Why the NFL should do more to promote and market the CFL

The fact is North American football, 4 down or 3 down variety, is a sport which is not played outside of North American apart from NFL Europe which only survives because of the money the NFL puts into it. Football has no chance of being in the Olympics and at the present can't even have a World Championship with a few countries involved, like the other major sports.

And the NFL, while being the best run league of all it seems, has problems in its own country where the 2nd largest television market, Los Angeles, doesn't even have a team and when the NFL plays their big event, the Super Bowl in California, they have to play in stadiums in San Diego and the Rose Bowl that are no longer state of the art stadiums. And this is a major problem for the NFL as they admit. Along with getting new state of the art facilities in other cities like Minnesota and Indy needed.

Now combine this with the fact that soccer is becoming very popular among young kids all across North America. I now see on the beaches in southern Ontario kids kicking around a soccer ball where in the past it was footballs and baseballs only. If the soccer people who are well heeled in North America start getting their act together, and they are showing some signs with this with the MLS and, in Canada, you have the Saputo family in Montreal building a new stadium for the Impact which now get good crowds, around 10,000 I think, with Greg Kerfoot in Vancouver getting near to building a new facility out there, and Toronto area getting a new stadium for the FIFA U-20 2007 championships, well, soccer is on the rise perhaps at the pro or semi pro level in Canada.

So I believe that the NFL, which is the major leagues of football, while having its own problems, needs to ensure the prosperity of the CFL to help football grow and prosper in North America since the NFL's popularity in Canada is probably saturated now, with or without a team in Toronto. They could do a number of things such as having a couple of CFL players play in the Pro Bowl, having NFL players signing autographs at CFL games, TV and newspaper ads with NFL and CFL players etc. I don't think a Super Bowl-Grey Cup matchup would be good as if one team or another killed the other, this would reflect badly on the other, and I'm sure most of you would agree, I don't though, that the NFL would kill the CFL champs regardless of the rules.

I would like to see more of a partnership between the 2 leagues. Yes, soccer has its own separate fans apart from football here and probably always will but us oldtimers will gradually die off and the young kids of today will become the adults of tomorrow, and the young kids are growing up with soccer. So watch out football, soccer is coming, and in fact is already here, and once the Canadians from other countries get their act together here like they are showing they will, soccer could very well start taking a prominent place in the newspapers and tv. And the NFL should listen and take note. Some of us diehard CFL'ers like myself want you around in this country, much more than now. In fact, deep down I think that an NFL team in Toronto would be good for everyone involved in football, CFL or otherwise, we need more NFL involvement in southern Ontario to keep football prominent. I see the Argos and an NFL team coexisting nicely, one would be the big time with big-time ticket prices and more American "big time", for those that need this, and the other, the Argos, with more tradition, history, faster game and reasonable ticket prices. As a football fan of both, I would spend my money on both as much as I could anyway.

But even if the NFL never comes to Toronto, I'm sure some people here will agree that the CFL could always use some healthy NFL marketing and promotion. I think the time is ripe for this with soccer on the potential rise in this country.

Am I way out to left field here or what? Remember, I am from southern Ontario and this is where I live.

hmmm, the NFL letting CFLers in the Pro Bowl, never ever happen, the best players we got are the same ones they cut. I do like the idea of having NFLers signng autographs at CFL venues. sounds really good. They could send some hometown heros back, for instance Jeff Garcia could sign autographs at a stamps game and what not, or Flutie anywhere. I do agree that they should cross promote. Whenever you watch NFL football, at the mention of a CFL game, they don't hype it and sort of refer to it as "bush league". but I guess they can do that.

I would agree that the NFL can help the CFL promote & market itself. The two leagues do have a partnership to encourage the growth of football in North America. At least in terms of scouting college players, the NFL could make it easier for CFL scouts to come to US college games to scout players for the CFL. I'm not saying let the CFL steal potential number one NFL draft picks, but there are some good players in the US who get overlooked by the NFL. The CFL can give those players a chance to show what they have & could wind up staying with the CFL.

NO! Anything American NEVER wants to partner with anything else...they want to OWN it! That idea is nuts.The CFL is thriving and growing at their pace and the fans are showing up...Leave well enough alone and let the NFL shoot their own foot.

Soccer: say what you want about the "next" generation but you will NEVER see Soccer in N.A. draw the crowds like they do around the world. Unless you missed it ,back in the 1970's there was an outdoor Soccer leaguge called the NASL and it gave the world a player on the NY Cosmos by the name of Pele! Remember him? Giant stadium and others where the likes of Pele and Giorgio Chinallia (spelling) and Shep Messing played were getting crowds of 80-100,000 Back in the '70's!!

And Soccer still never caught on and the NASL folded. Give it another hundred years and you'll see a change. (I'm not kidding either)

The NFL should help the CFL grow under the CFL's own rules and way, by giving it money and players and helping the league expand to 10 teams and beyound.

The NFL HAS 32 TEAMS, that is more than engough, it's tme it helped it's brother in the north.

I really think the fears expressed by earl are unfounded, soccer has a certain fan base mostly fans who brought the love of the game with them when they moved to the country. As for the NFL it is my understanding that the NFL has as part of there current deal with the CFL offered some of there marketing guy's to help the CFL marketing people. Some how I don't get the inclusion of X - CFLer's signing autographs as a positive move in any direction what really needs to be done is the promotion of current star players in the CFL some how or another, which is hard to do, and not nessesarly cost effective, with the current option year situation.

All very good points, but the way I see it notwithstanding the 3M loan a few years ago by the No Fun League, who cares about this "World Champion" entity. The CFL is on a roll and lets keep it going, with future expansion and a new TV contract coming, plus Tom Wright continuing we are well on our way to better times.

Excellent thread..............

  1. The NFL's problem.......like the CFL.......is that it is a 1 country, sport.

Canadian football is a different game , so that is another problem.

The worlds most popular team sport is soccer.

2 billion people watch the world cup of soccer and 192 countires try to quailify every 4 years for 32 spots in the world cup , final 32.

The SUPERBOWL........doesn't even come close.

  1. Paul T. is not a stupid man and reliezed that promoting ANY football would help keep NFL fans, in CANADA.

The NFL has been always good at hinding their problems, unlike the CFL.

Maybe because they are very strict with any critizisum....and their are so many teams.........in the NFL.

They no longer sell out all games and have had problem franchises , and bad owners, just like other sports leagues.

Promoting the CFL........with money and their name is part NFL advertizing and it makes sure that there is a NFL market, in Canada.Most like both kinds of football..........

BUT......the CFL has survived with the help of the NFL and they have gained by better player contracts.........

The NFL , ex........games in CANADA , BOMBED in both Toronto and VANCOUVER.

NFL ratings compared to , CFL , T.V. ratings are not even close........CFL......games are now only second to the LEAFS, in numbers.

The NFL looks at those things........that is why there will be NO NFL team in Toronto..........and we also have THE BILL close to TORONTO and SEATTLE close to , VAN..............why mess with those markets..............?

Americans can understand a tradition and history of a country , even if some Canadians can't get that.

I don't think that CFL and NFL will ever meet, as in the past , because of the difference in rules.

The NFL is looking out for itself and after all sports is a business.