It’s no small secret, Scotiabank is Canada’s Hockey Bank. With programs like Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada, Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest, and the Scotiabank Community Hockey Sponsorship Program, we’re passionate about how community hockey enables us to be better together, community by community. But how do we support all of these programs? Enter Lisa Ferkul, Director of Hockey Sponsorships. We sat down with Lisa to learn more about why she’s spent the past eight years dedicated to hockey sponsorships and why she loves working at Scotiabank.

Jordan: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your career path?

Lisa: As an avid sports fan and athlete growing up, I knew I wanted to work in sports in some capacity. It was this passion that fueled my career in sports marketing beginning with my undergrad at Western in Kinesiology, to my Humber post-grad in Public Relations which opened doors to my internship at the Toronto Argonauts. At the Argos I learned every facet of the business from events and community relations to ticket sales and sponsorship; it was a great training ground. After a brief stint in the agency world working on sponsorship strategy and experiential, Scotiabank is where I’ve truly been able to thrive – under great leadership and an organization that has a focused strategy in sponsorship, including hockey from a mass retail standpoint.

Jordan: What does an “average” day look like for you?

Lisa: There’s no such thing! Every day is different in my role – whether it be negotiating a renewal, reviewing and approving hockey creative or collaborating with the product teams to develop business driving campaigns through hockey – one of my favourite things about my job is the diversity and opportunity we have at the Bank. The one consistency is relationships. I have a keen curiosity for people and building strategic relationships. This skill set has allowed me to see great success as the best partnerships are built on trust and mutual respect.

Jordan: We’re known as Canada’s Hockey Bank, why is hockey so important to Scotiabank?

Lisa: Scotiabank is committed to supporting every goal on and off the ice. At Scotiabank, we believe hockey teaches kids values and lessons that they can use outside the arena, and for the rest of their lives. Helping kids succeed on the ice means helping them succeed everywhere. Since 2008, we’ve supported over one million kids and counting play the game we all love. Hockey matters to Scotiabank because it matters to Canadians. We are proud fans, coaches, and players.

Jordan: You’ve been on the Hockey Sponsorship team for over eight years, why this portfolio?

Lisa: I’ve focused my career at Scotiabank on the hockey sponsorship portfolio for two reasons – 1) I love my job and I’m extremely passionate about the industry; and 2) I believe in the power that our support of hockey brings to the business. Over my tenure, we’ve seen an evolution of how we measure success. In the beginning, ROI (return on investment) was defined through upper and mid-funnel brand metrics such as brand affinity and purchase consideration. Given our significant investment in hockey, we’ve seen that progression towards a much greater focus on lower funnel measures such as  client acquisition and engagement.

Caption: Lisa and members of the Hockey Sponsorships team in Swift Current, SK at Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada 2019.

Jordan: It’s probably hard to pick one, but what has been your career highlight so far?

Lisa: I’ve been so fortunate to work for an organization that believes in the power of sponsorship and its ability to drive customer affinity. There have been so many highlights across my 12+ year career, but the biggest would have to be my involvement in our transformative 20-year partnership with MLSE – renaming the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors to Scotiabank Arena as of July 1, 2018.

Scotiabank Arena is more than a name on the side of a building. It’s about offering more for the fans, the community, and our customers through an expanded partnership with the Leafs, an exciting new partnership between Tangerine and the Raptors, an increased investment in the community through MLSE Foundation, and innovative programs with SCENE and the MLSE incubator Future of Sport Lab.

Jordan: As a woman in a leadership role, not to mention in sports sponsorship, have you had a mentor along the way? Do you currently mentor anyone?

Lisa: Mentors have been an integral part of my career – both male and female. I’ve been super fortunate to have incredible managers – those who believed in me and challenged me. Because of the role mentors have played in my life, I always try and give back and absolutely mentor others. I actually get asked for informal coffee chats and informational interviews quite frequently and I would say I conduct at minimum two or three a week. I truly believe that sharing my experiences and learning about others’ makes us all better.

Jordan: Do you have any advice for someone wanting to get into this field?

Lisa: I love the mantra to “Be essential”. Make yourself indispensable. Be a sponge. Try and learn everything you can and work hard. Above all, similar to life, treat others the way you want to be treated.

Interested in a career in sports sponsorships? Visit our career site and check out our open opportunities!