D'Angelo & Hunt teaming up on New Ottawa Bid?

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In the last few days, Steelback Brewery CEO Frank D’Angelo and Ottawa 67’s owner Jeff Hunt have become fast friends and very informally chatted about the possibility of joining forces to resurrect their desires of bringing a CFL team back to the nation’s capital.

The league is currently negotiating with only one group – a primarily U.S.-based consortium headed by Bill Palmer – but it appears those talks have slowed to a standstill.

A conversation between D’Angelo and Hunt came about last weekend, when the Toronto-bred food and beverage entrepreneur visited Ottawa to face pucks in a charity shootout at a 67’s game.

Hunt and D’Angelo wound up hanging out together both Friday night and all day Saturday, and anyone who saw the two would have noticed they had the chemistry of long-time pals.

Hunt admitted yesterday he could also see them becoming business partners one day.

“We got along really well … I like the guy,” Hunt, who said he didn’t really know D’Angelo before the weekend, said yesterday. "Yes, I think we could work together.

‘BOTH DISAPPOINTED’

"We both wanted to be involved in the CFL and we were both disappointed when we didn’t get our wish. Of course we talked about football … how could we not?

“Is it to much to think we could together to pursue a team? No. But we just had very brief and casual conversation. We would have to have more serious discussions before I would feel ready to call the CFL. And it might already be too late.”

D’Angelo was the first to express interest in reviving the Renegades – shortly after they were pronounced dead by the CFL in the 2006 offseason – and he had, as he still would, the financial backing of Dr. Barry Sherman, a billionaire pharmacist.

Hunt, who has an impeccable reputation in the local community, was later signed up to be the frontman for Golden Gate Capital Corporation. But when the founder of that Toronto financial services company took ill, that bid was discontinued and Hunt was left with a desire, but no backer.

Shortly thereafter, the colorful D’Angelo was told by the league that it was going to concentrate its efforts solely on the Palmer group – effectively snubbing the first person to step forward and volunteer help in the rescue attempt.

D’Angelo, a self-made millionaire, kept to himself any hurt or disappointment over being shunned. Publicly, he said he understood the league’s decision and wished the CFL well. But it had to have bothered him.

CHANTED HIS NAME

A very personable and proud Canadian, D’Angelo was beaming as he was approached by people in the Byward Market Friday, including a group of young men who started chanting his name when he walked into the Heart and Crown.

He is a bona fide celebrity, which may not have exactly worked in his favour in dealings with the CFL.

Recently, D’Angelo has gone on the record saying he would be open to talking with the league about reopening discussions or any possible future endeavors, but CFL officials were going to have to approach him this time.

Skeptics will say that’s unlikely, that the league steered away from D’Angelo because of his flamboyant nature. The stuffed shirts in the CFL don’t want their owners singing in their bands (never mind that its usually at charitable functions) or signing up disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson to do commercials for an energy drink called Cheetah.

“Sometimes flamboyant is misunderstood,” said Hunt. "I think there was a hypersensitivity in this city, as it pertains to football, because of the Lonie Glieberman legacy.

"But I don’t see Frank and Lonie having very much in common. They’re different people.

"I think in marketing Cheetah, without getting into any moralities about that … you have to admit it was an effective commercial.

"Now, whether Frank would get Ben Johnson to do another commercial, I don’t know.

GET PRODUCT NOTICED

“But everyone knows the purpose of a commercial is to get your product noticed, and he certainly did that.”

After being turned down by the CFL, D’Angelo expressed interest in buying the Pittsburgh Penguins. When that plan didn’t come to fruition, he stepped back before charging forward hard.

In a multi-million dollar, five-year deal, D’Angelo recently secured the title sponsorship of Ontario’s largest summer sports event. The Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto will be held July 6-8.

“I think with the Steelback Grand Prix, Frank and his brewery have risen to another level when it comes to their profile in sports and corporate branding,” said Hunt. “That was a big-league manoeuvre.”

Just as talking to Mutt and Jeff would be a good move by the CFL.

I don't have a problem with Frank especially if he and Jeff Hunt see eye to eye on this. :thup:

if this article is correct, and the CFL / Palmer bid has stalled, i don't see the harm in the CFL calling d'angelo to ask him if he and jeff hunt are interested in re-opening discussions.

This is great news if correct. Short of Eugene Melnyk and Hunt, this is the next best thing.
Go Frank.

well....only if the CFL calls d'angelo, or this whole idea goes nowhere.

entertaining this idea is just retarded. The CFL rejected this clown once already .. you think they maybe had a reason for it? Last time the fans of Ottawa wouldn't show up because the Gliebs were morons - they complained the CFL gave them a terrible ownership, and no chance of survival with some clown running the show .. SO, the CFL steps up, raises the bar, disallows D'Angelo .. and now people want him? this is just stupidity at its finest.

StatiK76
GO BOMBERS!!!

In a multi-million dollar, five-year deal, D'Angelo recently secured the title sponsorship of Ontario's largest summer sports event. The Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto will be held July 6-8.

This guy ain't no clown Statik.

if he puts up the money, and lets hunt run the show, then whats the concern?

The concern would be this...D'Angelo does not appear to be the kind of guy who would let somebody else run the show.
Past events show that D'Angelo considers that HE IS THE SHOW. He is a performer and would never be comfortable sitting back while someone else is in the limelight.

Now, that shouldn't eliminate him from consideration, but does make the BOG pause, and consider what they would be getting.

maybe the CFL should get some kind of assurances that d'angelo will stay out of the spotlight, allow hunt to work his magic, and for every outburst frank makes, in regards to the renegades, frank gets fined.

could be like mark cuban for the dallas mavericks.

People want Jeff Hunt. He is one of the most respected figures in Ottawa sports, and brings what the CFL needs more then anything else: Local Credibility.

While D'Angelo is certainly high profile, he's also a successful businessman and stands to get something from the team even if its not instantly turning a profit. That means he's more likely to stick through a few early tough years to build the franchise up.

The big difference between this group and the Palmer group is that this group is local, and visible. The Palmer group is American, and invisible. It can be argued that a high profile owner is good for the league, especially in a market where a high profile is needed.

(Its also hard to say why the CFL rejected him the first time, and they don't necessarily have to had a good reason for it. The Board of Governors isn't exactly well known for making decisions on the basis of what is best for the league.)

not to mention, the palmer group is, what, 8 different people?

deangelo ownership would be 2-3 at most.

the less part-owners, the easier to keep them on the same page.

I really dont know anything about Frank D'Angelo but my gut tells me that all he the team for is to advertize his beer.

It makes me think of a soccer team in Montreal. I think it was the impact but I could be wrong. Anyway the owner was the cheese maker Saputo. The team did not ever have its logo on the uniform. Saputo was written across the chest. I can see Frank D'Angelo doing the same if not worst.

thats why you put conditions and terms in the deal when he buys the franchise...

he doesnt design the jersey, but RBK does.
he makes a fool of the team or league, he gets fined. hunt runs the show and d'angelo stays out of the spotlight.

The CFL board seems to think so.. Just because he's able to throw mega millions around, does not make him a good owner candidate. ie. Gliebermans.

StatiK76
GO BOMBERS!!!

D'Angelo stays out of the spotlight?! hahaha - have you looked into this guy at all? He's in every one of his companies commercials, he is the lead singer to his terrible band, he is the center piece of his company, the spokes person, while blowing his own horn in his commercials of his other advertising ventures (steelback arena and such), and he's a self-proclaimed ego maniac .. he puts his face, and company logo on everything he touches .. Its called relentless aggressive self-promotion .. Vince McMahon has been very successful doing the same thing with his brands. This is no different. This sports deal he just landed is called ADVERTISING .. D'Angelo is not the first guy in the beer industry to figure out that sports & beer pretty much go hand in hand ..

StatiK76
GO BOMBERS!!!

Well, Bob Young isn't exactly staying out of the spotlight, he's got his Lulu.com site on the TiCats site. And Bob is actually fairly outspoken and goes on the discussion forum site and talks with fans, I've seen him in the aisles at IWS. He is partly using the TiCats, I think, to help promote Lulu but I admit he is a very committed person to the city of Hamilton and wants to see the city progress. But he is, in some ways, a bit like Frank I think and most people in Steeltown think of Bob Young very highly. And also, Bob Young is a risk taker with some the hires he did like hiring a Canadian head coach with no CFL coaching experience, he does go out on a limb somewhat with the Cats.

Very interesting .... and hopefully true that these 2 are potential partners

We have been burned by that Don Brennan writer before though ... wonder what Matt Sekeres has to say??

The other Governers don’t exactly stay in the shadows if you stop and think about it.
I know Frank must be in good with the Argo owners or they wouldn’t have him playing with his band at some of their games. I would think that they carry a lot of weight whether the western community teams like it or not. It may be galling to many but the reality is without Toronto we don’t have a CFL, at least at its present status. The Toronto owners saved CFL football IMO, and don’t think Keith Pelley didn’t have a hand in the latest TSN contract. Its also my opinion that Pelley and the Argo owners are decent respectable people, so their opinion of Frank D’Angelo should go a long way in what the CFL decides.

Good read DB even though I know some of what you say won't sit too well with some. Although I do believe that without a team in Toronto the CFL would survive in one shape or form, but what that shape or form would be is difficult to say.