Should they sell the Grey Cup naming rights?

Damien Cox doesn't think so.

I don't know. I think they would have to maximize the profit that would come of it. Or maybe, since the trophy broke in half at the last Grey Cup, they can sell the naming rights of each half of the Grey Cup, to maximize their returns. The Rona Grey Cup base, Tim Hortons Grey Cup top etc.

Ultimately, if the money from Grey Cup naming rights helps to pay for a CFL video game, I'm for it. Besides, everyone's still going to call it just the Grey Cup regardless of if it's technical name becomes the "Mr. Sub Grey Cup" or something like that. It won't make a great deal of difference.

"the Grey Cup presented by so-and-so" i'm fine with.

anything else, NO.

but it has to be ATLEAST $10 million per year, and we get a videogame outta it with the profits.

if the CFL had a videogame, i'd buy one for all my little cousins, who play videogames.

I would say, absolutely not. If they want to do a deal, “The Grey Cup presented by X” would be the only way to do it, I think, without completely bastardizing the institution …

The profits could definitely be put to use. But I don’t think it would remain “The Grey Cup” past a generation or two, especially if it’s called the “Tim Horton’s Grey Cup”.

Also, any sponsorship deal would have to be VERY long-term, IMO, so that people don’t jump on the “bush-league” bandwagon every time the Grey Cup game changes names.

Overall, I do not like the idea at all, but I’d still watch, and love, the CFL if they did do it.

But I gotta admit I like the idea of separate sponsors for the top and bottom :wink:

Of most great sports pro championships (super bowl, for example) how many have the rights to the name sold to someone? If the CFL wants to make some more revenue, make a video game lol

I was thinking the same thing, jman, with the super bowl, stanley cup, etc. It would just be lame.

And as for everyone that would still call it "the grey cup" and not look at the sponsor: look at mosaic stadium. Just look at it. You can still call it taylor field, but deep down you know that that really bad name is associated with taylor field. Gah, so bad..

So my vote is for absolutely no sponsor, as it's not always about the revenues. It has to be about the integrity of the game.

Who is Damien Cox ?

Who is Damien Cox ?
He's the main sports reporter for the Toronto Star.

The difference between the NFL and NHL is that those leagues aren't hurting for cash. The CFL often is.

Imagine if every team was able to rake in an extra million from this. How far could that go?

I'd hate to see a Canadian Tire logo at the base of the Grey Cup, but I hate seeing teams in financial difficulty even more. And there always seems to be at least one. I'd be open to the "The Grey Cup brought to you by..." as others have mentioned. I don't think the league is in a position still where it leave money on the table.

Any discussion in the past has not been about selling naming rights to the Grey Cup. The cup will always be the 'Grey Cup'.

Rather, they have discussed the naming rights to the game. That way we would have the game described as the "Grey Cup game presented by Tim Horton's" The trophy awarded to the game's winner would still be the 'Grey Cup'.

If that brings in a few million dollars, what's the harm?

Considering the game is about as big (if not bigger) than the trophy, I'm not crazy about that idea either - but personally, I would prefer it to selling the rights to the trophy. I just don't think the casual fan, and more importantly the media, would see it that way. To them, they'll take any opportunity they can to label the CFL as "bush league".

No major championship in North America that I can think of off-hand has "sold out" their championship game, series or trophy - and there is at least one major North American league that is bleeding pretty heavily. The NHL is carried on the backs of 6 Canadian teams and a smattering of American teams, while teams like the Phoenix Coyotes lose $30 million (!!!) a year. Where I'm going with this is that the NHL is probably hurting for cash as much as, if not more than, the CFL.

Everyone could use an extra million, and to CFL teams that represents a bigger chunk of cash than to, say, NHL teams. But right now, all 8 franchises are very stable, and I think they're well on their way to sustainability - so although it would (of course) be nice to have the extra money, I don't think they necessarily need it.

All it is is a name. As long as it has "Grey Cup" somewhere in it I am happy. Let's face it, with the league growing and growing the past few years, it wouldn't hurt to have some more money to spend.

I’m an old traditionalist. I like the Grey Cup as is. Calling it the:

“Wendy’s Hot And Juicy Grey Cup”

just doesn’t do it for me.

SELL SELL SELL, do you think McCohon is going to pass up the golden goose. If he does he isnt as smart as the bog thought.

If the CFL makes money from something easy like naming rights, they will be able to improve their product even further.

It's actually doing the fans a service. Better talent, more fireworks, better productions.

Major professional sports leagues such as the NFL and the NHL have preserved tradition and resisted the temptation to attach a corporate name to the championship trophy defining their respective sports. The CFL can make money in many other ways without having to compromise the Grey Cup name.

I submit to you, Nascar’s Nextel Cup.

I guess I’m of the opinion that the CFL can’t think about right now, it has to think about several years down the road. Several teams in this decade have had at least brief attendance issues. It’s going to happen again to somebody, sooner or later. And maybe the league could attract better potential owners for its clubs if they could point to balance sheets that consistently show black.

Put it this way: I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Yet they don't seem to make money in all those ways. Teams are often in financial difficulty.

Comparing it to the NFL doesn't work. The NFL literally has teams that can play in front of empty stadiums and make money. Even the Cardinals make money.

That does not happen in the CFL. The TV deal is better now, but the league is not at a point where it can afford to be choosy about its income streams.

Of course, that doesn't mean that the NFL won't try to make even more:

How long did it take for you to find the major sponsor? The NFL is only a hair away from doing it. Check the top right. SBXLI presented by...

See, and that's better than "The Diet Pepsi SuperBowl". But I didn't even notice pepsi as a sponsor during all the SuperHype. Granted, I tried to avoid said hype as much as possible, but still, it stayed out of the spotlight well enough. Also, did Pepsi present the trophy, game, or website?

In any case, the logo is still well separated from the sponsor ... whereas (for example) the East and West playoff logos strongly incorporate sponsorship.

Even I don't have a particular problem with The Grey Cup game, sponsored by Rona.
Now consider that is actually nothing new and then we can move forward.
But selling the naming rights to a game, a trophy, a stadium are not at all what is done in the link CRF provides.
Now, if we could completely eliminate all sponsorship and just play football, I would be so much happier.
Sponsors do not make the game better in any concrete manner.
In fact they distract from the game.
But I accept the reality and move on.

Still, selling the naming rights to the Grey Cup takes us beyond what is being done, and is not only unnecessary, but may actually negatively impact the league and the game.
First, companies spend billions of dollars annually trying to build brand recognition.
The CFL has one of the most identifiable brands in Canada as things stand right now. The Grey Cup!
But just to make a few bucks in the short term, they are willing to dilute that brand, and weaken it.
Frankly, direct association with a corporate sponsor cheapens the name, but it also weakens that all important name recognition.
If, and it is a big if, you could guarantee that once a sponsor is on board, it would never change, it might be practical.
But that cannot be guaranteed.
Rona sponsors it for 10 years.
Great. After 10 years, Ford takes over.
Then another.
Or Rona is bought out by Home Depot and the sponsor name changes in 3 years.
Another negative is that having one big sponsor can actually drive away smaller ones.
If Canadian Tire is your sponsor, Rona may decide to completely pull out of any deals.
Total sponsorships can actually decline.
Plus, fans, even the ones who say, "go ahead" tend to feel less loyalty to a team, or a league that is percieved as just another corporate shill. If you need to hold your nose to support something, I say take a deep breath and listen to the nose....
Tradition is extremely important in the survival and growth of a team, a league a sport, and anytime you screw with those traditions, you do so at your peril.

Anyway, in case you think I am just blowing off steam (which I am), here are a few examples from selling the naming rights to stadia.
First, I am a Senator fan.
The team has been in existance for about 14 years.
The stadium they play in has changed its names 3 times in that time period, and I would have to google the stadium right now to tell you what it is currently called.
One of the Texas teams(baseball, I think) signed a deal to name their new home Enron Stadium. Sweet deal that one...there has been more than one corporation to either go belly up, or at least end up in financial difficulty after making a "naming" deal.
Many/most stadiums have had more than one name change, generally in less than 10 years.
On a bit of a digression, no stadium except Taylor Field, that has ever been named after a founder, or community leader, has ever had its name changed (that I am aware of). Certainly it would be the oldest--only Ivorre Wynn, Yankee Stadium and Wrigley are as old or older.Most names are added to new stadiums.
In San Fran, they had two name changes in about 5 years.
The feedback was so negative from fans, media, and corporations, that the sponsor bailed out, and it was very difficult to sell the name the second time, reverting to a version of Candlestick).
Now when the Monster contract expires, the name will, by a public referendum, revert to Candlestick.
In Cleveland, the new Stadium was prevented by by-law from selling the name.
The Red Sox could likely sell the name for a new stadium for a staggering $200 million, but have publically stated the name is not for sale (we'll see).

Anyway, I could ramble on for awhile yet, but instead, I'll sum up.
I see no reason, no advantage to selling the naming rights to the Grey Cup.
Short term gain, for long term pain, has always been a problem with the CFL.
I had hoped they had moved beyond that, but this may prove that some things never change...and usually the wrong things....

Oh.... One of those bums...