Immigrants interested in CFL?

At this weekend's CFL Commissioner Tour event at Mosaic Stadium, Randy Ambrosie shared an interesting story about a cab ride he took while enroute to Investors Group Field in Wpg last season. As they approached the stadium, the immigrant/new Canadian cab driver had realized that Ambrosie was obviously a CFL person, and he asked if he could ask Ambrosie a question. He asked if Ambrosie thought that he and members of his new Canadian community would be welcome at a CFL game? Ambrosie was a bit surprised at the guys perspective, who admittedly said they knew little about the CFL game - but wanted to learn. Ambrosie took the guys contact info and passed it along to the Bombers president. It took some planning, but the Bombers were able to reach out and connect with these new Canadians and subsequently hosted a large group of them at a game last year. Was a big success and they made inroads into a new market of prospective fans - that otherwise would possibly only remain on the outside looking in. The game day experience became a great selling tool.

We discussed this today at a family gathering and within our small group of 20 or so, - two family members shared similar stories that the immigrants from India and Pakistan etc that they work with had also expressed an interest in the sport but just didn't feel comfortable enough to just wade in - primarily due to the passion and knowledge that existing CFL fans possessed.

Sounds like a huge opportunity for growing the fan base. Invite an immigrant or new Canadian to a CFL game.

I purchase two extra Season Tickets each year, just for this purpose. I try to bring different friends and/or acquaintances to games, to introduce them to the CFL. I intentionally try to find people that have not gone to games before, so that they can learn and enjoy our great game, the same that I do.

When I started doing this 5 years ago, we had 3 tickets ... now "my" group has 9 tickets total, with a few more that are interested, but for one reason or another, just haven't "taken the plunge" ... yet.

It's really fun to introduce new people to the game. They even don't mind McMahon Stadium! :o

Very well done! Nice

This is awesome

I hope the league can attract new Canadian fans. That is where the population growth will come from for the country. So if the league is going to grow it’s base, then it too needs to draw from the new pool of Canadians.

Toronto is very multicultural, Argo games not so much. If they want to increase the crowd size, they need to branch out. But MLSE knows home to do that, TFC and the Raptors are much more reflective of Toronto’s multiculturalism. So time will tell.

It was very eye opening to hear Ambrosie’s enlightening conversation with the Wpg cab driver. Personally I’m also guilty of assuming the immigrants that I know and interact with aren’t interested in the CFL because they’re pretty passionate and involved with soccer and cricket etc. Maybe they just need a simple invitation to the CFL.

Good show . Excellent .

Mod Edit:

Let's keep this about football. Discussions of politics and religion tend to quickly go nowhere good.

I've been thinking this exact thing.

A guy I work with is from El Salvador and mentioned he was interested in the super bowl but didn't know the rules. I talked with him for about 20 minutes explaining the basics and now he wants to come out to a game.

It just takes a bit of outreach by fans and organizations and I'm sure we could find thousands of fans.

I'd love to see all the teams ask to participate in all the various local multicultural events.

CFL and its teams sponsoring local multicultural events would be a great and relatively inexpensive way to get the league and brands in front of immigrants. Reciprocity is a very big thing in many cultures and these new Canadians may want to support those organizations who support their events. Can't see any down side to spending some CFL and team marketing $ at multicultural gatherings.

Another good idea it really is cost effective and is more time consuming than anything else . You will get more bang for your buck .

I’m thinking so too

Well our football is very entertaining so why not

Mod edit: Please avoid posting broad generalizations about groups of people.

thank you mod. I almost complained about it myself.

Forget peoples' heritage/roots, sport's fans are all the same, and very few are totally obsessed with just one sport. Most are willing to experience and enjoy a wide variety of sports, once they're exposed to it.

Invite anyone with an interest in any sport to discover the joys of the CFL, and I'm sure most will love it. Look at me; I grew up as a kid obsessed with soccer, cricket rugby union and golf. Now there must be over a dozen sports that I follow closely (eg I pay to attend live events and subscribe to TV packages).

Exactly, Nick !

I never really thought of my past friends as immigrants but some were. I've taken 3 guys to CFL games over the years that were from away and they loved soccer, cricket and wrestling. (not the WWE stuff !) All 3 loved the CFL game. One guy went with me to many games when I had STs for the Argos at the Skydump. They all tried watching the NFL too after my intro into football. Nothing but positive results once they saw a CFL game....I've introduced quite a few people to the CFL, not by watching TV but by taking them to a game. Every single newcomer said the same thing after the game " When's the next one ?"

I was exposed to football games (pro and junior) at a very young age by my father (who's still around at 91!), who took me to games and eventually signed me up for the Knothole Gang, which was cheap seats and hot dogs in the end zone bleachers. I loved it. Those games were very memorable (George McGowan in particular, that guy was a incredible receiver).

Anyway, the point is that if you can get kids to the games those games will stick with them for the rest of their life. Maybe take a neighbour and their kid, or offer them your tickets and encourage them to go. Make a donation of tickets to a local community centre, or religious facility, specifically for use of the parents and their children. One person at a time may seem like a small step, but it matters. Some of them will pass the experience forward to other family members and friends, and one day, their own children.

Great post rpaege!