VTN Canada has its heart in the right place

I just left the Maple Leaf Chapter meeting for VTN in North Toronto and I have some pretty good news to announce. This chapter session made up of about 30 plus solution providers in Ontario has come up with a fantastic idea to raise money for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Terry Buchanan of Conpute and Carmine De Santo of Loop Enterprise along with T-ShirtMonster.ca (an online t-shirt maker) will be offering many great looking T-shirts for sale. About 25 per cent of the proceeds of these sales will go to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada, which we all know is a great cause.

But, what is really cool about this effort is that it also takes the form of a marketing program. Buchanan is encouraging his fellow Maple Leaf Chapter associates as well as other VTN channel partners from out West and in Quebec and the Maritimes to get involve and place their company’s logo or slogan on these T-shirts.

Buchanan along with T-Shirt Monster has created a landing page that will be tracked so that every participating VTN member knows where they stand. To see the landing page click here or go to http://www.tshirtmonster.ca/designer/VTNMapleLeaf/.

“This is the first ever charitable marketing campaign and we wanted a click for a cure with this branding effort. We leveraged partnerships in technology and with T-ShirtMonster.ca and everyone in the channel has an opportunity to upload the company logo to the Web site and be visible,” Buchanan said.

The VTN Maple Leaf Chapter has more than $70 million in purchasing power as an IT community, Buchanan said and this was one way we can give back to a national charity and challenge fellow VTN members across Canada.

According to Buchanan, this is a pre-canned marketing campaign that can be localized and he along with De Santo will be optimizing it through social networking sites as Facebook and Linkedin. T-shirtMonster.ca is also working on some flash code which will be provided to VTN members for free so they can put them on their respective Web sites to further this cause.

Also part of the plan is a concept called dress-down day, where a VTN members can purchase one of these t-shirt and be able to wear it with jeans, but Buchanan wants to push this even further to other VTN suppliers as well.

“You can create your own t-shirt and advertise your own brand with this marketing plan,” he said. All members will get tax receipts from Breast Cancer Society of Canada.

Right out of the gate, Microsoft Canada has told Buchanan that they are challenging the entire IT vendor community to out purchase the software giant.

After Buchanan and De Santo finished their announcement the entire Maple Leaf Chapter gave them a round of applause. It was well deserved. What a fantastic idea and it’s in support of a great charity this is the type of idea long overdue in my opinion and I have to give Buchanan and De Santo along with the VTN Maple Leaf Chapter their props. Now it is up to the rest of the channel and vendor community to step up and start buying these t-shirts. By the summer Buchanan should know who the top sellers amongst the partner and vendor community will be and I will make sure to honour them in my blog.

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