BMO looks to score with soccer star Alphonso Davies

Who: BMO, with FCB Canada for strategy and creative; Steam Films for production (directed by Benji Weinstein); post production by Alter Ego, Saints and OSO, and UM for media.

What: “#BMOGrowTheGame,” a new campaign featuring Canadian soccer superstar Alphonso Davies.

When & Where: The campaign is live now, and includes 15-second spots running during MLS and World Cup broadcasts, as well as on YouTube and Twitch. There are an additional 15 to 20 pieces of content for key social channels (more below).

Why: BMO has long been a strong supporter of soccer in Canada at both the local and professional level—spending more than $25 million since 2005 to help grow the game in Canada.

But there’s no question the game is also getting a lot more attention from Canadians with the men’s team enjoying a historically good run, including a return to the men’s World Cup for the first time in 36 years. That strong performance is largely due to the emergence of a several young stars, mostly significantly Davies, who ranks as one of the best in the world. BMO wisely signed him to a five-year deal as a BMO soccer ambassador.

“BMO’s partnership with Alphonso Davies reflects our mutual commitment to growing the game of soccer in Canada and inspiring the next generation of youth,” said Catherine Roche, chief marketing officer, BMO Financial Group, in a release.

The new campaign is a way to remind Canadians of its support for the game with someone who is already known to every Canadian soccer fan and could—if things go well—become a household name in the months ahead.

How: The campaign is built around seven (yep seven!!) different spots with Davies playfully interacting with BMO’s “banker,” who has been played by New Girl actor Lamorne Morris for the last three years. The spots feature the two heading the ball back and forth, and comparing moves. In one spot, Morris, seated as he almost always is at his BMO desk, stops a shot from Davies. “Told you I was good as saving,” he says.

In another about support for youth soccer, the pair are preparing orange slices for the half-time refreshment at a kids game.

“Combining the world of finance with the world of football is naturally funny, but what makes this campaign shine is the chemistry between Alphonso and BMO,” said FCB’s executive creative director, Jeremiah McNama. “The end result is smart and playful, while demonstrating BMO’s dedication to the game.”

The ads were shot in Davies’ hometown of Edmonton, where the soccer star also made a surprise appearance at a practice clinic for local youth players. Content from that clinic is being used for the social posts.

And we quote: “Being a part of this campaign was a great start to my partnership with BMO, and getting to surprise the kids at the clinic in my hometown was even better,” said Davies. “I am excited for what’s to come.”

David Brown