Promo Money: Legit Way Around the Salary Cap

Under the current CBA, each team in 2023 was required to spend at least $60,000 (in total) to players who engaged in marketing for the club. Marketing is usually just player appearances at an non-team event. The minimum total to be spent by each club for 2024 is either $110,000 or $120,000. There is no cap on how much teams can pay an individual player or spend in total for marketing purposes.

Promo money does not count against the salary cap. In theory, teams with deeper pockets can offer more promo money to their players. Abuse is possible since it is unlikely that the league is going to keep tabs on who legitimately earned the promo money.

Potential downside for the players is that this money is not guaranteed. Teams could always say the player did not make enough appearances or whatever and withhold some or all the money.

Jim Barker has previously said the Argos are giving Chad Kelly $100,000 in marketing money for 2024. Recently re-signed Bomber Dalton Schoen has $35,000 promo money in his contract.


MLSE can afford it so I’m happy they do this if it’s true and if it keeps Swag in the Double Blue


Winnipeg charges companies $200 per hour so paying a player $100 an hour isn’t out of line. In Chad Kelly’s case I doubt he does a thousand hours of community/marketing work but you never know. Admittedly it would be easier if that included travel/accommodation time from Buffalo if he lives there in the off-season.

Presumably a CFL player would get paid more if he did a commercial and I don’t know what that going rate is… I would think it would be somewhere between $1000 and $10,000.

He did play in the Celebrity NHL all star game so perhaps he got “danger pay” as well :joy:


Positives are
Star Players get more money
Leaves more cap for non star essential players
Fans get more player friendly time with players
So it’s good for the star players and good for the fans

Negatives are
It’s not fair to the lower market teams
(rich get richer, poor get poorer)
It’s not gaurenteed
It’s not regulated
(How soon until the next crazy spending Nelson Skalbania, Murray Pezim , Larry Ryckman or Bruce McNall destroy the League!)

It’s a fair question to ask but there has to be someone at the league office checking to see if they actually did the work. We don’t know what the CBA says regarding this issue. We don’t know what is going on at CFL HQ.

As far as big market vs small market goes. The smaller markets often make more money than the bigger markets. The smaller markets can afford to spend the same amount on marketing if they want to do so.

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The Argos don’t appear to be exploiting it as a salary cap loophole or they wouldn’t have lost as many players in free agency.

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The rules around that stuff all changed after Mike Reilly showed up at the Lions office with a contract looking for his money.

The only other person that knew about his contract was the GM at the time - Hervey.

So all the rules around those contract changed and there were caps put on it in 2021. I don’t remember the details but I think it was about $300k per team now.

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Once again the league manages to shoot itself in the foot, while not being transparent and hurting its image all at the same time.

The secretive nature of these deals is troubling and as been suggested, opens the possibility for abuse.

Secondly, if you have the money to spend, why not just increase the cap accordingly, and lump all the compensation together into one figure. Boosts them image of not only the player but also the league and it’s covered by monies you would have spent anyways so it’s not like you’re hurting yourself financially.

Enough with the circumvention and the cloak and daggers. Be up front and transparent regarding player compensation.