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John Tavares’ “First Memory”

With the signing of John Tavares to the Leafs, “First Memory” tells the deeply human story of JT’s return to Toronto and the connection he has to the city and the team.

Rogers Communications Inc.

How do we deepen the meaning and relevance of the Make More Possible platform through our association with JT and the Maple Leafs in a way that breaks through the “sea of sameness” associated with traditional NHL communications in order to drive brand likeability and consideration amongst Canadians?

Inspiration for the idea came from the letter JT penned through the Players Tribune, after signing his new contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. After reading it, our creative team recognized the letter itself was the idea; Tavares’ deep, life-long connection to the Maple Leafs.


Speaking to his first memories, Tavares, who wasn’t even 3 years old at the time, could still recall watching Gilmour’s goal in the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs with his dad. It was this moment that sparked the dream of playing hockey professionally, and was a moment born out of the power of human connection.

Using Tavares’ Players Tribune letter as reference, we wanted to capture his story, in his own words, by telling as he put it, “my first human memory…”.


We created a :30 spot for TV and online video that tells the story from 1993 in Tavares’ own voice – John sitting with his Dad watching the game, before transitioning to current day, where his dream of being a Toronto Maple Leaf is not only realized, but is just beginning.


The spot saw positive sentiment on social and brand likeability and recall above norm.