Sun Life launches wellness platform with Raptors’ fitness experts

Who: Sun Life and the Toronto Raptors, with Leo Burnett, Publicis, and Wavemaker.

What: “Sun Life Healthy You,” a new content platform and campaign that features the Toronto Raptors’ health, fitness and wellness experts.

When & Where: The platform is live now, and will see new content added regularly over the course of the brand’s five-year partnership with MLSE. The ad campaign just launched, and is running on TV (with prominent placement in game broadcasts) as well as digital/social and in-arena.

Why: Most pro sport sponsorship activations revolve around the athletes and players, but as the official health and wellness partner of the Raptors, Sun Life is making the Raptors’ health and wellness team the stars of this campaign.

“[O]ur goal is to empower people to take charge of their health,” said Dave Jones, president, Sun Life Health, in a release. “Sun Life Healthy You is a fun and innovative way to provide people with free health and wellness content delivered by Canada’s NBA team. This is one of many ways Sun Life is helping people live healthier lives.”

Sun Life has been a Raptors sponsor since 2014, and became the first jersey patch sponsor in 2017, but expanded the partnership last April to become the official health and wellness partner. That deal followed the 2021 launch of Sun Life Health, a new business unit focused on helping clients live healthier lives.

“Our expanded partnership, the Official Health and Wellness Partner of the Toronto Raptors, and the Sun Life Healthy You program helps to deliver one-of-a-kind content that’s accessible and free to a broad Canadian audience,” said a Sun Life spokesperson in an email to The Message. “Together, we have the unique opportunity to find engaging ways to help people focus on their physical and mental health.”

How: Sun Life calls this a “playbook” for a healthy and balanced life, covering everything from mental well-being to nutrition, sleep and exercise. Six members of the Raptors wellness team provide advice, tips on strength and conditioning coach, diet and overall wellness. There’s a listicle on “tips and tricks for sticking to routines,” videos on bodyweight exercises, and articles on finding joy in stressful situations, and setting goals, for example.

Sun Life said it will “feature new, fresh content, health challenges, and engagement opportunities on the platform over the course of our 5-year partnership.”

Sun Life and the Raptors are also looking for ways to spotlight community organizations that “seek to improve access to the sport and the game of basketball and promote active, healthy living in Canada.”

To raise awareness at launch, Sun Life also created an ad campaign using Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, who introduces Healthy You by explaining that Sun Life is giving consumers access to the “same health experts I trust to work with the Toronto Raptors.” Sun Life said it wants the campaign to resonate with families that value an active lifestyle, but “find it hard to maintain healthy habits while balancing the demands of a busy schedule.”

David Brown