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Official Voyageurs Complaint to BMO


Grizzly

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I have written the following complaint to BMO which I think we should release as an official Voyageurs press release and send not only to BMO but various media outlets. It was absolutely disgusting that BMO would hand out blue and white stickers and thundersticks at a Canada game against a team wearing blue and white. The Voyageurs are getting bigger and we have both financial clout and a public profile with some media members so we have to do our part to make sure things like this never happen again and that if a company does this in the future they are subjected to the bad publicity and public ridicule that they deserve. I would also encourage everyone to write personal letters of complaint to BMO at the following address: feedback@bmo.com

VOYAGEURS PROTEST BMO PROMOTION AT CANADIAN WORLD CUP QUALIFYING MATCH

As the supporter group of the Canadian national soccer teams, the Voyageurs were dismayed to see BMO personnel handing out promotional items in the same colours as the team Canada was playing in a crucial World Cup qualifying match. BMO staff handed out blue and white stickers and thundersticks at the soccer match in Montreal between Canada and Honduras on September 6, 2008. While blue and white is the colour of part of the BMO logo, it is also the colour of Honduras. It is hard to understand that the BMO marketing staff could not appreciate the impropriety of handing out material in the colour of a team playing against Canada. The blue and white thundersticks were particularly inappropriate. Many of the Canadian fans refused to take them but of course the Honduran fans were overjoyed to accept thundersticks in their own colours. There could have been nothing more dismaying to both the players and fans of the Canadian team than to look around the stadium at thousands of Honduran fans waving blue and white thundersticks that they had gotten from a Canadian company. If BMO wanted to hand out promotional material, why could they not have handed out material in Canada's red and white colours, particularly since these colours are also present in the BMO logo? While we are happy that BMO is a sponsor of the Canadian national team, actions such as these make it appear that they are supporting the opposition teams and do not contribute to the success of our national team. We feel that BMO not only needs to ensure that this never occurs again, it owes an apology to the fans and players of the Canadian national team.

About The Voyageurs

The Voyageurs is the largest community of Canadian soccer supporters, with members from across Canada and around the world. Since our creation in 1996, our mandate has been to promote Canadian soccer and to be a visible presence at every national team game, both at home and abroad. We travel great distances to watch our national teams play and to support those players who proudly wear the red and white.

Since 2002 The Voyageurs have also been the proud sponsors of the Voyageurs Cup, awarded to the best men's and women's soccer clubs in Canada in head-to-head competition. The Voyageur's Cup was donated by The Voyageurs to the CSA earlier this year so it could be awarded to the winners of the inaugural Nutrilite Canadian Soccer Championship.

The Voyageurs website is http://www.thevoyageurs.com

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quote:Originally posted by Grizzly

I have written the following complaint to BMO which I think we should release as an official Voyageurs press release and send not only to BMO but various media outlets. It was absolutely disgusting that BMO would hand out blue and white stickers and thundersticks at a Canada game against a team wearing blue and white. The Voyageurs are getting bigger and we have both financial clout and a public profile with some media members so we have to do our part to make sure things like this never happen again and that if a company does this in the future they are subjected to the bad publicity and public ridicule that they deserve. I would also encourage everyone to write personal letters of complaint to BMO at the following address: feedback@bmo.com

VOYAGEURS PROTEST BMO PROMOTION AT CANADIAN WORLD CUP QUALIFYING MATCH

As the supporter group of the Canadian national soccer teams, the Voyageurs were dismayed to see BMO personnel handing out promotional items in the same colours as the team Canada was playing in a crucial World Cup qualifying match. BMO staff handed out blue and white stickers and thundersticks at the soccer match in Montreal between Canada and Honduras on September 6, 2008. While blue and white is the colour of part of the BMO logo, it is also the colour of Honduras. It is hard to understand that the BMO marketing staff could not appreciate the impropriety of handing out material in the colour of a team playing against Canada. The blue and white thundersticks were particularly inappropriate. Many of the Canadian fans refused to take them but of course the Honduran fans were overjoyed to accept thundersticks in their own colours. There could have been nothing more dismaying to both the players and fans of the Canadian team than to look around the stadium at thousands of Honduran fans waving blue and white thundersticks that they had gotten from a Canadian company. If BMO wanted to hand out promotional material, why could they not have handed out material in Canada's red and white colours, particularly since these colours are also present in the BMO logo? While we are happy that BMO is a sponsor of the Canadian national team, actions such as these make it appear that they are supporting the opposition teams and do not contribute to the success of our national team. We feel that BMO not only needs to ensure that this never occurs again, it owes an apology to the fans and players of the Canadian national team.

About The Voyageurs

The Voyageurs is the largest community of Canadian soccer supporters, with members from across Canada and around the world. Since our creation in 1996, our mandate has been to promote Canadian soccer and to be a visible presence at every national team game, both at home and abroad. We travel great distances to watch our national teams play and to support those players who proudly wear the red and white.

Since 2002 The Voyageurs have also been the proud sponsors of the Voyageurs Cup, awarded to the best men's and women's soccer clubs in Canada in head-to-head competition. The Voyageur's Cup was donated by The Voyageurs to the CSA earlier this year so it could be awarded to the winners of the inaugural Nutrilite Canadian Soccer Championship.

The Voyageurs website is http://www.thevoyageurs.com

I think this could potentially gain some traction amongst TFC support groups, if they're made aware of it. Thousands of fans with the BMO logo on their jerseys blacked out with tape at the next TFC match could be a powerful statement.

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Such a disgrace.

I was standing at top of the steps leading to 114 when these corporate bell-boys arrived with boxes of these blue BMO thundersticks. We told them they weren't welcomed, which is when I heard one employee comment that if we didn't want them, they'd be happy to take them over to the Honduran supporters, which is what they did...

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Pre anthem, getting ready for the lifting of the giant flag, I shook my head and remarked to the Hondurans standing next to me:

Look, they give you sticks with your colours! They smiled.

Then I look to the field where the flags are being carried in by people in blue shirts. Our flag. Same blue shirts. The Hondurans kept smiling.

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How bad a karma is that?

In all honesty I think someone somewhere up in promotions said "Hey, we're the home team! We'll be in our whites. They'll be fine." and no one bother to explain to said monkey that blue & white are Honduras' signature colours and even if Canada is playing in home white the supporters in the stands will be in Canada's signature colour which is surprise, surprise red.

Typical with any CSA event. A good scheme which was only half thought out and ending up turning into a disaster.

Great. Good job. Make a sponsor look bad. That'll help marketing.

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quote:Originally posted by FootieFool

Oh, that's sad.

I do give BMO credit for at least trying to give out something to make some noise and create an exciting atmosphere, but obviously the marketing people at BMO have no idea of the importance of things like colours and symbols.

Its the same at BMO field for TFC games. I've seen the same blue BMO sticks there. They probably had surplus and brought it to montreal.

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quote:Originally posted by SportingFC

Its the same at BMO field for TFC games. I've seen the same blue BMO sticks there. They probably had surplus and brought it to montreal.

They were also used in Montreal for the St Vincent match. It's a generic promo with BMO colours. A 101 things went wrong in Montreal and I think this is one of the more minor items.

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The funniest thing about this debacle is that I still have by VERY blue BMO t-shirt which I caught at the TFC-Impact CL match at Saputo when they threw it into the stands. I even wear it to Impact games sometimes despite the wrong sponsor on it -BECAUSE- I thought they had purposefully made them blue because it was an Impact home game !

Oh man did I overestimate BMO's with-itness...

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quote:Originally posted by Winnipeg Fury

They were also used in Montreal for the St Vincent match. It's a generic promo with BMO colours. A 101 things went wrong in Montreal and I think this is one of the more minor items.

I agree its a tiny thing but, at the moment, it was unbelievably infuriating.

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Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention, Mr. Brady. My name is Michael and I am pleased to assist you.

I can appreciate your concern in regard to the unfortunate misperception that BMO Financial Group was supporting the opposing team from Honduras during last Saturday’s tournament game at Saputo Stadium,

BMO Financial Group is proud to support Canadian soccer nationwide from coast to coast to coast – it has literally become our tagline. We have pledged our partnership support from mini soccer in local house leagues all the way through the cycle to professional soccer teams.

As the official brand colours of BMO Bank of Montreal are white and blue, we do recognize that it was an unfortunate coincidence that the BMO branded thunder sticks happened to be the same colours of the visiting Honduras team. We have also confirmed that while the majority of thunder sticks were given out at the Fan Centre, some were handed out in specific sections.

Please be assured that your concerns have been escalated to our Corporate Sponsorships department for review and consideration and that thunder stick usage will be eliminated on any upcoming games with blue and white teams.

I hope this has been of assistance. Thank you for the time you have taken to share your comments with us.

Sincerely,

Michael Ovens

BMO Bank of Montreal

Actually I'd never said they were "supporting" Honduras, just that they lacked foresight and creativity by unimaginatively sticking to their traditional branding colors: which detracted from the support they were offering instead of adding to it.

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Very nice reply. Hopefully they'll find something red on which to stick their logo for the next time - red t-shirts, red scarves, red thundersticks, etc ... No one will mind if the actual logo is in blue, but the objects should help make the stadium look completely red, as opposed to blue and white.

On another note, perhaps we should explain to them that thundersticks aren't really necessary for supporters' sections. We can make all the noise we need with our singing!

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Not sure if anyone remembers the huge gaffe by Toronto Raptors marketing when they decided to get everyone into red shirts for a playoff game against the Nets. Problem was that the Nets were wearing their away red jerseys, and the Raptors were in white. I remember a lot of Nets fans commenting on how it was such a great atmosphere because the whole stadium was dressed in their colours...

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