Team Up For The Win

//  04.15.24


Boston Pizza calls for Canadian Unity in Quest for the Cup

It’s been over 30 years since a Canadian team won Lord Stanley’s Mug, but BP is urging fans to come together at its restaurants to cheer for Canada’s teams

Boston Pizza knows that Vancouver Canucks fans would rather chew tinfoil than cheer for the hated Toronto Maple Leafs. And a Calgary Flames fan would never root for the team’s Alberta arch-rival, the Edmonton Oilers.

But on the eve of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the casual dining chain is making a plea for some much-needed Canadian unity as the birthplace of hockey seeks to end a championship drought spanning three decades.

It’s been over 30 years since a Canadian team last won the Cup. Just how long ago is that? Well, at the time, Jurassic Park was the biggest movie at the box office, people were mostly using pagers, not cellphones, it was the year the Backstreet Boys formed, and beer on the BP menu was $2.

The new “Team Up for the Win” campaign is urging Canadians to temporarily—and perhaps even begrudgingly—put aside their regular season allegiance to their favourite team and support all the teams competing to bring the Cup back to Canada for the first time since 1993. It’s Camp Jefferson’s first major work for BP since winning the account late last year.

“The funny thing is that despite our competitiveness, we’ve all been suffering together for decades,” said Ian Barr, SVP Head of Strategy at Camp Jefferson. “It’s been over 30 years since the Cup has been on Canadian soil. That’s ridiculous. As a brand that’s about bringing people together, we thought it would be fun to leverage that shared suffering.”

The playoff campaign is running across TV/OLV, radio, social, and contextually reactive digital and OOH in the vicinity of Canadian teams’ home arenas. All the assets drive to a dedicated microsite where fans are invited to sign a detailed pledge of support for every Canadian team still standing in playoffs, regardless of how they feel about them for the rest of the year.

Camp Jefferson first started teasing the campaign with street-level ads referencing just how much time has elapsed since a Canadian team last bought the Cup home. Components included ads referencing period-specific elements including the long-defunct Blockbuster Video chain (“the last time a Canadian team won the Cup, this was a Blockbuster), and telephone booths (“…people still used these”). Additionally, a nationwide influencer and sports personalities campaign is distributing items reminiscent of the last time a Canadian team won the cup (remember Beanie Babies?).

The campaign itself is anchored by a 30-second spot called “30 Years of Suffering” that references some of the heartbreaking playoff defeats that fans of Canadians teams have endured over the past three decades. As supers identify the various losses suffered by Canadian teams over the years, we see a smashed wall, a plate embedded in a shattered TV screen, a TV being driven over by a truck, and a radio being thrown after a heartbreaking knockout. The spot is also narrated by Chris Cuthbert, the voice of hockey in Canada who calls the Stanley Cup Final on Sportsnet and is responsible for one of the most famous calls in Canadian hockey history: Sidney Crosby’s overtime “golden goal” in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

The spot strikes a hopeful tone, however, by showing fans of rival teams (uneasily) coming together at Boston Pizza to cheer on Canada’s teams before directing to the campaign website,

The tongue-in-cheek pledge features clauses like “I do agree to cheer for every, and all Canadian teams, to the very last, until my throat groweth hoarse, my voice raspy, and my eyes teary,” and to “extend all personal superstitious behaviours and practices, to be of benefit to all Canadian teams, for the duration of their Cup run. Be it beard growing, sweater washing, seat switching, anthem singing, broadcast watching – or not watching.”

A series of social shorts feature famous Superfans from playoff-bound teams, such as Toronto Maple Leafs “Dart Guy” and Vancouver’s “Green Men.” They’re shown politely but uneasily co-existing in their shared hope for a Canadian team’s success, suggesting to viewers that if they can come together for a shared cause, so can we.

“As a brand that’s all about bringing people together, the NHL Playoffs are a big time for us at Boston Pizza,” said James Kawalecki, Vice President Marketing at Boston Pizza International. “People come to Boston Pizza because they’re hungry for more than just food, and after over 30 years of suffering, they’re hungry for a win.”

The campaign aligns with BP’s longstanding strategy of creative and engaging marketing that taps into major cultural markets and exists across both traditional and emerging media channels. Previous examples include last year’s temporary “name change” to “Auston Pizza” after Auston Matthews’ Leafs advanced in the first round while their bitter rivals the Boston Bruins were eliminated, and its “Patio Retraining” program after pandemic restrictions were ended.


Campaign Title: Team Up For The Cup
Client: Boston Pizza
SVP Marketing & Communications: Peter Blackwell
Vice President, Marketing: James Kawalecki
Director of Marketing: Niels van Oyen
Marketing Manager, On-Premise: Sean Megna
Associate Marketing Manager, On-Premise: Taylor Campbell

Agency: Camp Jefferson
EVP, Managing Partner: Peter Bolt
SVP, General Manager: Edith Rosa
SVP, Director of Creative: Julie Nikolic
SVP, Director of Strategy: Ian Barr
Creative Director: Mike Blackmore
Creative Director: Chris Obergfell
Strategy Director: Joseph Elkouby
Integrated Production Director: Lily Tran
Account Director: Heather Mirynech
Associate Creative Director: Robyn Crummey
Associate Creative Director: Ashley Babcock
Associate Creative Director: Brendhan McCarthy
Account Supervisor: Kristina Figueira
Account Executive: Sierra Haddleton

Production Company: Undivided
Director: Nikki Ormerod
Director of Photography: Zachary Koski
Executive Producer: Scott Houghton
Photographer: Nikki Ormerod
Producer: Christa Lindsay

Editorial Company: Saints Editorial
Editor: Mark Paiva
Executive Producer: Emily McKay
Assistant Editor: Nick Coleman, Jadon Williams

Audio: Ta2 Sound & Music
Voice & Music Director: Drew Frohmann
Executive Producer: Dana Gadsden, Drew Thomas
Engineer: Andrew Fumerton

Online / VFX: Darling VFX & Colour
Colourist: Patrick Samaniego
Colour Assistant: Eric Kingsbury
Flame Artist: Paul Binney
VFX Assistant: Alyssa Schmidt, Michael Pitruzzella
Executive Producer: Kristen Van Fleet, Morgan Campbell

PR: Heads & Tales
Media Agency: UM