Andrea J. Shaw: 2018 Sponsorship Marketing Awards Hall of Fame Winner

We are so proud of our fearless leader Andrea J. Shaw for winning the 2018 SMA Hall of Fame Award! The Hall of Fame Award is given to true pioneers within the sponsorship marketing industry and to those who have helped shape its evolution and will be presented in Toronto on May 2nd 2018.

Andrea J. Shaw is a legend in the Canadian sponsorship industry – having negotiated over $1 billion in sponsorship deals over the course of her career. Her life’s work is driven by an aspiration to elevate the potential of sport, culture and community, which she’s done time and time again with the incredible properties and brands with which she has worked. As Founder & Managing Partner of TTG Canada and its subsidiary firms TTG Partnerships (formerly TwentyTen Group) and TORQUE Strategies; Shaw is a market leader and an innovator – elevating sponsorship to partnership.

Prior to founding TTG Canada, Andrea served as Vice President of Sponsorship Sales and Marketing for the Vancouver Organizing Committee of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). Shaw led the team at VANOC that generated over $760 million in domestic sponsorship –setting a record for Winter Olympic Games, at the time — despite challenging global economic circumstances. As the 2008 economic crisis hit, her team was faced with what appeared to be insurmountable challenges – brands’ marketing budgets were paired back and corporate governance of spend was at an all-time high. Andrea spearheaded an approach of helping brands validate partnership by integrating multifaceted objectives from employee engagement, to business acquisition to government relations, community engagement and more. Her team helped de-clutter the Olympic landscape by helping brands leverage ownable themes to amplify their stories. Among her key achievements, Andrea and her team built the iconic Red Mittens program and Torch Relay – two milestone initiatives touching Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

This approach became an invaluable ‘learning laboratory’ for the advancement and sophistication of strategic marketing and sponsorship in Canada. As the Vancouver Games ended, Shaw recognized the potential and opened TTG Canada on June 1, 2010 with a small team of fellow VANOC sponsorship and marketing alumni.

Her first client was the Canadian Olympic Committee. Traditionally, national organizing committees do not perform well in sponsorship in a post-home games environment. Budgets are generally exhausted and appetite tapped out – however, Shaw, her team and her client broke the trend. Over the course of their engagement, TTG outperformed target by over 200% for the COC. As the firm established itself as a market leader, the opportunity for growth through diversification became clear. Having secured well over $200M in sponsorship sales for its clients within the first three years of TTG’s existence, grown from four employees to 22, and opened offices in Vancouver and Toronto, Shaw’s vision for the next phase of growth began to crystalize. Since inception, TTG Partnerships has worked with some of Canada’s most loved properties including Whistler Blackcomb, HSBC Canada Sevens Rugby Tournament, NFL Canada, Canada Basketball to name just a few.

In response to market demand for strategic consultation and activation of partnership programs, Shaw and her executive team launched TORQUE Strategies in early 2014. TORQUE Strategies delivers customized partnership, event and activation strategies by digging deep into brand analysis, research, and Storybuilding™- TORQUE’s proprietary methodology for creating brand strategies and building marketing campaigns that put consumers at the heart of their brand story. In just the three years, TORQUE has doubled its revenue annually and worked with corporate clients including Hudson’s Bay Company, TELUS, CIBC, DHL Canada, Live Nation, Hockey Canada, among many others.

In 2017, TTG Partnerships and TORQUE Strategies expanded with an office in Calgary to grow the business’s footprint into new brands and categories based out of Central Canada.

Andrea’s initial business plan was to launch TTG on her own, thus taking on minimal financial risk. The plan, however, changed a year out from the 2010 Games. She recognized she couldn’t afford to miss out on the opportunity to hire a few of her “stars” in advance. Mustering up all her courage, Shaw hired four VANOC employees when the Games concluded – subscribing to the belief that “our product is our people”, building the base of a team that is now considered some of the best strategic marketing and sponsorship talent in Canada.

Leading, hiring and operating with a values-first approach has set Shaw apart in the industry. Her leadership is centered on values-based hiring, assembling the best people and nurturing their growth, enabling Shaw to build a world-class team. Shaw is nothing short of an inspiration to her staff – acting as a leader, supporter and mentor to every team member. Shaw’s passion, enthusiasm and drive set the tone, resulting in daily feats of excellence and delivery on client promise.

Shaw’s mentorship and industry leadership does not start and stop with her agency teams, however. Andrea recently served as a senior mentor for the EY Women Athletes Business Network. She is also a champion of the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada, ensuring her senior team members are active volunteer board and committee members in Toronto, Vancouver and now Calgary.

Andrea Shaw’s investment in her community is in her every decision. From committing a decade of her professional career to the goal of “touching the soul of the nation” through the 2010 Games, to giving back to her children’s schools, sports teams, and local charities – Shaw is drawn to helping and uniting people. Her warmth, humility and people-first approach pervades her companies’ culture and daily operations – a quality that sets Andrea apart.

Beyond her work week, Shaw is an avid volunteer, having served as a Director on the Board of the BC Women’s Hospital Foundation for over 10 years, the BC Cancer Foundation’s Board of Directors (2012-present), the Collingwood School Executive Committee for 2 years and as the inaugural Chair of the Board of Destination British Columbia (Destination BC) the province’s crown corporation responsible for tourism (2013-present).

Andrea’s history in sponsorship marketing goes back long before the Games, notably being one of the first people at CIBC to hold a title in “sponsorship”, where she led the brand’s iconic relationship with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Women’s National Alpine Ski Team through the 1980s. Following her entrepreneurial spirit, Andrea went on to develop special events & sport marketing agency The Landmark Group, Pacific, building it into an industry leader before selling to API International, where she became Managing Partner, Canada. She then built her own successful strategic sponsorship, marketing and communications consultancy, A.J. Shaw and Associates, before joining the Vancouver 2010 Bid Committee. She is the real deal – a true pioneer with well over 30 years of experience building and shaping this industry. Sponsorship in Canada is better thanks to her vision, creativity and steadfast devotion to excellence.