Toronto Argonauts and Social Media

I happened to be on Twitter earlier this evening getting the link to the Canadian Sports TV Ratings report and for the heck of it I decided to see how many followers CFL teams had on Twitter and then went on to Facebook to see how many people have liked their Facebook pages - so their posts will appear in your Facebook feed.

Not all that surprisingly the Riders, Lions and Als had some of the biggest numbers and the Argos some of the lowest. I then decided to see how the Argos numbers compared to the other sports teams in Toronto and the results are not good news for the Argos. It is not just traditional media giving the Argos the short end of the stick. Their Twitter and Facebook numbers are alarmingly low when you consider that lots of people under 30 get a fair bit of their daily information including news and sports from Tweets or Facebook posts they read on their phones, tablets or laptops. Anybody who understands social media knows that any business would like to have as many Twitter followers as possible and as many likes as possible on their team's Facebook page.

Right now here are the numbers for Toronto sports teams. The first number is likes on the team's Facebook page, the second number is followers on twitter. (Some of the high numbers for MLSE teams are undoubtedly as a result of social media cross promotions)
Leafs - 981,000 / 556,000
Jays - 718,000 / 391,000
Raptors - 736,000 / 410,000
TFC - 118,000 / 73,100
Argos - 29,000 / 41,000

So whoever the next Argos owner is - if they want to become more relevant among young people in Toronto - social media reach is clearly one area the Argos have a TON of room to improve.

Just another fine example of the current poor ownership and management of this team what a joke. Look at those numbers no wonder the Argos don't have any fans no interaction or any engagement with there fans.Chris rudge was on tsn radio the day after the pathetic crowd they got for the edf game and told mike hogan how they were going to work on having the Argos to have a more of a presence in toronto during the off season! I have yet to see any of that come to fruition.

Those Argo numbers are abysmal. Are they doing anything to combat this situation cause I'm not seeing it and a strong social media presence is crucial to connecting with young fans.

and my beloved TiCats fare even worse than the Argos on Twitter with only 30,400 followers but marginally better on Facebook with 51,025 likes.

either way, terrible numbers by both teams.

Very interesting thread TravelPatB ... And one that I'm quite interested upon.

As far as Twitter #'s for the Official Twitter Account For Each CFL Team ...

BC = 49.1K
EDM = 33.2K
CGY = 35.8K
SSK = 77.8K
WPG = 46.8K
HAM = 30.4K
TOR = 41.2K
OTT = 2.2K
MTL = 42.4K
CFL = 73.0K
Cohon = 11.3K

Now as far as Ranking their Twitter Followers To Their Attendance #'s in 2013 (Visitor first ... Home second)

Twitter	Visitor Att	Home Att

BC 2 3 5
EDM 7 4 4
CGY 6 6 2
SSK 1 1 1
WPG 3 8 3
HAM 8 2 8
TOR 5 5 7
MTL 4 7 6

Now ... there seems to be very little correlation between the number of Twitter followers and attendance as a visiting team (4.76%). But ... there is a strong correlation between the number of Twitter followers and home attendance numbers. (50%)

So when you look at it that way ... Toronto's numbers are really not that bad since Twitter Followers #'s obviously are a product of your respective fan bases.

I'm a die-hard Twitter guy ... gave up Facebook years ago ... So I can't really comment on FB.

As far as Twitter ... I agree ... It's crucial in order to connect with & engage with a younger & future fan base ... not only for Toronto but for each & every team in the league and the league as a whole.

As far as I'm personally concerned ... I find Twitter invaluable as a way to quickly get the info I'm looking for in the CFL. I follow all the beat writers for each of the teams as well as the radio colour & play-by-play guys. It's a very quick way to get timely info for each & every team. The journalists post their columns directly to Twitter so I don't have to go log onto the various websites & find their column.

I also follow a fair number of players. It's a great way to engage with the colourful personalities in the CFL.

A few qualitative observations on Twitter & Fan Bases & Followers etc.

  1. Not surprised to see SSK with so many followers (BC + HAM = SSK). They are very engaged with the community. With so many fans that come from all over the province for game, there's no wonder fans keep in touch with the team abroad via Twitter.

  2. BC has done well with Twitter. I feel this has a lot to do with Christie Buono. She's done a great job engaging with followers and fans.

  3. It's kind of a chicken & egg thing. How do you get someone to follow on Twitter if they have no interest in CFL Football? Aren't the number of followers on Twitter a direct result of the number of fans of your team? The #'s appear to say that. So how do you change that?

  4. My belief is you need an engaging personality to engage young people on Twitter to have them follow and ultimately buy a ticket to the game as well as merchandise etc, etc. That's what Toronto needs. They need an engaging personality/player to engage with the community in the area. Yes, I know they do a lot of community/public service events ... but perhaps they need to do more "Publicity" events! Too bad Adriano Belli & Rob Murphy are retired ... they'd be perfect Twitter ambassadors for the Boatmen!

The Argos ... or any team for that matter ... Need an Ambassador who has a lot of Followers to just Retweet Argo Promos & suggest they follow/engage/participate. That's what Drake is/has done with The #RTZ. I'm not too sure who that is exactly ... perhaps another athlete in the market. Perhaps an entertainer.

I'd suggest Maestro Fresh Wes (Wesley Williams). He's a Toronto/Scarborough guy ... Former Football Player (And a good one I might add!) ... Has a strong following ... Is not a PR nightmare as he has his **** together ... And is engaged at the youth level already.

There you go 1991Argo ... Take that to Rudge and Braley ... Thank me later.

We should remember the other sports teams belong to U.S.-based leagues with the majority of their teams in the U.S, which has 10 times the population to draw from.

The CFL is in Canada only, with little spillover in interest from 300 million Americans who will drive up the "likes" for basketball, baseball and soccer.

I'm sure if Canada joined the U.S. and added 20 American teams, the Argo's facebook interest would skyrocket! But that doesn't mean they will draw more viewers on TV or draw more fans to Skydome...only more facebook likes. :expressionless:

There may be some truth to that Xyvs to slightly inflate some of those numbers - but I consider myself a pretty typical fan and social media user and I follow or like the teams I am fans of. So I like the Facebook page of the Jays, TFC, Leafs, Raptors and Ti-Cats. I don't 'like' or 'follow' any other teams in any of the leagues those teams play in - and I would assume that sort of social media profile would be fairly typical.

I'm not really interested in getting a bunch of tweets about the latest player appearances of a Chicago Blackhawks player at a Chicago sports bar - so I don't follow the Blackhawks on Twitter. Because a lot of the tweets of teams I follow or Facebook posts are things just like that.

And Fenderguy you are absolutely right - young fans are really engaged through team ambassadors or even players activities on social media. (But of course players need to be careful what they tweet - just ask Arland Bruce - lol). I'm sure Drake is responsible for thousands of the people following the Raptors now just as Chris Bosh was when he played here where they encourage people to like the team's page on Facebook or follow the team's tweets. Bosh was a social media fiend.

In the case of the Blue Jays it was largely because of the social media numbers following guys like Brett Lawrie and Jose Bautista that helped drive the complete revitalization of the Blue Jays fan base. Some of the first people in Toronto to get news about the Eaton Centre shooting a couple of years ago were twitter followers of Brett Lawrie because he was there. The Jays are very cool with the under 30 crowd again and the median age of fans at a Jays game has probably dropped by more than 10 years over the last few seasons - most of that fueled through social media. Lawrie has 224,000 followers on Twitter and he just tweeted 'Morning smile - have a positive day'. Later he'll probably tweet something about heading for the game. No big deal but it will be a reminder to those following him the Jays have a game tonight.

Bautista has over 479,000 followers on Twitter and 169,000 likes on his facebook page and he's very active on both those platforms promoting things he and the Jays are doing and always posting pictures of himself or other Jays. I follow both of them.

The Jays are even taking it a step further and are planning on 'Social Media Nights' - they consider social media that significant to not only building but just as important - if not more important - maintaining their fan base by keeping them engaged. ... ghts-2014/

Things like that do make a HUGE difference in getting young fans interested.

All part of building the brand. People won't participate until its more ligit. Just the way it is.

Social media is important for connecting especially with the younger fan base or potential fan base, agree. For myself I don’t care but I’m an older fan who rarely uses social media.

And yet on the CTV news poll question on who is your favourite Toronto team, The Argo beat TFC and the Raptors, only losing to the Jays and Leafs. The news story was part of the Jays opener, and did not even mention the Argos, in the story as they are the only team not playing right now, so with the Raptors making a playoff run and TFC getting all the press over their huge signings, the Argos still beat them even though they are not even in the public eye right now

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Give it a rest there buddy! Are you seriously going to look at a ctv poll with 200 votes for the Argos and think that the Argos are as popular as tfc or the raptors! Lol you also had all of your pals from all trying to garner votes for that poll! Lol give it a rest the Argos are a complete joke in toronto thanks in large part to the poor ownership that is destroying them. This is all coming from a die hard Argo fan!

TFC or Blue Jays or Leafs or Raptors or whomever in Toronto or whomever in the universe can be the most popular team in the universe, I don't care. All I know is the CFL and TSN have a great working relationship and the TV numbers, where most of the bulk of the advertising dollars still are, are fantastic. Social media, I'll leave that for the people that have to be connected 24/7 to feel they count in this world, the rest of us normal sorts can sit in the backyard with a coffeee or tea or drink and enjoy life without being connected via some intel processesor thingy to feel relevant or connected to twitter, pinterest or whatever is the latest social media crave out there that relies on bits and bites and electricity. Sure we'll die out sooner than later than the younger people but then after that, do I really care? :wink:

The Argos are a complete joke in Toronto and yet look at the deal with the CFL and TSN. Guess what, like the Leafs Toronto is a complete joke. :stuck_out_tongue: Go Habs for the Stanley and beat the Leafs. Oops, my bad, Leafs are outta da playoffs. 8)

Nobody cares about Toronto, nobodddddddddddddddy!!!

Wasn't sure how you were going to do it, but you managed to get Braley in this post too. Someone needs to get this guy in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Easy there lastman

The most important popularity poll is what generates revenue, i.e. TV ratings and ticket sales...not twits and tweets.

The last TFC game on Saturday drew 53,000 viewers, the playoff-bound Raptors 161,000 on Friday, the Bills in Toronto 265,000 (with no CFL competition), the Toronto Argos 1,900,000 with another 36,000 frenzied fans at Rogers Centre! That's the kind of social media we like!! :thup:

53,000 ----Holy smokes, that's not even family and friends ! Also took a look at the Jay's game to-night , lots and lots and lots of empty seats , guess opening week-end is over and The Yankee's have left town ...........

As someone mentioned above the Argos are going to have to re build their Brand. If the MLSE were to buy the Argos that would be an automatic re brand. The Argos simply being under the MLSE banner puts them in a category where they will be promoted with the Leafs, Raptors, TFC, and the Marlies.
Playing at an MLSE manged veneu will help as well. Like the Rock who is not owned by MLSE are still involved in the events promotion at Air Canada and BMO.

If Rogers balks at the MLSE ownership it is high time for Bell to step up to the plate. TSN braodcasts Rock games on TSN2. TSN also has the rights to MLS national Soccer games but also have the rights to the Vancouver White Caps regional TV rights as well as their Jersey sponor and Pitch naming rights.
The same can be done for the Argos as their owner, Jersey patch Sponsor, Gridiron naming rights at BMO.
Bell also as the Argos owner could actually have a weekly Argos show on TSN2/CTV2/TSNGO live streaming,
Bell also has a practice facility in Montreal with two ice rinks and two soccer pitches.
You would think they could do the same and build a Football Practice complex for the Argos.
Bell has the ability to promote the CFL in Southern Ontario and it is high time that they do it. Imagine the Bell/Argos football practice facility hosting a ton of football camps.

You crack me up sometimes Xyvs. '36,000 frenzied fans' - but how many were Argos fans? A playoff game in their own stadium against there biggest rival and they could not get more than 18,000 of their own fans to buy tickets - even though play-off tickets were on sale to Argos fans for two full weeks before that game and a birth to the Grey Cup was on the line. .

I can tell you that the day the Raptors announce play-off tickets are on sale for the first two play-off games in Toronto those nearly 40,000 tickets will be sold out within hours. And for those comparing Jays midweek April crowds to Argos - remember the Jays have 81 games to sell and yet they averaged 10,000 more per game last year than the Argos who only had 9 games to sell. The three games against Houston will still draw in total something like 41,000 meaning within six days over 165,000 people will have passed through the gates to watch early season Jays games. That is approaching what the Argos draw in an entire season.

Yes TV ratings Argos are very solid - but why are so few of those people buying tickets in Toronto? Seriously - why is that the case? I don't have the answer to that but it has to be a huge concern for a team playing in a league where so much of their revenue is derived from ticket sales.

Raptors playoff tickets selling for two games selling within hours? Try less then 30 mins! T.v ratings might be ok for the Argos but how many actually watch from toronto I can guarantee that majority of them people are from out west.