation

New ad from FCB Canada shows how BMO saved Toronto FC’s championship pitch, and moved it from BMO Field to a Toronto field in need of restoration

TORONTO (Oct. 1, 2019) — 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

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