2015 Sked soon - and Raptors Superfan CFL fan outreach

The schedule should be out soon - and the CFL is looking at the Raptors for ideas on how to attract new younger and more diverse fans to the CFL. Smart move.

[url=http://www.torontosun.com/2015/01/22/upcoming-cfl-schedule-will-be-tough-on-argonauts-again]http://www.torontosun.com/2015/01/22/up ... auts-again[/url]
CFL fans should soon be able to start planning their summers.

Last year's schedule was revealed on Feb. 12, and CFL president and COO Michael Copeland is hoping fans will see it even earlier this year. There could be some hurdles that prevent that from happening, though.

“The schedule is an incredibly difficult one at the best of times,? Copeland said Thursday in Winnipeg, where the CFL's annual winter meetings are being conducted. “This year it's made more difficult with the 2015 Women's World Cup and the Pan Am Games in southern Ontario. We're working on it, we're hopeful in the next short while we'll be able to release a final version.

“We're going through some final changes with the teams, so we've sent the teams a final draft to review. They're reviewing it, and then coming out of that there inevitably will be some tweaks.?

The word is it's going to be another rough schedule for the Argos, who have to fight for time at Rogers Centre this year with both the Blue Jays and the Pan Am Games. Last season, primarily due to the Blue Jays schedule, the Argos went seven weeks without a home game.

“That's one of the things we're trying to make sure we make it as good as it can possibly be, but there's challenges there,? Copeland said. “The Argonauts have been really resilient in working through those challenges, but that's one of the things that we're still working on.?

Like most professional sports leagues, the CFL is always trying to figure out ways to attract new fans. That's why Raptors “superfan? Nav Bhatia, who is a big reason why Toronto's NBA team has such a diverse fan base, was in Winnipeg on Thursday to give a presentation to the league and its nine teams.

“You always have to maintain your core fan base, and we have an extremely strong one,? Copeland said. “So we're committed to them, but reaching out to new fans and younger fans in new ways is important for any league. It's a priority for us.?

I'd like.to see some ads.with Argo and Raps players doing something like a fun pickup game of each for marketing. That would be neat.

Why are they going to the Raptors for ideas now? You would think they have already gone there after all Mark Cohon came to the CFL from the NBA where he was an executive, that is one of the reasons why the CFL hired him. Ideas from a league that appeals to the younger fans.
I have a feeling that the CFL again will go after someone from outside the CFL world to bring in marketing type ideas.

When you’re looking for advice from a franchise that is in such peril, they’re looking to reboot their entire franchise ( raptors/huskies) , you know you’re in trouble. Blind leading the blind.

Are the Raptors in "peril"? in what way? Am I missing something?
They look to be in pretty good shape. Attendance at 19,700 and 5th in the league, seems to be huge for a sport that plays on a tiny court in a big arena. Their forbes worth is huge too

http://espn.go.com/nba/attendance http://www.forbes.com/teams/toronto-raptors/

Then why the possible re-branding? If things are all good, they would be happy with Raptors.
Perhaps because the Craptors are being propped up by the Leafs and MLSE is desperate to get them to be profitable on their own. They're out of ideas so they have a brand ambassador and are looking to reboot that brand once that Drake thing has run its course.
They're already looking at, yet, another logo change with colours going to blue and gold.

Maybe that's how they are staying successful, always being one step ahead, changing logos colours etc. That could be what they are going to bring to the Argos - look to the future, change colours/logo.
Are you sure they are being propped up by the Leafs and MLSE? I haven't read that anywhere. Seems to me they are doing a great job in marketing the team the merchandising etc and they are averaging over 19,000 in attendance, 5th in the league in attendance.

The Raptors fan base that attends games at the ACC ls light years younger and WAY more diverse than the Argos. Even if you are an Argos fan who never has been to a Raptors game, if you've ever passed through Union Station on a night where there is both an Argos and a Raptors game either before the game or as both games are ending - the difference is stark.

An Argos crowd - guessing here based on my own observations - about 90+% white and a similar percentage over age 40. A Raptors crowd 40% visible minorities (at least) and more than half the crowd under age 40. Much closer resembling the overall population of the city the teams play in.

So it makes perfect sense to me that there are lessons to be learned on how to attract interest from those fans especially with urban areas becoming even more diverse moving forward.

No question basketball is played in so many more countries on a serious level than gridiron football and agree with Travel that if there is a way to tap into the diversity of ethnic backgrounds in Toronto area that are big basketball fans, and many are young people of course, then that would be an excellent strategy on the part of the Argos. There is a lot of synergy with football and basketball especially with the receivers in football going up for the ball like in basketball and pic sort of plays that receivers use on defenders to spring open a receiver, long passes up field/court.

When I played high school football and played as a receiver and defensive back, the coach wanted me to get into basketball and forget hockey to become a better football player.

Wow! Both bitter and uniformed. It seems to me you sound like one of those people slagging every other league like some on here do because of blind loyalty to our CFL.

The Raptors have always had a incredibly solid base and last years play off run short as it was plus the start to this season brought them back to a lot of casual fans. TV numbers have never been great outside of Toronto proper until those events but are starting to grow. Wait until the young crop of Canadians in the NBA start succeeding at the World Championships and Olympics in the next few years and the bandwagon will be massive. Yes MLSE forced Raps ( and TFC) tickets on Leaf holders early but not sure that is the case now.
And wouldn't we want them to do the same if they buy the Argo's? I believe Ottawa did the same with their properties 67's/ Fury /RedBlacks.
As for Drake. He is a huge international music star with connections to all kinds of NBA players and other brands. And he is from Toronto, grew up a Raptors fan. Why would you not take advantage of him? If your favourite musical icon was a CFL fan would you not want him/her to help brand the league?
As for the name change that was floated by Liewicki who as we saw did not know the market whose ego was bigger then even Ego Jones ( where are you Area 51?) and now is on his way out of town. Colour change is going to happen yes but no name. The team picked some pretty bad colours to start with and have been trying to get it right since. Not sure myself they have it in the new ones either, which are not blue and gold by the way

i have often said the Argo's should feature a different community at each game and drive tickets to those communities then work really freaking hard to keep them. Anyone remember all the Tamil folks blocking the Gardiner a few years ago. That is only example of a group in the GTA that you need to reach and maintain. That is the Raptors audience.
Look at this board, how many of us are there? Now go to the Raps board on Real GM and look at those numbers . It will freak you out . Literately thousands of posters from all around the world. Unfortunately a lot of them are very juvenile and make for hard reading but they are there loyal and vocal.
I love this league but to dis others without even knowing them is tiresome. And this is coming from a 55 year old white guy and 45 year CFL fan so don't even start with it's just kids stuff.

Engage don't enrage !

They are not rebranding as the Huskies. As for the logo change, if every pro sports franchise that changed a logo were in trouble, the leagues would be a hell of a lot smaller than they are. Logo changes happen regularly, CFL included. It's about selling merchandise.

The CFL will be very smart if they can connect with the young ethnic basketball fanbase in Canada. Don't know if it's possible, I think it is, but it's really worth trying I would say.

Exactly Red Head - and this coming from another 55 year old white guy who has been a CFL fan since a kid - having season tickets for the first time for the Ti-Cats back in 1972.

If you take the time to post here or even if not posting just viewing the various threads here on the CFL board or on one of the team's own boards it means you have an interest in the league or at least one of its teams and are an engaged fan. Engaged fans are what leagues want to maximize. Just a quick look at the Raptors forum on Realgm.com and you will see that today alone over 30 threads have been commented on and one thread just started this past Thursday evening already has over 17 pages of replies and 13,600 views in less than 48 hours. The CFL and its teams would kill for that sort of engagement.

I'm glad they are open to lessons from other teams and leagues. I think that is something the CFL absolutely needs to do and so therefore was happy to hear they had the Raptors super fan making a presentation to the league and its teams.

Travel, your comparisons are always laughable.
This is the CFL's off season. How can you compare the amount of threads created here with a raptor's forum? They are in the thick of their season where their fan's interest level is as high as it will get unless in a playoff series and you're comparing to a league high hasn't played a game in 2 month?

You do this all the time; " I was at a ____(non-argos game) game and saw way more _____ fans than argos fans"....well, duh!

Or how about DURING the raptors playoff series still months from a CFL training camp taking place; " I'm seeing lots of raptors car flags today and not one argos car flag"....

OK drummer. Fine then. Let's look at a page in this CFL board when the CFL was heading in its playoffs - when interest should be at its peak.

Lets go to Page 4 of this CFL Board. That page (all on one page) covers any topic that got discussed here for which the most recent post was between November 13th to November 27th. Should have been lots of topics discussed with a lot of views at that time of year when interest in the CFL should have been at its peak. But one single page covered everything being discussed over a two week period. Only a handful of threads on Pages 1-3 of this board with more recent posts were active over that period of November 13 - 27. So at a time when interest should have been high the league board took two weeks to fill one page worth of threads and not one topic created during those two weeks had more than 4,023 views. (I think - I just scrolled through these pages quickly)

Or even looking at the Ti-Cats chat board (to compare a team to a team) which is not as busy as the Riders message board - but may be the second busiest in the league and even in the two weeks of the Cats participating in the playoffs and Grey Cup only 3 pages were needed for two weeks worth of threads being discussed - and no thread created during that two week period had more than 5200 views.

Compare that to a mid season Raptors board and in just the last week over 8 pages of threads have been discussed with multiple threads created in the last week having over 10,000 views.

Is that a fairer comparison for you drummer?

I swear I've never been on any sports discussion board where so many seem to have the need to put down other leagues fans as if that somehow is showing support for the CFL. Just strange to me. It doesn't make me a better CFL fan to trash the NFL, NHL, HBA, MLS or its fans. Nor does it make me a bad CFL fan to point out things other leagues seem to be doing better - like attracting younger engaged fans or being critical of things the CFL could improve on or should be striving for.

(With perhaps the exception of Red Patch Boys and their hate of the Argos. But at least they have the excuse of tying to protect their team's turf for that attitude.)

Look, Canada is changing, in particular Toronto/GTA/Montreal/Vancouver and the ethnic sports fanbase isn't the hockey thing or baseball and most surely not gridiron or soccer, it's basketball and this is in my family, as Canadian as you can get, my nieces have both married into ethnic Cambodian/Asian backgrounds that couldn't care less about hockey, football, baseball (well the one nephew is just someone into the Jays "being in" thingy so he wears the hats), but these dudes are into basketball, first and foremost.

And Canada is only going to get more Asian and sub-Asian culture oriented all the time, so basketball will continue to get bigger all over Canada. Get used to it Canada. These new Canadians don't care about hockey or football and marginally baseball (Jays "cool" thingy in Toronto) and don't even own skates and they are getting more and more into Canadian society. Soccer not really in them as well. I think the soccer craze in Canada is more into the English and Portugese and German Canadians but not so much the Asian and sub-Asian population.

They love their Cricket in the Sub-Asian continent, millions playing it. The Canadian National team is mainly players with the Asian background.
Soccer is still popular in Asia but it's struggling.

[url=http://worldsoccertalk.com/2014/07/01/5-reasons-why-asian-soccer-is-on-the-decline/]http://worldsoccertalk.com/2014/07/01/5 ... e-decline/[/url]

I wonder if the BC Lions are doing anything to appeal to the 25% Chinese population and the other 25% from the Indian sub-continent.

The whole problem is the GTA not the rest of the country with the CFL....with GTA being so multi cultural it will always hurt the CFL...plain and simple they are just not interested......like everything else now " Canada is changing policies and laws to accommodate all people entering this country especially Toronto....they expect us to adapt to there laws where as if u don't abide by our rules LEAVE

ahhh nope out in Vancouver all I see is immigrants following EPL or the Canucks, never hear much about fans talking Raptors. Im sure some are interested when its playoffs Im just as curious, but following the game as a regular fan? I don't hear anything and I work with many immigrants that have come over here to work. Raptors don't get tons of top coverage out west anyways unless we turn on TSN

Thanks for that calgary, I was obviously over generalizing too much. :oops: