What Must Cohon Do to Take CFL to the Next Level?

Last week at the CFLPA Annual Meeting wherein Mr. Cohon was present he made this remark:

Mark Cohon said just last week that he wants "to make the CFL the most respected sporting organization in Canada, bar none. "
Surely this isn't just talk, he must have some game plan to achieve what he wants to get done right? Well, the thing that keeps this league together are us proud Canadians and diehard fans of the CFL. I believe that if Mr. Cohon surely means to do this, then we, as fans should tell him exactly what we are looking for that would, in our eyes, make the CFL the most respected sport organization in Canada.

Of course nothing happens overnight, and many things, especially expansion will take years to develop and go through. Nontheless, take advantage of this one thread and let the execs know what YOU think the CFL should focus on.

Top of my list is of course a CFL Video Game, there are numerous topics on this the most recent being http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?name=PNphpB ... ic&t=25113 and also a quick google search will net you thousands of similar discussions. But the one thing is, is MAKE SURE it's GOOD! Anything less, will reflect badly upon the league.

Secondly, officiating, but I do believe (hope) something is being done about this. As an amateur official myself, I hold the opinion that it is such an important part of the game, and a bad record in officiating brings a black mark to the league, and can really turn many fans off.

Thirdly, and this kind of ties into my first point, Marketing. Although each team has a responsibility to market themselves to the market, the league needs to step up its own corporate marketing of the league in general. Make it hit home that this is an all Canadian sport, with all Canadian teams. Use that sense of national pride and run with it, sensationalize it if you have to. Make a Canadian NFL fan go "I enjoy watching the NFL but ill go check my cities CFL team out, this IS our game." Be a part of the big Canada Day celebrations in all of your teams markets!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, you are all fans too, so your input is invaluable!

From an interview I've heard it seems that finally the CFL will try to update it's venues. He mentioned a real estate/retail partnership to help fund renovations/new facilities.

Besides that, I think he's going to try to bring the league to new heights financially . Have all teams make money. He has mentioned the importance of attracting youth to the sport. This may be one of the biggest things he can do. The CFL lost a generation of fans when the league was in bad shape. He probably wants to add a tenth team.

Hopefully the CFL will become even more mainstream. Idiots with fat egos will take pride in the CFL instead of attempting to bring the NFL to Canada. I really feel we need deep-pocket owners with forward-thinking.

By the end of this TV deal, let's hope the next one generates even more revenue for the teams and that the Cap (speaking of which...might want to rectify) increases. With that CFL teams would be able to further compete with the NFL teams for players, which will help the CFL in the States.

I don't want the league to add American teams but certainly we need to tap in to that TV market as much as possible.

what he must do is get all kinds of contraceptives banned in Canada.

then get the govt to pay canadians to have lots of kids

then get some mad scientist to produce to mass hypnotic commercials to brainwash all children to become future CFL fanatics.

then, and only then, can they consider expanding to 12 teams.

Then they be on the next level.

It seems to me that a CFL commish. (Whoever he is) Is constantly fighting an uphill battle with the "B.O.G.'s" Kind of like the Salmon swimming upstream!

In a country of 30 million+ people, and Hockey being almost a religion, you have to think outside the box to market a product that is truely far better then the 'NoFunLeague'.

To the true Football fans in Canada, there is no other! But, how large is that number? And...how do you make it even larger?

We now know that the good-ol-usa hype machine has seriously padded the numbers for "viewers" of the 'Super Bore' throughout the world for years! Padding those numbers only gets you more adverts which gets you more dollars, but, doesn't get you more viewers!!

I think the CFL needs to go and reach places that have open minds and attitudes about sports. Places like Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., Expose the world to 3-down Football. And then you'll see more demand for the product and revenue will climb.


The main problem starts with the universities. Our best athletes are not playing for our universities, which brings exposure down. These universities entering the NCAA does not help one bit. The CIS is a great product, it is just a diamond in the rough. We need to keep our best athletes here, and if that means giving out scholarships, then so be it. Get college attendence up by keeping our hometown athletes here, instead of going to central florida or boston college, It will boost college attendance. If Canadian college football can be as popular as junior hockey, i will be happy.

The next problem is all the NFL talk in Toronto. Once that is settled by the bills either finding stable long term ownership or moving to a new American city, that will help the CFL tremendously.

Third is officiating, this needs to be improved.

Next is marketing, the product needs to be out there. This means easier access to apparel, a video game, etc. It helps alot for teams to be involved in the community.

Alot of the venues are older and falling apart, and need to be improved.

And finally, once the CFL can find two more stable franchises to coincide with the 8 existing ones, the CFL will be a coast to coast, premier truly Canadian game.

Yes. Here in Canada we're pathetic in this aspect. In the states they develop people. The talent in the CIS is incredible but those athletes get completely shafted compared to their NCAA counterparts. Those who are fortunate enough go to the states, get developed there and come back to canada and the we claim them as our own. Pretty pathetic in my opinion. Let's develop our own players. The only sport done well is hockey and maybe to a smaller extent football.

Marketing!!!!!!! They need to bombard check out lines with some merchandise at the grocery store . How many tmes do you see some little kid in front of you grab something and say I want this Mommy. Some kid sees something cool he likes he will want it and he/ she might watch a game. We also need T shirts in cases of beer. You shouldnt have to go out and specifically look for some CFL merchandise it should be visible and whatever it is it should be cool.

BobbyP, I like your idea of not just selling
CFL merchandise in team stores but all over town
at locations other than the normal retail stores.

Good items to try in grocery store check-out lines
would be stuffed mascot toys like Stripes and TC.

Those shelves are the most costly
but it is worth looking in to.

How about Car Dealerships or repair shops
offering items for sale as a Spring Special?

Dear Person Working for the League Reading These Posts:

Please ensure these get forwarded on, especially the one with the mad scientists and brain-washing.

Keep 'em coming guys, many excellent ideas already!

I'm all for scholarships at our universities. But they would have to go big time. Full scholarships and more full time coaches. Maybe two divisions, one for the larger universities and one for the smaller ones.

It would still be hard to compete with the big NCAA schools for players. But we have hundreds of kids going down to smaller US colleges on full scholarships. Many of these places don't have any larger stadiums then many of our universities. How can they afford to give out full rides and our universities can't or won't?

I would like to see more money put into developing junior football. Make football like hockey, and focus on major junior leagues. Players can be paid to play while continuing their educations. It would be tough on CIS schools to try to compete with NCAA schools, and the costs might end up causing some football programs to shut down. Focusing on junior leagues would allow football to develop anywhere in Canada, not just in cities that have universities with football programs.
I would also like to see the office of CFL commissioner have powers similar to commissioners of other professional leagues. That way, less time would be spent trying to cajole governors, and more time could be spent on the business and marketing of the game.

There are a few comments here that I would like to comment on.

First and foremost, I TOTALLY agree on the merchandising one. Here in Edmonton, it really seems that the only places that have any CFL gear is the sports stores themselves. With that being said I think the CFL and their own online store has to be MUCH improved. Individual teams on their sites do a wonderful job of selling team merch and thats fine but all the other "major" leagues (NHL, NFL, MLB abnd so on) run their stores through the league store. You goto a team site of an above mentioned league and you goto to team merchandise are a taken to that leagues store. Why can't the CFL do that as well? IMO it looks a little more profesional. To finish my thought on this, I think the CFL store needs to sell ALOT more items. I never understood why they don't sell those old CFL traditions videos. They're awsome and if they sold them, I would certainly buy them.

Second, the video game. Will it help bring a younger fanbase to CFL stadiums? I don't really know. I don't think it helped the Arena League much. I would love a CFL video game and I would buy it but with the Madden series and the NCAA football series(IMO is much better than Madden) we get maybe two games before they discontinued the series (it happened to the AFL) due to the lack of popularity. I don't think a video game is the solution.

Third, I think that the schedule will need to be altered a bit for the 2009 season. I would really like to know how well the Thursday night game is appreciated in ALL CFL cities. I know here in Edmonton, there are a few fans who like the Thursday games but the vast majority of us, do not like them. I think that maybe the CFL should look at Two Friday and Two Saturday games for 2009. I'd like to know how hard that would be in Toronto with the Argos and the Jays sharing the Rogers Centre? Every other city it seems like it could happen for the main fact that the CFL seems to be the major if not only tennants of that cities stadium.

Last of all, the CFL has to be marketed a bit more and with TSN that shouldn't be a problem. Yes, hockey is a religion here but it's over come CFL season. I think the CFL has to take a few pages from the Arena League when it comes to marketing. They do an awsome job and I think the CFL could do the same. The CFL getting on American TV will help.

That's my two cents.

He could make appearances of at least noise on a more frequent basis so the rest of the world knows we HAVE a commish. Just an idea.


yeah, maybe he should have an affair with spears or something.

I'm sending Elliot Spitzer's call girl to his house as we speak.

Amazing ideas everybody, keep them coming!

This a great time for the CFL to position itself. The NFL European league is done and efforts to get spring football going in the US have failed. The CFL is the only other solid outdoor football league, aside from the NFL and that is a strength.

Very true Mark7, CFL should exploit the time frame the season is held in, let the NFL diehards know there is an awesome game to be watched while u wait for NFL season to start.

NFL diehards look upon CFL the same way some CFL diehards apparently look upon arena ball.

Some NFL diehards are just that, NFL diehards rather than football diehards. But then, it works the other way also. :wink:

Great post Chris :thup: :thup: