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Toronto FC is maximizing its Lorenzo Insigne marketing opportunity

As they should be.

Sean Pollock l Waking The Red

Lorenzo Insigne landed in Toronto on Friday, June 24th, 2022. Since his arrival, Toronto FC has had four separate marketing campaigns centred around him (aside from the traditional airport welcome and team press releases). Yet, recent news is that Insigne will not make his much anticipated debut until later in July due to a lingering calf problem.

This article will examine the four Insigne-related marketing campaigns since his arrival in Toronto:

  1. Il Magnifico’s Arrival at Cafe Diplomatico - June 24th, 2022

The first major marketing campaign was on Insigne’s arrival to Toronto. The club held an unveiling party in Little Italy’s Cafe Diplomatico - a popular restaurant that is also known as one of the city’s best soccer cafes to watch games. The event was held on Clinton Street just to the left of the restaurant and a few hundred people showed up to greet Insigne.

The event itself was a bit delayed given the amount of fans that welcomed Insigne at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (in addition to the normal Toronto congested traffic), but the atmosphere, hype and location were done perfectly. Free t-shirts were given out, Insigne chants were sung and games were created to engage those that attended.

Overall, it was a great event and introduction for Insigne to the city of Toronto. In his introductory press conference, Insigne said, “The first day that I arrived, they brought me to Cafe Diplomatico. I felt like I was back in Napoli.”

2. Toronto FC x Mitchell & Ness Limited Edition Apparel - June 27th, 2022

TFC’s second marketing campaign accompanied Insigne’s arrival party at Cafe Diplomatico with a line of Tutto per Uno (All for One) merchandise made by Mitchell and Ness. Mitchell and Ness are a company known for creating nostalgic, throwback-inspired sports clothing. This range included t-shirts, sweaters, hats, scarves and a patch set. All the items had the TFC logo, Italian flag, and either the Tutto per Uno or Famiglia (Family) slogans.

This collection was clearly catered to Toronto’s incredible Italian community to celebrate the arrival of one of their national football team’s star players. Even though the collection is not to my personal taste, I have to admit it was very clean and well executed. In particular, the white t-shirt caught my eye and items from this collection are still available on the Real Sports Apparel official website and in person at BMO Field.

3. Toronto FC x OVO Limited Capsule Collection - July 2th, 2022

The third marketing campaign was a relatively surprising one. The collaboration between OVO (October’s Very Own) and MLSE has been a long standing partnership since Drake became the Toronto Raptors’ global ambassador in 2013, but that partnership had not really extended beyond the Raptors. Recognizing the incredible opportunity they had with Insigne’s arrival, MLSE and OVO made TFC just the second sports franchise to release official OVO inspired merchandise.

The limited capsule collection includes t-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants and hats. The gear comes in black, red and white, which are colours synonymous with the Toronto Raptors, but work equally well for TFC (black, red, dark grey, grey and white are the official TFC colours). There is a distinct Raptors-OVO feel to the clothing, with the TFC and OVO logos being featured side by side on all items. The t-shirt is the only piece that veers from this design with the OVO owl wearing a TFC supporter’s scarf instead.

Limited sizes of various pieces in the collection are still available on the OVO site and will still likely be available on match days at BMO Field. The black t-shirt and hoodie would be my personal picks to add some style to your TFC wardrobe.

4. World Premiere of Il Magnifico: Lorenzo Insigne presented by BMO - July 7th, 2022

On TSN at 7:30 pm on July 7th, there will be the world premiere of Il Magnifico: Lorenzo Insigne presented by BMO. Insigne will have his own feature piece for fans to learn more about him and the story behind TFC’s historic signing. This will be the fourth marketing campaign (and likely not the last).

In the preview clips posted to social media, it appears that TFC’s President, Bill Manning, TFC’s captain, Michael Bradley and TFC’s all-time appearance leader, Jonathan Osorio will all appear in the feature. Well known transfer guru, Fabrizio Romano, along with Napoli fans are also shown in the preview clips to provide perspective on what Insigne has meant to Napoli and what his signing signifies for TFC.

Regardless of how you feel about the team’s current position in the table, their present state of play, the bombardment of Insigne related news on TFC’s social media pages or the recent merchandise releases, what TFC is doing makes complete sense. After all, Insigne will be the league’s highest paid player and is the biggest signing in TFC’s history.

The club and its parent organization, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, understand that these marketing campaigns are helping to attract widespread interest and should galvanize the fanbase. As a result of the Insigne-related marketing campaigns and news of his arrival permeate throughout Toronto, interest in TFC is reaching new heights as the city eagerly awaits his debut.

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