SIT AT THE FEET OF THE WORLD'S MOST COURAGEOUS MARKETERS, HEAR THEIR STORIES, ASK YOUR QUESTIONS, AND LEARN FIRST HAND HOW THEIR BRANDS HAVE BECOME IMMORTALIZED.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship
From its humble and controversial beginnings in 1993, the UFC has risen to a global phenomenon and is now considered the fifth major sporting organization in North America. The UFC has built themselves into the largest pay-per-view event on the planet, with 40 live fights per year and an overall presence of 1 billion viewers in 150 countries. But it’s not these impressive numbers that makes them a Top Cult brand, it’s the approachability and customer engagement they focus on at every level with their fans, their partners and the media. The UFC has a unique one-to-one connection with their customers that no other sporting league comes close to and they continue to be at the forefront of cutting edge marketing, production, promotion and social and media relations. Their mantra of “building the best, most exciting events possible” continues to drive this brand to the forefront of major sports. They celebrate the fact that the fans are a good reason they are successful by understanding their audience and driving their passions with unique offerings, partnerships and extreme approachability.
While Tim Horton’s is unarguably Canada’s largest and most beloved restaurant, it is a multi-national purveyor of coffee and donuts who has perfected the art of not just making a dollar, but also making a difference. Tim Horton’s remains fully committed to their nontraditional marketing strategies aimed at community relations and being a cultural icon. They proudly support the “Tim Horton Children’s Foundation”, sponsoring thousands of under privileged children, along with hundreds of local food drives and community clean up projects. Perhaps even more popular is their association with Timbits hockey, where tens of thousands of kids build friendships, learn to skate and participate in hockey. As Tim Horton’s continues to expand it’s menu offerings, enhance it’s culture, and increase it’s global footprint, their Cult-status will continue to grow and more people will appreciate why “going to Timmy’s” means so much more than just a great meal.
Disney Channels Worldwide, part of the largest media and entertainment company in the world, The Walt Disney Company, has set a new standard for excellence by consistently entertaining and delighting kids and families with its original programming -- stories and characters that are relatable and relevant for young viewers. With a global portfolio of over 100 kid-driven, family inclusive entertainment channels and/or channel feeds available in over 169 countries/territories, in 35 languages, Disney Channels Worldwide includes the platform brands Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, DLife, Disney Cinemagic, Hungama and Radio Disney. Over the years, Disney Channels Worldwide has developed popular series including "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," "Hannah Montana" and "Good Luck Charlie" as well as recent hits "Sofia the First," "Doc McStuffins," "Girl Meets World" and "Star Wars Rebels," among others. This legendary brand is dedicated to promoting the happiness and well-being of kids and families by inspiring them to create a brighter tomorrow; it is this that has garnered them Top Cult brand of the year honours.
Affectionately dubbed “America’s Team”, the Dallas Cowboys are unquestionably a cult brand to be reckoned with. Valued at $3.2Billion, they are the most valuable team in the NFL and tied for second most valuable sports team in the world with FC Barcelona. Despite only 2 Playoff victories since 1995, they foster irrational loyalty due to smart marketing and bold business decisions. They leverage their remarkable heritage (having won five Superbowls) with innovative fan engagement tactics such as community relationships, business partnerships, merchandising and player outreach, resulting in more revenue per year than any other NFL team. Their Cheerleaders even boast more Facebook fans than five NFL teams. Everything about the Dallas Cowboys is engineered for maximum performance, entertainment, revenue, and customer loyalty.
Nintendo’s cult following stems from the fact that it has been revolutionizing gaming since the launch of its first “Nintendo Entertainment System” in 1985 which sold over 60Million units and first introduced the world to beloved characters like Mario and Zelda. They went on to release the most successful portable gaming system ever – Game Boy – and have been on the cutting edge of gaming innovations with the release of Nintendo 64 (new realistic 3D gaming), Game Cube (optical discs instead of cartridges) and Wii (wireless motion-sensitive controllers). The fact that Nintendo is the world’s largest video game company by revenue is no accident. They carefully protect their culture of creativity and thoughtfully exploit all their brand assets in regards to merchandising and entertainment. They foster smart strategic alliances to envelop their fan’s lives with Nintendo branded assets and tap into all the proven game theories to ensure their products are engaging and social. And their emphasis on family-friendly fun ensures generational appeal as kids grow up to become parents eager to introduce their own children to the Nintendo universe.
Patrón is a brand that sits atop its category quite formidably. With a worldwide reputation as “the ultimate,” The Patrón Spirits Co. has built a brand so remarkable it's been referenced in numerous hit songs, and spontaneously endorsed by celebrities without any incentive. Driven by the pursuit of craftsmanship and innovation, Patrón tequilas are hand-made by Mexican artisans – not machines – from the agave field to the packaging line. Their signature bottles are individually hand-blown and highly sought after by fans and artists who transform them into art and décor. Patrón has established a devoted following of both consumer enthusiasts and professional mixologists through a brand persona synonymous with celebrating life's special moments and achievements. In fact, brand fans even coined the popular colloquialism, “Patrón-worthy moments.”
As the largest health club in Canada (and fourth largest in the World), Goodlife Fitness is an example of being hyper-successful by focusing on noble brand values. Their stated purpose is to “give every Canadian the opportunity to live a fit and healthy good life” and everything they do is aimed at providing their members what they need most to change their lives for the better. From personal fitness classes to workplace wellness, heath specialists to community involvement, GoodLife Fitness fosters a cult following of 1Million+ members devoted to improving their physical and mental wellness 24/7. Exclusive partnerships with Jillian Michaels and Les Mills International, combined with hundreds of grass roots efforts initiated by empowered local operators, ensures Goodlife Fitness will continue it’s meteroric rise as one of North America’s most adored brands.
In their own words
here are some perspectives from a few 2014 attendees.
"It was an amazing opportunity and experience. The location, hospitality and content were outstanding. Congrats to all. Red Bull would be more than willing to lend a hand for 2015."
— Arun Hozack,
"I have had the opportunity to attend many similar types of conferences. None of them came close to what The Gathering delivered over the past two days!"
— Taso Mascalidis,
Senior Manager, Advertising & Promotions,
"This was a great event with a terrific brand message that needs to be heard more frequently. The consistency in messaging and theme was great and flowed across all of your presenters."
— Gregg Sauter,
"You have all been amazing and your event was first-class."
Director of Sports Marketing,
"You guys did an amazing job putting this fantastic event together and I was happy to play a small part. Everyone else I spoke to had nothing but good things to say."
Director of Marketing,
what the world is saying
the gathering didn’t lack for coverage in the media.
here are some of our favourite quotes.
"Some of the best marketing minds on the continent, were in Banff for The Gathering business conference and awards gala, which showcased their efforts."
— Calgary Herald,
February 20, 2014
"...the Gathering’s presenters’ stories – which have been documented in best-selling books, keynote addresses and award-winning movies – provide tremendous insight into how some of the most courageous marketers are reinventing traditional marketing and advertising."
— The Globe & Mail,
February 14, 2014
"They’ve actually pulled together an enviable collection of these “cult” brands and cult brand leaders for a pretty unique conference called The Gathering. For two days in February, brand leaders from Red Bull, WestJet, TSN and the NHL are going to debate and discuss how you build a cult brand. If you’re a brand leader, I sense the conference is going to be pretty damn sexy."
— Hilton Harbour,Blog,
January 21, 2014
Sit at the feet of the world's most courageous marketers and witness successful brands immortalized.
Welcome to Banff, nestled in the majestic Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada. Arriving guests and delegates can check-in at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel and register for their conference passes at this time.
What really matters in marketing? With so many opportunities to pursue, how are today’s brand leaders supposed to know where best to focus their time and money? The answer isn’t as difficult as it seems. All that is required is prioritizing customer engagement over advertising, and then following a few key principles that North America’s most iconic cult brands follow religiously.
The new world of marketing is personal. It’s not about technology platforms or social media doodads–it’s about real relationships, real passion and real people. After all, at the end of the day, we’re all in the people business. Understanding passion provides actionable insights that empower marketers to authentically connect with the people who love their brands. These relationships and conversations lead to sharing because they put people, not the brand, first.
In the Presidents Hall
For over a century, corporations have had one basic tool for building brands: Advertising. Every year, trillions of dollars are spent around the world. Awards are won. Madison Avenue thrives. New technologies develop. But, it’s not working.
Canadian Tire is among Canada's most iconic brands. So much so, that when Canadian Tire was facing new entrants and competitive threats, research showed an astounding 93% of Canadians were pulling for them to succeed (a cult like following if ever there was). Join Susan and Neil as they reveal how two words "Authenticity" and "Inclusion" inspired the We All Play for Canada platform that converted a nation's latent goodwill into a competitive advantage. One so successful that it has helped Canada's biggest retailer take its sales, company morale and its stock price to new heights.
Enjoy the mountain scenery and the beautiful Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel at your Leisure.
Come as you are. The Gathering commences with a casual reception at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
All the more reason to arrive early. The first 250 delegates will be invited to a secret brand partner screening. Stay tuned for more details.
Check back often. This agenda will be updated regularly.
Listen and learn, as masterful marketing strategies that forge fanatical cult followings are exposed.
Never afraid to speak his mind, the UFC President Dana White is widely recognized for his openness and accessibly. It should come as no surprise therefore that he is one of the most followed sports personalities with almost three million on Twitter alone. White doesn’t use social media solely to promote fights; instead he uses it to remain closely connected with fans in order to continue delivering them the best experience possible. Amongst his many accolades, in 2014, White was honored as Brand Genius by Adweek and both Sports Business Journal and Business Week have named him one of the most influential people in sports. While much of his life is spent at 30,000 feet, he still makes it a point to know each of his 350 employees, regularly walking the floors of the UFC’s Las Vegas headquarters and stopping at cubicles to talk to employees. The accessibility doesn’t stop at the doors to the office; the same courtesy is extended to fans that spend hours lined up at arena entrances and press conference venues in the hopes of getting a photo or autograph. Passion isn’t something than can be taught in a classroom or bought in a store. It’s an innate trait possessed by few. White overflows with passion for his sport and his company, and it is that passion that has led to him becoming a trail blazer and revolutionary in today’s professional sports landscape. White is a man who shatters the stereotype of a typical executive. He’s your every-man, who just happens to preside over one of the most powerful sports organizations in the world. His wardrobe consists of jeans, t-shirts and sneakers. He can regularly be found sitting front row at a skateboarding competition with his sons, or at his daughter’s dance recitals. He has the world at his fingertips, but his children remain the center of his world.
Ron is responsible for developing and executing the marketing and creative direction for all on-air and off-air marketing and promotion of Disney Channel, the #1 cable TV network in Total Day in Total Viewers and across all TV in Kids 2-11. He previously held the title of Vice President, Creative Director of Disney Channel and Disney Junior since 2007. Among his credits are the launch and creative positioning of Disney's hit programming for kids and families including: "Teen Beach Movie," "Good Luck Charlie", "Lemonade Mouth,” “Girl Meets World,” "Phineas and Ferb," "High School Musical," "Hannah Montana," "A.N.T. Farm," "Wizards of Waverly Place," "Camp Rock", "Jake and the Never Land Pirates," "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," and "Doc McStuffins." His work at Disney Channel and Disney Junior continues to garner awards including multiple Promax, BDA, Telly and Mark Awards and most recently, 2 Emmy Awards for the original short-form content "The Time I…," and “Make your Mark” both of which he created, and the BDA Logo of the Year accolade which was received for the Disney Junior logo and package.
Peter Nowlan is Chief Brand and Marketing Officer at Tim Hortons. He is focused on organizing high-performance teams around ideas that make a difference. With more than 20 years’ experience in the food and beverage world, Peter’s pursuit of great marketing and innovation has taken him across categories, companies and countries. Peter started his career with Nabisco Limited and held a variety of marketing roles up to and including Vice-President, Marketing. In 2000, Peter joined Kraft Canada as their Vice-President, Cheese Division and then moved to increasingly senior roles in Australia and Singapore. In 2005 he became the Vice-President Marketing & Strategy, Kraft Grocery Division, based in Chicago, Ill. Most recently, Peter was Chief Commercial Officer for Molson Coors Canada where he had responsibility for Sales and Marketing. He lives in Toronto with his wife and 2 children. He enjoys writing about himself in the third person
Scott Moffitt joined Nintendo of America in May 2011 as executive vice president of Sales and Marketing. Moffitt oversees all sales and marketing activities for Nintendo in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Moffitt comes to Nintendo from Henkel Consumer Goods, where he oversaw North American operations for leading personal-care brands such as Dial, Right Guard, Tone and Pure & Natural. During his five years as senior vice president and general manager for the Personal Care division, he orchestrated an overhaul of the flagship Dial and Right Guard brands.Moffitt's 20-plus years of leadership and marketing experience also include a formidable stint at PepsiCo, where he helped grow and revitalize the SoBe portfolio of brands and spearheaded the launch of Mountain Dew Code Red and AMP Energy Drink. As a marketing director and manager, he also oversaw product development and repositioning efforts for an array of top beverage brands, including Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Aquafina and Mug Old Fashioned Root Beer.
Lee is a senior executive, innovator, and team leader, with proven strategic, creative, and communications expertise in the fields of brand and retail marketing. He has nationally recognized achievements in digital and social media, brand building, and product development. Lee currently serves as the Global Chief Marketing Officer at Patrón Spirits International, AG, responsible for leading their luxury portfolio of brands, including the world’s number one ultra-premium tequila. He directs all global, integrated marketing efforts across creative, media, PR, product development and innovation, and experiential activation in over 130 countries.
Duncan Fulton is an Executive Officer of Canadian Tire Corporation and a member of the Canadian Tire, FGL Sports and Mark's executive teams. Duncan oversees many of the groups responsible for furthering the Company's brand, including communications, sponsorships and sports partnerships, events, and all marketing for the retail banners in FGL Sports and at Mark's. Duncan's work with the Company's brand has been recognized through numerous industry awards, including a Bronze Lion in the media category at Cannes Lions 2013, Marketing Magazine's 2013 Marketer of the Year for Canadian Tire Corporation and Marketing Executive of the Year in 2013 by the International Business Awards. Before joining Canadian Tire Corporation, Duncan was the General Manager and Senior Partner of the Toronto flagship office of international communications company Fleishman-Hillard. Prior to his agency experience, Duncan served as a communication advisor and spokesman for several political leaders, including former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, and New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna. Duncan has an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business and currently represents Canadian Tire Corporation as a board member of Own the Podium, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and One X One.
As Vice-President, Marketing, Susan is responsible for the development and execution of marketing and branding strategies for Canadian Tire’s $7BN Retail Division. Susan and her team create innovative and integrated marketing plans for Canadian Tire’s five business divisions and Sports Partnerships campaigns. Susan is the driving force behind Canadian Tire’s “We All Play For Canada” brand campaign, a platform that supports the multitude of sports partnerships and community activities Canadian Tire takes part in. Canadian Tire was recognized as Marketer of the Year in 2013 from Marketing Magazine and continues to shake up the retail industry with unexpected, sometimes irreverent but always authentically Canadian creative.
David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans is a global advocate for health and fitness. Fitness expert, best-selling author, award-winning entrepreneur, motivational speaker and philanthropist, Patch is the past Chairman of the Board of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) - the world’s leading health and fitness association. Patch is dedicated to exercise as the healthcare solution for Canadians. He is a graduate of physical education at the University of Western Ontario and in 2012, Western conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws acknowledging his achievements as a fitness entrepreneur, his community service and his support of autism research. Patch is the author of two best-selling books, Living the Good Life and The Real Sexy, Smart and Strong, with all proceeds from both books supporting autism research. Patch is co-founder of The Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group at the University of Western Ontario named after his autistic daughter with the focus of finding the cause and cure of autism. One of his most cherished awards is the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Honour which he received in 2007. Patch has also received many business honours including the CVCA Entrepreneur of the Year; Canadian Business Magazine Most Innovative CEO; and the Ernst & Yonge Entrepreneur of the Year. Patch’s athletic accomplishments include winning five Canadian Rowing Championships.
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Ivan Wicksteed is the SVP & Global Chief Marketing Officer for Old Navy, overseeing both the marketing and store design teams. Prior to joining Old Navy in February of 2013, he was the Chief Marketing Officer for Cole Haan, and prior to that he was head of International Marketing for Converse. He served as Global Creative Director for Coca-Cola for five years where he helped to instigate a new creative era at the company. Ivan began his career in strategic planning roles at agencies like TBWA Chiat Day in Los Angeles, as well as BMP DDB Needham in London.
Geno Church is the Word of Mouth Inspiration Officer at Brains on Fire, but he considers himself more of a “WOM Cupid” and a pathfinder for the agency’s clients. Geno shines at uncovering the DNA of sustainable word of mouth movements, and has walked the path with brands and organizations including Fiskars Brands, the National Center for Families Learning, Anytime Fitness, Love146 and The Environmental Defense Fund. He is a highly sought-after speaker and relishes the opportunity to share his thoughts and spark conversations with brands and organizations of all sizes. Geno has been a presenter and a workshop facilitator at events hosted by the Public Relations Society of America, Public Relations Student Society of America, Blackbaud BBCON (Australia), Influence Session Sydney, and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, to name a few. He’s also co-author of Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements and The Passion Conversation: Understanding, Sparking, and Sustaining Word of Mouth Marketing.
Author- Predicting Market Success & The Certainty Principle
Robert Passikoff, Brand Key’s founder/president, is an innovator and thought leader pioneering work in loyalty and engagement, creating the Customer Loyalty Engagement Index and the Sports Fan and Women’s Wear Daily Fashion Brand Indices. His first book, Predicting Market Success, provided a 21st century paradigm for loyalty. His second book, The Certainty Principle, dealt with engagement in a more complex, cross-channel marketplace. In 2012 his company introduced the Digital Platform Engagement Index, a review of 14 digital platforms and their individual engagement effects in B2C and B2B categories. His newest book, Brand Strategy In A Digital World, will be published early in 2014. Robert’s impassioned, straight-shooting and profitability-correlated perspectives are reflected by the fact that New York University’s communication school has declared Dr. Passikoff “one of the most-quoted brand consultant in the United States.”
The LVCVA is the destination marketing organization for Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. Cathy oversees all marketing, advertising and sales efforts. She joined the LVCVA in 2005 with extensive experience in travel and tourism, health care administration and journalism. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University and an Associate’s degree from the State University of New York at Morrisville. She serves as a staff liaison for the U.S. Travel Association, the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) and is a member of the Board of Advisors for The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas.
Jeff is a pioneer, a disruptor, and an admitted pain in the ass. Widely regarded as one of the leading innovators in the field of digital marketing, Jeff has worked on teams that have helped revolutionize market research, publishing, sports broadcasting and interactive advertising. As a Founding Partner of Questus, Jeff focuses on developing processes to break down boundaries between research, strategy and creative, which has produced industry-changing results for brands like Capital One, General Mills, the NFL and Suzuki Motorcycles. Jeff regularly contributes to Ad Age and iMedia Connection; presents at industry conferences, including IAB, Webcom, Adweek, and TEDxTalks; and has guest-lectured at NYU and The London Business School. Jeff is on the Advisory Board for the New York Chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation and lives in New York City with his wife and two kids.
Duncan Bureau was appointed Vice President, Global Sales in June 2014. In this key strategic role, Duncan is responsible for the airline’s revenue generated across all sales channels from all global points of sale, and sales distribution strategies worldwide. Prior to joining Air Canada, Duncan was Senior Vice-President, Global Sales and Distribution at Malaysia Airlines, a role held since June 2012. At Malaysia Airlines, he was responsible for the airline’s strategic direction in sales, distribution and tour operator divisions, developing sales distribution and channel strategies, and managing international destination sales, marketing and operations. He previously held senior leadership positions at WestJet in sales, business development, distribution, and at Canadian Airlines in revenue management, network planning, financial reporting, annual budget and strategic planning, Duncan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting and Finance from The University of Lethbridge in Alberta.
David oversees YouTube partnerships in Canada across Entertainment, Family, Sports and Music, growing new ways to connect users and content. Prior to joining Google, he worked on the Corporate Development team at BlackBerry, focusing on M&A and strategic investments in consumer technology. A wireless media veteran of more than 10 years, he has also led business development for a mobile media startup before they were acquired, and began his career in Business Development at one of Canada's largest carriers, TELUS Communications. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, David is proud to be a mentor at the Toronto-based startup incubator, INcubes.
Prior to co-founding Cult Collective in Oct 2012, Chris spent over a decade applying his marketing acumen to several Fortune 100 brands. Client side at John Deere and The Home Depot, and as S.V.P at Rapp in Dallas TX working with brand leaders at Macy’s, Albertson's, Best Buy, or most recently as President of Watermark Advertising Design leading Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Chris has gained invaluable experience helping brands improve their relevance, CRM and loyalty marketing efforts. Chris graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University and received a Graduate Degree from Northwestern University.
Neil is a storyteller. And given he has spent 25 years in the communication business across as many brands and challenges as you'd care to mention, he has no shortage of wisdom to draw from. In the advertising world, his ability to shape perceptions and inspire cash registers to ring has resulted in his being named Canadian Agency of the Year on 5 separate occasions. Outside of business hours, he is a lecturer, author and most recently documentary film maker. Neil and his business partner named their company Cleansheet because every clean sheet of paper is the potential for an idea that will move the world.
Beautiful Banff, Alberta
Hidden away in the secrecy of the Canadian Rocky Mountains is
the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
The Loyal Order
The Gathering acknowledges and appreciates the guidance, wisdom and leadership of the following individuals.
Founder, Banff World Media Festival
Cult Collective Ltd.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of others who are helping make The Gathering possible.
Call for Sponsors
Would you like to support The Gathering? There are a scant few sponsorship opportunities available. Please contact email@example.com to find out.
The Secret Entrance
Gather together with us. One all-access ticket.
The Gathering all-access pass covers:
Wednesday, February 18, 2015: Welcome reception, sessions and movie screening
Thursday, February 19, 2015: All meals, keynote speakers, sessions, executive roundtable and awards gala.
|CONFERENCE TICKETS||Thru Sep 30th||Thru Jan 9th||Thru Feb 18th|
|$699 - SOLD OUT||$899||$1299|
AS OUR PREFERRED PARTNER THE FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS HOTEL IS EXTENDING PREFERRED ROOM RATES STARTING FROM $198 + TAXES TO ATTENDEES OF THE GATHERING.
To make your reservation at these special rates, book now and mention The Gathering 2015 when calling or purchase your room online.
ACCOMMODATIONS - THE FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS HOTEL
To make your reservations:
Local: 403 762 2211 Toll Free: 1 866 540 4406