The Ottawa Senators Hockey Club

Complex campaign planning meets robust, yet adaptable strategy

The Ottawa Senators Hockey Club

Our client’s objective

Acart has had a long business relationship with The Ottawa Senators. For many years now, we’ve helped them as a media agency, strategizing and managing their ads across digital and traditional media channels.

In this way, the last quarter of 2021 (Oct–Dec) was no different.

This included:

  • Managing advertising placements and spending across various channels
  • Selling enough tickets to fill the arena for each game amid changing capacity limits
  • Building a robust, yet adaptable strategy to navigate the unpredictable changes to COVID restrictions with agility


Media strategy/planning
Media buying/trafficking

Our challenge

At the best of times, live sports marketing can be a large, complex undertaking. Ensuring the right mix of media across traditional and digital channels (out-of-home, radio, audio streaming, social, programmatic, sponsored content, etc.) is always a delicate balancing act.

The pandemic introduced several other moving parts. With and without capacity limits, many patrons were still hesitant to attend in-person hockey games.

We needed to:

  • Be agile enough to adjust our plan to the rapidly shifting government rules and capacity limits
  • Strategize back-up plans to deliver the right messaging across all channels, and keep it aligned with changing restrictions
  • Communicate safety measures to potential attendees without diminishing the excitement of in-person live sports

Our strategy

Splitting our budget into several categories would allow us to meet the hockey club’s ticket sales objectives while appealing to different audience segments. It would also make for efficient pivots; reallocating budgets to different campaigns rather than complete media plan overhauls any time rules changed.

How we did it

We divided our budget into 5 buckets for different types of campaigns:

With government restrictions and game schedules changing, sometimes at a moment’s notice, we could redistribute ad spend across these 5 campaigns to maximize ticket sales.

overall return on ad spend (ROAS) across all digital campaigns from October through December 2021

“We have worked with Acart Communications for a good handful of years and each year we are grateful for their expertise. Besides being fantastic people to work with, they continuously go above and beyond. Whether that be contributing to strategic planning, managing media relationships, or pivoting quickly to capitalize on reactionary programming that is common in the sports and entertainment industry—they always deliver.”

– McKenzie Young, Senior Manager, Marketing and Strategic Planning, Senators Sports & Entertainment
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