The CFL marketing to a younger generation

it's known that CFL has had a tough time marketing to the youth. I feel like a few of these ideas would help.

  1. Continue to invest in grassroots - Partner more with football Canada and create a CFL academy in each CFL market. Giving professional-level coaching to high school students. It would allow kids to be more familiar with players and the organization in their area.

  2. Market better to students - Reduced ticket prices for enrolled students with a dedicated student section in the stadium. An annual student game where all of the local post-secondary institutions are brought in for a game. Invite local U sports or CJFL football teams as well.

  3. More Content - The CFL has a rich history but it also has a lot of creative personalities in the field to show off. Do it! More player interviews, behind the scenes at camp, off-season training, and their personal stories.

  4. Access to content - This ties into both marketing to students and more content. I believe the TSN contract is good from the television side of things. Even today I think you can't beat the simplicity of point and click to watch a game. However, knowing many students or people even after graduation don't have cable. If it is a toss-up between cable and internet. Internet will win every time. CFL does have an online option with TSN but it is expensive by streaming standards. Netflix is the benchmark for streaming services cost; anything higher than NetFlix is deemed pricey. If the CFL is able to create its own online streaming service similar to the CEBL with CEBL plus. It would give the younger generation access to games and insider content. Technology has made it easier and more cost-effective to create your own studio and broadcast your own content. Maybe, partner with the 3 Down Nation and create the 3 Down Network.


Might be easier just to do one game a week on Youtube. Games that no one likes to see like any match involving Ottawa :wink:

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They already know it exists and the younger generation has already rejected it.

The other thing is the game is being rejected at the youth level because the CFL oriented game requires highly skilled passing talent, which you don't get at the youth and high school level. What you end up with is a blowout 3-down game at the youth and high school level. That's why the 11-man game is more visually entertaining.


I think you keep Canadian rules but 4 downs until Grade 11 high school like in Ontario. The reason spread offense in the NFL and College is so effective because they've developed great passers from a young age. These kids are used to throwing 40-60 times a game. We can develop great passers here in Canada. it's not about just the 3 down game; it's about getting them better as football players and familiar with their local teams and palyers. I watched the NFL growing up but I also watched the CFL because a CFL player from my area held a football camp every year; where we learned from several CFL players. It's about influence.

Everything you suggested has been done. CFL teams and the CFL have done a lot of marketing. The pre-game and half time concerts have been geared towards young people. Teams already do things like "Argos in the schools" free entry at pre-season games. They already invite local university students to games.
The Argos have $20 tickets available, $4 beer, the Shipyard pre-game with Rappers and DJs
TSN holds ALL broadcast rights for another 6 years so no one is going to be recording Youtube games etc.
I think the CFL marketers are doing a good job, that's why they pay them well.

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None of these are new suggestions we haven't heard before. Not that suggesting them again is any bad thing, but how many times can one go round and round?

The problem is they just don't have the right people in the league office. Whatever the league's problems, whatever they are, they have proven incapable of solving them.

So, offering solutions would be pretty much pointless at this point. I'd hate for anyone to lose their jobs, but really, the only solution is to start fresh at the league level with brand new faces, people who will have new ideas to offer, not just dredged up from some forum.


Yes I know I am old but when I started going to Esks Games they had the 7.11 cent 7-11 Tickets for students. We were in the endzone but as kids we loved it and it got us hooked.


They generally try to attract young people with horrible music at Grey Cups. If it was up to me would be BTO every year


Part of the process should be with the pairing of the Vanier Cup and Grey Cup weekend with some recognition ceremony during the Grey Cup.


Can't happen since Fred Turner has officially retired from the music biz due to health reasons

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Very sorry to hear that,God Bless him. Maybe Randy and Burton,The Guess Who originals

Even a little more modern like Loverboy etc,lots of great Canadian talent from days gone by. No, no modern crap,no rappers,no Beiber nonsense ,nobody from Junos past 20+ years

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The Vanier & Grey Cups should be on the same weekend as it was in the past.
Better yet played in the same stadium.
That's the way to go plus as far as entertainment please forget the has-beens & wannabes

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A celebration Canadian Football week once a year that is celebrated annually with championships at all levels in that one city is the way to go and getting the league off of ONE cable sports network would be job number one and two to blanketing the coverage in Canada and gaining a stronger relevance inside our borders especially in the big three cities .

TSN alone is limiting and no longer growing the game domestically which it did very well when they concentrated more on the CFL when they launched a bigger brighter version of the league ; I think it was Keith Pelley that kicked the league in the ass and gave it a little spark .

That spark is just not there anymore . They need someone new like that to push the league and it's partner like TSN to move the needle .


That's true and some of the concerts at the Argo games were terrible.
They brought out that Rap singer a couple of years ago and they were trying to get fans to go on to the field at half time in front of the stage because it was live on TSN.
They couldn't find many young people that wanted to stand there.
We just went down to get beer at half time.
Didn't think half time shows on TSN could get any worse until Montreal had a Franco Rapper - that was brutal


Some of the music acts are part of partnership with a major record company called Universal Music .

It gives some exposure to both .

It's a great idea unless they use the acts to do play by play .

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I lived in rural farm country Ontario when CFL went to TSN,we lost a lot of viewers. In those days you were looking at 1000$ for 18 inch satellite dish plus expensive fees. The idea of putting that kind of money out for tv was immoral to them.

My family big time CFL fans listened to games on the radio,and enjoyed it, but a huge # of people were lost . Personally I think time to fold the CBC, they are unpatriotic, spend tons of money on sports outside of CFL.

CBC no longer has reason to exist, Global and CTV have stronger signals in far north, also if you are not ultra liberal you can never be employed by CBC, but that's for a non football thread


Well said my friend

The future is streaming, not everyone can pick up over the air signals or subscribe to cable/satellite but I would think that everyone has the internet.
I cut the cord and just have the internet
TSN/RDS is available to everyone now if you subscribe through the streaming TSN GO app.
Young people don't watch TV, they are on their Iphone, pads etc, that's the future


I was speaking in past before internet ,when CFL for first time was not available on free tv

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I doubt the cross promotion has done anything to draw youth to the CFL... especially when an R&B artist is playing in front of a sparse crowd of retired men at BMO..

No the league must refocus on its main product: football..

Support grass roots programs, (especially for young girls).. keep the broadcasts focused on the games.. make online access more affordable and incidental (with a popular medium like Amazon or Netflix or DAZN..) .. get teams into more markets by hook or by crook to make the CFL a conversation piece in more corners of the country..

This is how youth become fans.. not by ADD sideshows that work as an appendage to an already popular product.. the product isn't sufficiently popular among youth in large markets.. Finding the popular live music acts is not difficult in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver..