Sponsor Spotlight: It's All About Relationships
Originally printed in Sport Quarterly, March 2007

Whether it’s working with clients throughout North America or in sponsorships such as the one with Sport Nova Scotia, Kim Benoit says D’Costa Marketing is a company built on good relationships.

For a relatively small Dartmouth company, with only six employees, the success of their efforts is evident in a client base that stretches from coast-to-coast across Canada and into the US.

“It’s definitely a business built on relationships, not necessarily where you are geographically,” says Benoit, general manager and a partner in the company, founded 20 years ago by Michael D’Costa. “One of our largest clients in the US had previously dealt with us for many years, when he was based out of Nova Scotia. When he moved to the US he continued the relationship because he knows that even though we’re thousands of miles away, he can feel assured in the fact that when he needs something we’ll get it done, no question.”

D’Costa Marketing specializes in providing advertising and promotional strategies and products for primarily large corporate clients. Benoit explains that could include anything from helping to roll out new products or services, to conference and convention giveaways, to developing employee reward and recognition programs.

“Nowadays promotional items could include anything from bags of popcorn right up to MP3 players,” says Benoit. “These companies might use these items to help launch or promote a new product. Or they might come to us and want to develop an employee safety program or a recognition program. Usually they’ll have a budget to work with, and we do the research to come up with a strategy and products to put programs like that in place.”

Benoit says D’Costa Marketing, a Sport Nova Scotia partner for the past six years, has always focused on kids and young adults in their sponsorship endeavours. Given that Michael D’Costa was a physical education instructor in the military before going into business, getting involved in amateur sports was a natural fit.

“It’s so important for young adults and children to stay healthy and stay active,” says Benoit. “So when we first met with Sport Nova Scotia and were presented with the sponsorship package, one of the things that really impressed us was the fact it’s basically what Sport Nova Scotia is all about. Although we are involved with other sponsorships, Sport Nova Scotia is our focus, as we truly believe in the message.

The staff at D’Costa Marketing will have an active, team-building summer themselves. While it has always been a main part of their sponsorship package with Sport Nova Scotia, this year for the first time they will actually take the plunge and enter a boat in the annual Manulife Dragon Boat Festival.

“We’ve been going to the Dragon Boat Festival for years and setting up a booth to sell T-shirts and hats,” says Benoit. “But we’ve come to realize that wasn’t really working for us, people are there to have fun, not to talk shop.

“So we decided this year we’re going to enter a team,” she says. “We are encouraging all of our staff and their families to participate and the response from them has been very positive.”

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