Ways build the CFL brand

I have wondered if there are ways to increase the number of buts in the seats and grow the game so I can enjoy football when I am an old man :wink: Here are my thoughts and I would love to here yours.

  1. Advertise properly. If you don't put the word out, people will not know. I know this is not a problem where I am (Saskatchewan) but I have heard this is a huge problem in places like TO. You have to promote like the other sports players on the scene or you will get lost. I hope Braley and Rudge make this happen. If Rogers won't let the Argos operate properly in Rogers Centre (Argo banners outside the stadium, semi-consistent game times etc...) they will always be climbing uphill. I hate Rogers :twisted: still... Radio Adds, TV Adds, Billboards everywhere, Internet Adds, Tweets and Facebook posts.

  2. Run the teams like a business. The CFL is sometimes treated as a joke because some franchises run/ran their business side like a joke. Spend money on good business people and focus on expanding the business model. You need proper game coverage, game day experience, merchandising and sponsorship tie ins. Saskatchewan used to run like a joke. Part of the turn around in the teams fortunes was when they started running like a business (winning always helps!!). Winnipeg has caught on (mechandise, lottery tickets!!) and Edmonton has always been strong.

  3. Do everything to trend the demographics younger. The number of "older" people in some stadiums is alarming. The average age looks like it's 50-60. It needs to be 20-30. All children under 12 should get in free. Parents with kids should get a good discount. It may pay off in a decade or so. We need to leave that lost NFL only generation behind. We need a generation that sees them as dinosaurs.

  4. Lower ticket prices in larger stadiums. This has the greatest potential to backfire or not work so I am cautious with this idea. The part I miss the most in some CFL stadiums is the atmosphere. If I could bottle gameday at Mosaic and sell it to some of the weaker teams I'd be rich. Tickets in the nosebleeds (upper bowl corners) should be $5. However, as someone may point out, ticket price may not be what is keeping people away.

  5. Price corrected season ticket prices. The idea would that season ticket prices would get cheaper the more you sold. Sell 10,000 season tickets at $400. If you get 20,000 season tickets the price for everyone drops to $200. This would "hopefully" entice people to commit to the season and not 1-2 games a year. Teams should build the atmosphere so that people want to come back. Don't be greedy now. Pick a break even profit and strive for it in a way that puts the most people in the stands. Once you have built the fanbase, you are in a position to strive for profit.

  6. Find sponsors that are willing to put players faces and names out there. This is not a new idea and I think the league has been trying. I can think of the Pinball Clemens/Anthony Calvillo Dove commercials as the only recent example. If they don't play outside of CFL broadcasts, they are useless.

  7. Get some games on CTV. There has to be some room there without stepping on their sweet NFL thing. One game a week, non Sundays. If CTV/TSN won't budge try and find another partner (CBC Global) to do this on the next TV contract.

Got to throw in a video game.


Not a big gamer, but it draws youth.

I have been dying to see, at the very least, downloadable CFL content in Madden FOR YEARS!
But really, I agree with the OP. Games in Toronto and Vancouver look kind of depressing on TV. 2 biggest Canadian cities, 2 of the worst CFL attendances (at least that's how it looks). Always gonna be a tough sell, but you'd think being close to 2 of the worst NFL franchises wouldn't affect attendance so much.

I'm in my mid 50's and couldn't care a crap about a video game but if that is what the youth demands and biz marketers, whatever. As I have said, with all the hype and media attention of the T Maple Leafs, I don't know one player on that team, and I don't ever care to know.
To be honest, I hope the CFL never gets a video game, just to be not as mainstream as the others. :wink:

Local teams have to take some responsibility too. You can't be playing 80's pop tunes if you really want a younger crowd to start showing up, because honestly, some of the stuff I hear on tv is kind of embarrassing. The older crowd has mostly heard it all so you can play just about anything for us, but young folks haven't and they want to hear what's dope for them, or at least in the same neighbourhood. Seriously, I'd look at making the stadium music as contemporary as possible, with heavy emphasis on what's popular with, say, the 18-35 age group in the local area. Then run an ad campaign backed by that music, maybe featuring a popular local band. Use the band for other promo appearances. Show them at the games.

And as far as showing people at the games go, get some popular people you wouldn't expect to see at a game to show up for some. They could be from all walks of life. If somebody does something outstanding in the community, invite them to a game and make hay with that. People will see that and even if it's an obvious marketing ploy it will resonate.

They play some pretty recent music at Tiger-Cat games. Sure, they always find a way to slip some AC/DC or Guns N' Roses in there, but we also get a lot of newer music like Slaughterhouse, Eminem and Flo Rida. Say what you want about the quality of said music, but it's not pop hits from the '80s, that's for sure.

I don't expect any less of the 'Cats. That's why they're my favourite Eastern team. :smiley:

And it seems to be working for them too I might add.

Cuff the Duke, Said the Whale, Wooden Sky, Sadies, Tomi Swick,Sara MacDougall, Catherine Mclellan, Patrick Watson, Ian Tamblyn, Les Jupes etc, non mainstreamers, they work. Listen to Canadian Indie on Galaxie, very nice. Works well with our CFL I'd say.

Nice. I've seen good crowds at IW this year. The cats winning helps too of course.

They should get those bands to actually show up at the games. They don't have to play, they just have to be there as spectators. When interviewed at the game they could say they really like the music at the stadium :wink:

I'm mostly talking about Toronto and BC here, and maybe Montréal. The other teams seem to be doing fine.

I agree with the music thing. stadiums seem to be improving on this of late at least...well, some have. As far as using it in advertisement...if you can find the right price point I agree, but that is a big if.

As far as lowering ticket prices, i disagree. 5 bucks for a ticket belittles the league. You pay more for a whl or ohl game. I see nothing wrong with 60-70 for optimum seating, ranging down to mid 20s. It is 10 bux to get your foot in the door at a movie, and a cheep concert is 30. 10-15 years ago, yeah, 5 dollars...nothing is that cheap any more...heck, a pop at the store is around half that price.

I have said it many times...tailgaiting. It allows families to make a day out of it, not something that mearly interupts the day. It also builds excitement for the game and creates a great social atmosphere. A good social atmosphere in a TG attracts the exact demographic you seek.

Expansion...the league needs 10-12 teams. I dont mind seeing teams play each other several times a year, in fact i love it, but understands it is not appealling to a significant number of people. I belive a better diversity of teams would go a long long way.

Yes rpaege, I love Arcade Fire, Rush, Tragically Hip but Canadian music is them, as great as they are, but so much more and diversified.

Games cost money and in this economy, it's tough to shell out. But a movie, non live entertainment, versus live entertainment, like CFL games, MLS or the Blue Jays, give me live any time of the week thank you.

Agreed. There needs to be value-added entertainment and tailgating gives that. I can't see it happening without changes in local liquor laws.

There is no point in even talking about expansion since there is nothing going to happen there for the foreseeable future. A video game piggy backing on another game, such as Madden, could happen though.

Movies, non live, for the money they want, no THANK YOU. Christ, it's a friggin film for pete sakes. :?

But if that's what works for whomever, go for it, not for me thanks for the prices they are asking -FOR A FILM!

Live or not, it is popular entertainment, and is a good price comparison. The fact it is not live, IMO, only further justifies gameday prices not being at the same or a lesser price point.

Yes, but my wife and me joke about spending money to see a film when going to a live event like a Cats game works so much better for us. But then we like seeing music groups, theatre, sports live. Film just doesn't work for us for the price point.

they should have more preseason games in non-cfl cities. other leagues do this all the time.

Don't most of the Blue Jays preseason play their home games at Dunedin?

i wish TSN did a better job of showing the live audience on TV rather than replays of mundane plays every whistle.
and mic the crowd better, too.
sometimes, when watching a game on TV, it seems like the teams are playing in front of an empty stadium. but then, in the backround, i see a very good crowd. how about showing the people there having a good time...especially in BC place and the Skydome. zoom in an a section that is full, as to not show the empty seats. and again, mic the crowd so i can hear them during live game shots.

one thing that the CFL has a battle with, is the sports media just doesn't care. a day after a great ticats win, TSN1050 spent the day airing live golf, and the fan590 was talking about some US college coach in trouble for something, then talked NFL...umm, hello!?!?! i doubt anyone in canada cares about US college football or NFL right now. let's talk about the football that isn't hapening rather than the football that is. they'll talk anything but CFL. :thdn:

on a related note, the argos game day experience has dropped off the map since cynaman & sokoluski sold the team to braley. during tv time outs, they show old geezers mumbling about how long they've loved the argos. literally mumbling. yawn. they nolonger do a good job in configuing the stadium for football by covering unused sections. used to have the endzone seats under the jumbotron covered so you couldn't tell the seats were there. had all the old logos from the argos past. now, just visible empty seats, just adding to the empty seats. this was the most boring football game experience i can ever remember at the skydome. im going to have a hard time convincing my friends to shell out cash to go to another game there.

Good point dg. I think it just comes down, often, it's easier for the networks to pick up on stories/information from the US for the pro leagues and colleges since they are in touch all the time with the media there as part of what they do and they/we are bombarded with information and stories already created. It's tougher for them to actually create an information base for something in Canada that needs to be started from scratch. Or as they say, why reinvent the wheel sort of thing, too much work, just tag along with the norm, cheaper and little effort required. :?