Manager, Creative Strategy

  • Full-time

Company Description

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) one of the world's premier sports and entertainment companies, owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto FC (MLS), Toronto Argonauts (CFL), Toronto Marlies (AHL), Raptors 905 (NBA D-League), TFC II (USL) and Raptors Uprising Gaming Club, the Toronto Raptors Esports franchise in the NBA 2K League. Its charitable arm, MLSE Foundation, focuses on funding initiatives to support youth through sport and recreational programs. In 2017 MLSE Foundation, with support of community and corporate partners, built MLSE LaunchPad, a 42,000-sq. ft. space dedicated to programming that support its four Pillars: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Ready For School and Ready For Work.

MLSE also owns and operates Scotiabank Arena, Canada’s premier sports & entertainment venue hosting more than 200 events each year, as well as two digital channels (Leafs Nation Network and NBA TV Canada), and has a partnership with Live Nation (the biggest concert promoter in the world). MLSE has also invested in and operates five of Toronto's sports facilities – Coca-Cola Coliseum, BMO Field, BMO Training Grounds at Downsview Park, home of Toronto FC's Academy and the First Team's practice facility, the Toronto Raptors’ training facility and the Ford Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies.

MLSE’s common purpose is to unite and empower employees to deliver extraordinary moments to our fans and each other.


The world of sports partnerships has evolved. It’s not just about exposure and awareness-building through signage anymore. Our partners often seek campaigns or programs that will help them achieve a specific marketing objective that requires a compelling strategy and a big creative idea. ​

​The Commercial Creative Group exists to intake and build upon the marketing briefs from our partners that become unique partner programs. ​Our group consists of strategy, account management, and creative teams that collaborate on the development of those partner programs throughout the process. We work together from brief intake, to strategic development, to creative development, to campaign execution with one clear ambition – doing great creative work. 

Our vision: To Enrich Fan Experiences

For us, ‘great work' is work that deepens fans' relationships with the teams they love. Sometimes we add dimensionality to our fans’ appreciation of our players or rituals. Sometimes we connect fans more meaningfully with fellow fans. Other times we give our fans a new means of expressing their fandom. ​

In any strategy that we pursue, ultimately, we are fans speaking to fans. The more insights we can bring to bear about how fans are feeling, thinking or acting, the more we can create experiences for them that will feel enriching. When we succeed, we weave a partner narrative inside a team experience while creating meaning for people. If we can say that, then we know the work has been good.  ​

Get fans on their feet, make them feel something, and they'll walk away more connected than ever. 

Job Description

MLSE is looking for a Manager of Commercial Strategy with a passion for sports and culture to join the Commercial Creative Group. This group is known for producing award-winning marketing programs that raise the bar of creativity and strategic delivery. Reporting to the Director of Commercial Strategy, this role will focus on the strategic building of sports marketing partnerships for some of the world’s leading brands.

The ideal candidate will be a strategic, energetic and organized thought-leader driven to deliver breakthrough marketing solutions rooted in sports and culture. If using sport to drive impact fires you up, we want to hear from you.

In this role you will be asked to:


  • Responsible for working with business leaders across MLSE to establish the Strategy + Creative direction for a portfolio of MLSE’s marquee partners
  • Identify opportunities for MLSE partners to expand their integration into various team ecosystems to create new fan experiences that drive value for the business
  • Responsible for Strategy thought leadership both within MLSE’s walls and within the wider professional sports + entertainment industry, educating team members and peers of all levels on the value, purpose, and impact of creative strategy within the commercial/partnerships space


  • Act as strategic leader/counsel for a wide range of partner opportunities to support the Global Partnerships team for current and prospective partner programming
  • Identify priority opportunities for revenue growth and creative output; leveraging informed research strategies to invoke strong fan, cultural, and brand insights to build meaningful partner programming briefs
  • Independently lead a team through the partner brief process; from brief intake, to research and ideation, strategy development, creative team briefing and feedback, and program measurement + evaluation
  • Ability to present complex ideas to partners, prospects, and internal stakeholders across the business to achieve buy-in


  • Responsible for bridging connections with peers and leaders across all arms of the MLSE business to identify and build meaningful partner programming that supports a variety of MLSE corporate objectives
  • Establishing meaningful connections with counterparts in Global Partnerships to establish strong ways of working between partner account management + strategic planning for a wide portfolio of accounts
  • Collaborate with our Brand + growth teams to determine how our partners strategically integrate to our sports teams’ marketing programs


  • Identify new or improved ways of working for the Commercial Strategy group, creating higher efficiencies or effectiveness across process and systems
  • Support Commercial Marketing group on identifying new innovations/assets within the partner ecosystem to connect to and build for external revenue opportunities (positioning to other teams, properties, leagues, etc.)


  • Responsible for coaching, professional development, and leadership in both formal and informal reporting structures
  • Accountable to collecting ongoing feedback and constructing an annual Growth Action Plan for Commercial Strategist
  • Demonstrate an inclusive and empathetic leadership style with proven outcomes, proactively identifying opportunities to junior teammates and peers to engage further with their team and career at MLSE, and truly bring their whole selves to work every single day


  • 5 or more years of work in a strategy role (agency, partnerships, or brand-related) ideal, but those with unique experience that match the role description are still encouraged to apply
  • Experience working across multiple business categories is a bonus but is not mandatory
  • Sports partnerships experience is a bonus but is not mandatory
  • Ability to serve as a highly motivated self-starter and collaborator
  • Ability to work to deadlines in high-pressure situations
  • Ability to apply strong time management skills across projects
  • Ability to operate within ambiguity, comfort in building new processes and systems
  • Experience in presenting campaign strategies and rationale to partners of varying levels
  • Experience working with creative teams in a collaborative way

Additional Information

Apply by: February 11, 2022.  

We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Partnership will provide reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities in the job application process. If you have difficulty using our online application system and you need an accommodation due to a disability, please email [email protected]. Please note this email is only for accommodation requests. Resumes sent to this email address will not be considered.