Time for some soul-searching questions

• Should the CFL redesign its logo?

• Is it time for a new Grey Cup for the next 100 years?

• Should the Eskies go to the green helmets full time?

The CFL logo is a very well designed logo. It's simple, clean, easy to read, and clearly identifiable. There is no doubt what it represents. But it's also very perky, perhaps a bit whimsical or quaint, and lacks reverential seriousness and gravitas. It would be the perfect logo for the CFL if the league was only 5 years old. The league is actually 56 years old. It needs a logo that better reflects the long and storied history of the league, and gives it a branding that says venerable, historical, professional, and excellent. I believe this would go a long way towards redefining the CFL for southern Ontario, where the current overly youthful branding is not working as well as it does elsewhere in Canada.

The Grey Cup has something the CFL logo does not: heft and weight. Both in terms of actual physical size and historical significance. But it's massive, and it looks as if it's been designed by a committee who wants to leave nobody out. Most championship trophies are a quarter of the size, and most are VERY beautiful, if not works of fine craftsmanship. In fact, most appear to focus more on beauty and quality than any other determining factor. Take, for example, the AFL premiership cup:

[url=http://www.watoday.com.au/afl/afl-news/whos-who-of-wa-have-their-say-on-grand-final-20100924-15q70.html]http://www.watoday.com.au/afl/afl-news/ ... 15q70.html[/url]

This cup is really attractive, much smaller than the Grey Cup, yet just as revered and coveted in Australia. It doesn't make any attempt to list every player on the cup, so it doesn't need massive added on layers to make room for more names. It's also much less likely to be broken and can be easily moved around by a single person. As an added bonus, knock off cups are packaged and sold to the public, so every fan can have one on their mantle if they want one. In this day and age, where everything is available (or should be available) on line, it's no longer necessary to engrave all those names on the cup. What's needed is a redesigned cup that is uniquely Canadian, yet updated to reflect a new reality and dynamic culture, and is actually a really attractive cup that people would love to own. It could create a whole new mini-market and give the CFL an opportunity to have a permanent conversation piece in many homes. Think elegant.

The Eskies green helmets give the team a really unique look. It also makes it look a little more bad-ass than the old yellow gold helmets. It's time to make the change permanently and give the team a colour scheme it can own, instead of sharing it with the Green Bay Packers. I believe it will help the Eskie and CFL brand in the states — which is important to grow to attract players, perhaps sponsorship dollars from international corporations, and potential broadcast revenue. It's time to retire the the yellow. Go bold with dark green. Own it.

Please discuss.

No, no and no

Great logo.
The grey cup is great how it is. Perhaps the body could use some work ( as it currently looks kinda cheep and tin-like ), but not the cup.
The esks yellow helmet is the only yellow helmet in the league. A green helmet is only copying Saskatchewan.

It's a completely different shade of green. It looks nothing like the Sask green helmet. There is zero yellow in the 'rider colours.

The body IS the cup. It's all one piece. You can't love the cup and ignore the body. It wouldn't be the first time the cup has been redesigned.

I understand that many are resistant to change. I just wish people would think beyond the immediate and look at the league's challenges and ways to address them. That's what I have done. Corporate re-branding goes on all the time. It can be very beneficial.

As good as the logo is, it is no longer appropriate for a league that's 56 years old and has a championship trophy that's 100. It also does little, obviously, to enhance and elevate the CFL's image in southern Ontario. Has anybody every considered that slow decline of the CFL in its biggest market closely mirrors the league re-branding since 2002?

I like the cup the way it is. Other sporting events like the Indianapolis 500 put all their winners on the cup as well. I think arguements can be made both ways, but I like the names being added to the cup each year so the history of the cup is clear to all who see it and to all that hold it.

CFL logo ... rebranding can be very beneficial, but would benefit most if we were after a new market ... for example a new foray into the US (which is not going to happen for a LONG time ... IMO). I think a good product on the field is better than rebranding at this time. Look at the parity in the league this year. that is creating a buzz around the sport that hasn't been there in years. With the addition of Ottawa into the mix, if we can keep the parity where it is or better, the league will grow from this buzz alone. I don't think now is the time to worry about rebranding.

Could care less about EEs helmets. do what they want.

Just my opinion(s)

Except that it's impossible to have every name of every person from every team that has ever won the cup. Which is why it must be replaced periodically.

I like your argument for not re-branding, as I agree that parity is making a difference. However, that's more a result of the salary cap. It's not doing a lot to repair the image in southern Ontario, which has been in steady decline since 2002 - the very year the last logo was introduced. I like your optimism though. Perhaps you are right.

Everything every team does is important in a small league. Image is important, and as you well know, it's important to grow revenue and bring in quality players. That makes marketing in the U.S. extremely important. It doesn't mean the CFL actually needs teams there.

It's not doing a lot to repair the image in southern Ontario, which has been in steady decline since 2002 - the very year the last logo was introduced.
I don't see an issue in Hamilton (Hamilton fans feel free to chime in with your thoughts), the bigger issue is Toronto. The problem with Toronto is they seem to feel that if they don't have what "every" large US city has then they are somehow a "lower class". Rebranding is not going to change this "self esteem" problem that Toronto has. If it's not the NFL, Toronto will fain no interst (even if secretly they are CFL fans). The only way I see toronto rebounding is as the cap raises, bigger "names" entering the league. Either way, Toronto is not the league and rebranding just to try and sell to a single "small" market is not necessarily effective or efficient.

Another issue which is affecting attendance more in the East than the West is the economy. Quite simply people have less disposable income than we do in the west and as a result they are more conscious of their spendnig habits. All the rebranding in the world is not going to help that. The CFL is a Blue collar game. In Toronto they have to figure out how to market a blue collar game to the white collar crowd, yet still hang on to their blue collar fans.

Again, my opinion.

The Toronto/southern Ontario market is bigger than all other markets combined (except the U.S. of course, which simply must not be ignored for potential television and gear sales revenue, as well as player recruitment). The old star system that nearly killed the league isn’t coming back. The league needs to change its marketing strategy in its biggest market to better reflect league realities of competitiveness, quality, history and cultural significance. That ultimately means a new and better logo.

Re-branding could absolutely change the perception of the league in its biggest market. That’s the point of re-branding. There is a LOT of money in Toronto. Take a look at all expensive new condo towers being built. There is no shortage of people with cash to spend. The economy, all things considered, is actually in pretty good shape, which makes the Argo Enigma even more perplexing and such a tough nut to crack. Appeal to that money. Make people feel they are supporting a venerable, high quality league. The current logo says nothing about that.

I beleive the "This is our league" campagian addresses the image issues of the CFL. I realize that Toronto is a big market, but not when compared to the entire country. The issues the Argonauts are having selling themselves to the people/fans of Toronto is a Argos problem, not a league problem (although the league does need to work with them to try and assist them). The league is already working to help raise CFL football's profile in Toronto as shown by the fact the 100th Grey Cup is going to be played there. Even with this historical and significant event, Toronto is still not responding.

Add to this that the Argos have tried the "celebrity" card by making themselves into a "reality" show (which I believe is just a distraction ... see last seasons results) and I just don't see rebranding being the single solution to Toronto's problem. different add campaign ... maybe. ultimately, the Argonauts organization has to find out what their fan base needs and address those issues.

The rest of the league does not have a problem (that I can see).

Ottowa is coming back on board and I'm sure that will generate buzz and sales in ottowa.
Hamilton has a new stadium coming and hopefully will have some success from their team.
Winnipeg needs to find a quarterback than cam play an entire game or better yet a season AND they already have a new stadium.
Saskatchewan has nothing but the Riders, so they will always be viable.
Calgary/Edmonton both starting to make stadium noises. Calgary has the support of the Flames organization and another playoff season (8 in a row).
BC reigning Grey Cup Champs (and good chance of repeating) ... nuff said!

As I have said before, this is just my opinion. I just don't see rebranding as necessary right now.

I respect your opinion and appreciate your comments.

Agreed that Toronto is not responding. And since the advent of the current CFL logo in 2002, they haven't been responding in increasing numbers. It's a perception problem. Many see the CFL as less than what it is: a high quality, professional league with a polished product with high production values, and an exciting brand of gridiron football. That's significant and MUST be addressed. A league logo that implies "We're professional, we're well-respected, we're historical, and we represent the best" can directly speak to people beyond the purely nationalistic sentiments expressed by the current logo, which I said in my initial post is actually very good, but increasingly dated and inappropriate for such a venerable league as the CFL.

I also agree that "Our League" is a great approach. That needs to be expanded and reflected in the logo.

I guess we could also bring up the "Engraved on a Nation" series as another effort to raise awareness of the CFL, it's history, etc.

That's a brilliant idea in my opinion. It's just the sort of thing that adds to the CFL library of historical documentation, and increases the legendary status of the league. One of these days maybe I'll compile a list online films and movies about the CFL. There are quite a few.

I'm very sorry I missed the Chuck Ealey story since it doesn't appear to be available to me here in the states.

rpaege, sorry I don't mean to be disrespectful, but a new logo for the league, a newly designed Grey Cup, and green helmets for the Eskimos are the least of the league's problems.

A professional O-line is a good start for the Toronto market. Don't want to come across as a troll, but seriously, that was just a disgraceful display today against the Als. If we're talking "branding" here, trying not to have the defensive lineman's facemask branded into the quarterback's chest is a good start.

Of course there is no substitution for winning, but the CFL’s problems in southern Ontario are more complicated than that. The Argos should be able to draw 35k for every game by default. That they can’t is clearly a serious problem. It’s not going to go away only by hiring Ricky Ray and beefing up the O-Line. They must do every thing necessary to change the perception of the league and the team in the country’s largest market.

Look around, there has been a ton of promotion and the Argos are still drawing poorly. Sure, great, win! But a boom and bust team isn’t healthy. It needs a sustained strong base through the lean times too.

I read somewhere that well over half of Toronto's population is first-generation immigrants. Vancouver wouldn't be much different. Does the CFL have any strategy for tapping into this market, or do we just cede it to soccer? LOng-term I suspect that's a bigger competitor than the NFL coming to Canada.