This is #DamiansYear – Freedom 55 Financial social media metrics win!

aneta    November 1, 2016

Freedom 55 Financial is a full financial security planning organization founded on the strength and stability started by London Life more than 140 years ago. Freedom 55 Financial offers financial security planning and advice, as well as London Life’s own brand of savings and investments, retirement income, and life insurance.

Founded in 1874 in London, Ontario, London Life has a long history in the Canadian marketplace. In 2000, London Life rebranded its financial security planning arm as Freedom 55 Financial – a full financial security planning organization.

Being an insurance business they recognize that their social media content can be boring, so they decided to increase awareness through athlete sponsorship and on April 28, 2015 – Freedom 55 Financial announced the signing of a two-year agreement with Canadian Olympic decathlete and 2014 Commonwealth Gold medalist a London born, Damian Warner.

“Freedom 55 Financial is dedicated to helping Canadians achieve their goals and dreams. It’s an honour to be a part of Damian’s journey as he pursues his quest for gold in Rio,” said Mike Cunneen, Senior Vice-President, Freedom 55 Financial.

This new association forced existing consumer to think of the brand differently than he or she previously had. This is effective for a consumer that already had loyalty to the brand, as it reinforces the beliefs and trust in the brand. In addition, it rapidly builds a strong association for consumers that were not familiar with the brand or product but have a strong connection to Damian Warner.

Warner was selected to represent Canada in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England where his results ranked him second-best ever by a Canadian decathlete in Olympic competition. He earned a gold medal in the July 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Warner became part of Freedom 55 Financial’s #TeamFreedom, a group of young Canadian athletes striving to reach the pinnacle of their athletic dreams.

“I am honoured to be part of the Freedom 55 Financial team and thank them for their tremendous support. From the first time I met with their team it was evident their goals and objectives aligned with mine striving to be the best. The fact they started here in London — just like me — is such an important factor as well.”
Damian Warner

Damian and his team have created a golden goal for 2016 and Freedom 55 Financial launched  a campaign in April of 2016 to promote the athlete in his quest for an Olympic medal in August  —  This is #DamiansYear —  promoted Damian and helped build Freedom 55 brand awareness, shifted perception from boring insurance company to community involved, created opportunities for engagement with the brand and gave advisors ability to connect with communities and clients.

Freedom 55 Financial created series of videos that run on social media, Facebook and Twitter (The kid from London, Life lessons, There’s no I in team, Chasing your dreams and It’s go time) that followed Damian’s quest for gold. they have also created  Damian’s Year website and their social channels introduced hashtags #DamiansYear and #TeamFreedom. Social content drove traffic to that website. During the month of July, Freedom 55 Financial branded ads featuring Damian run nationally on TSN during the broadcast of the British Open and the PGA Championship.

Damian’s recognized as one of the best decathletes in the world. He’s a double medalist at the World Championship and reigning Pan Am champion. Damian’s character, integrity, work ethic and passion make him a perfect brand ambassador for Freedom 55 Financial.

Results from the campaign are amazing

Social media Impressions Views/engagement
Paid – Twitter 669,151 238,145 views
Organic – Twitter 42,077 796 engagements
Organic – Facebook 204,689 2,996 engagements


Website Page views 3,217


Broadcast Audience – Overall brand Audience – Damian only
TSN – June/July 9,009,400 3,510,000



Lessons for Others

Clearly the primary goal of any sports sponsorship agreement is to increase sales revenue. However, measuring a direct link from sponsorship dollars invested to sales revenue generated can be extremely challenging. There are two methods for measuring this link that can be effective. The first relies on accurate survey data from consumers of measurable such as “propensity to buy,” or “willingness to consider,” etc. These sort of measurable can then be evaluated alongside revenue trends to evaluate a correlational relationship.

The second approach utilizes the concept of “reach” and attempts to estimate the new number of media contact points a sponsorship creates and connects the increased level of “reach” to the increase in sales revenue.

Customers want to interact, not be talked at. They want to direct the engagement themselves. Television commercials, radio endorsements, and in-store print signage have become noise to consumers. In order to become a digital destination brands must move away from how they are currently using the digital tools at their disposal and towards how customers want to use digital tools to engage the brand and their favorite athletes. Every organization is unique so their social media metrics will be different.  What worked for Freedom 55 Financial during this campaign was the timing – Rio 2016 Olympics and Damian Warner winning a medal!


Organization: Freedom 55 Financial
Industry: Insurance
Name of Organization Contact: Heather Steenstra, F55 Sponsorship Specialist

Authored by: atabor

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