INTERNSHIP TERM: Spring 2016
Before joining TORQUE Strategies, Bryan worked in sport programming and event management with the Ontario Volleyball Association, where he was responsible for organizing youth competition schedules, expanding grassroots programs, and building the initial infrastructure for a para-sport division of the organization. Prior to that, Bryan split his time between Greece and Canada as he completed coursework for his master’s degree in Olympic Studies & Event Management at the International Olympic Academy.
As an avid volleyball player, Bryan has always felt a personal connection to sport, and was able to investigate the relationship between sport and society during his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University, where he studied Physical and Health Education, specializing in sport sociology.
When he’s not on the court or in the office, Bryan likes to spend his time hunting for the best fried chicken in Toronto, and discovering new neighbourhoods around the city on his bike (rain or shine).
What interested you most about TORQUE when you were looking for an internship?
Coming from a background of event management, I was hoping to diversify my skills within the sport and entertainment industry to include sponsorship and marketing. TORQUE’s unique approach to building sponsorship strategy, centred on the relationship between sport and culture, resonated with me. I immediately felt that as an agency, TORQUE was committed to re-envisioning sponsorship as an opportunity for brands to develop authentic connections with consumers through unforgettable moments, facilitated by mutually beneficial partnerships with the perfect property. In the end though, when I heard that TORQUE had helped create the newly-energized sponsorship portfolio for the Canadian Olympic Committee, I was sold.
What is a day in the life of a TORQUE intern like?
Constantly changing! You have to be ready at all times to take on a research project for a client, or jump into an ideation session. That said, there are always projects on the go that you can take ownership of, so there is a consistent flow of work to engage with when client needs have been met. One of the best parts of the internship at TORQUE is that the team puts a lot of trust in the abilities of the interns, allowing for a significant amount of autonomy, while still providing ample support and collaboration. Most importantly though, a day in the life of a TORQUE intern is anchored on a balance of hard work and experiential learning…with some hilarious moments along the way.
What is your favorite part about being a TORQUE intern?
Having the opportunity to work directly with a team of industry leaders is an incredible asset of a TORQUE intern. The inherent learning that comes from being surrounded by such forward-thinking minds is invaluable, especially given how dynamic and fast paced the sponsorship industry is.
What was one thing about the sponsorship industry that surprised you the most?
I’ve come to understand the complexity and importance of a true partnership, which goes so far beyond the basic alignment of a brand and property’s values, and is founded in the crossroads of objective research and artistic creativity. By recognizing and appreciating the mutual objectives of both partners, the perfect story can be built to highlight the partnership, while providing consumers with an authentic connection point between the brand and property.
How has your internship shaped your vision for your future career path?
I initially came into my internship as a means to extend my understanding of the sport mega-event industry. I leave my internship with a new found respect for how sponsorship and marketing act as the bridge between brands and society. I hope to integrate the vast wealth of knowledge I’ve gained from my time with TORQUE as I continue my career in the industry.
First TQ “buzzword” that comes to mind:
Carve out (verb) – Example: ‘I’m sure we can carve out some time to go over that brief you finished this morning’; OR ‘It’s amazing to see how BioSteel has carved out a space in the cluttered sports drink market’.
Favourite TQ tradition:
Daily afternoon walks – nothing like a little fresh air and the occasional treat to bust through the 3PM wall!
Which company would you love to work with?
Under Armour, because they are taking a progressive (and refreshing) approach to highlighting women in sport; or Bellwoods Brewery, as they are currently undergoing major growth, and I would love to play a role in growing the brand.
Dream guest for Friday Chill n Chat?
Thomas Bach, president of the IOC; or Tsuneksazu Takeda, chair of the marketing commission for the IOC, so I can hear about their perspectives on the Olympic movement and chat with them about how to re-connect with millennials and Generation Z.
In your opinion, what organization is currently doing sponsorship the best?
Samsung has done a great job activating on their partnerships with a wide range of properties across many different industries, including the Youth Olympic Games!
Proudest moment at TQ?
Contributing to the successful bid for a major nationwide project that will allow Canadians to ‘connect’ with our amazing country in a whole new way – looking forward to seeing it come to fruition in 2017!
What you will miss most at TQ?
The agency-wide commitment to TORQUE’s values and mission, and the unwavering support for one another, whether it be professional or personal. That, and Sangria Thursdays…