Younger viewers

The CFL has been saying for years that they need new younger viewers but they do nothing to get the attention of the kids. Kids need merchandise to get younger viewers. The NFL has McFarlane football figures, video games, league magnet boards. Football is a hard sports for kids to understand due to the chess match of the Canadian game. The NFL is brilliant at marketing, putting their players and franchise as large than life figures. I understand it is a money issue but the CFL needs to wake up and get with the times.

Agreed, I was very unaware of CFL as a kid (or any football) . Not really a sports family. It wasn't until high school, that I even knew about the Cats when I went to a game with a friend. And even then it took another five years to really turn into a fan.

Totally agree. My mom used to take me to games as a kid. She grew up being taken to games by her older brother in Winnipeg. There used to be cool CFL helmets at Dairy Queen when I was a kid that were used as bowls. You see some cool old glasses and things the odd time at antique and collectable stores. You now see squat and the CFL has to get on the ball with games etc.

Definitely - More grass roots support from the league is needed. Invest in amateur football/ high school and semi-pro ball. Sponsor leagues and fields to get the brand building with the base.

As a kid I had a little TC plush toy, a bunch of the classic mini yellow Ti-Cats footballs, player cards, those heritage classic DVDs that really taught me a lot about the history of the game etc. I agree these types of things are key to drawing the attention of younger fans...maybe a video game? :wink: who ever thought of that crazy idea?

One thing I will say is that the Cats are ridiculously present in the surrounding football community, and do a ton of great work such as guest coaching games for local programs or Courtney Stephens and Jeremiah Masoli's football camp.

I started watching it when I was 5. ( 1968 ).

My family were big CFL fans , so the games were on and I just got into it.

We lived in a small town about 60 miles north of Calgary.

Dad took me to my first game in 1971 . Stamps beat Ti-Cats 17 - 1.

What a thrill for a little kid from Innisfail AB to go to Calgary and see a CFL game live.

We moved to Calgary in 72 and dad got season tickets.

He bought me what ever I wanted.


Any of you from my age group will remember the stuff I am talking about. ( right BOBO ? )

Kids in my school also collected the stuff and dads took them to the games.

McMahon Stadium became like a second home to me.

I am happy to go to the Stamps games and see lots of little kids there.
However to stay, they need to be hooked on it as I was.

Now , just a bit OT. Dad always was a huge CFL fan like me.
He died last year, and my first memories that kicked in when he left were the great times we had at the games or on tv.
Win or loss, we always had fun.

There is another angle . Generations of CFL fans need to continue.

I got a Ti Cat helmet at the age of 4 (it didn't fit), even though we lived in Montreal and my Dad was an Als fan.
Since my first memories, I used to always go on about the Tiger symbol and how much I liked it.

Teams need "superhero" players ... players that are looked upon in that way by the young(er) fans. Chad Owens was like that in Toronto (until they dumped him like yesterday's trash, because his playing was on a slight decline :? ). He was the face of The Argos ... Toronto's loss, Hamilton's gain.

Not sure about "viewers" the important thing for a gate driven league are fans in the seats.
The stats were out a couple of weeks ago about the NFL viewership by young people way up in Canada.

I was watching the TSN feature on Ottawa and how they have one of the youngest fan bases. This year we went to 3 games in Ottawa and a lot of young millenials having fun and making the most noise.
You compare it to the Argo games we went to, the few fans in the stands were a much older crowd. Look at the TFC crowd, mainly a young rowdy noisy bunch which is good for sports.
Hopefully all the young viewers in Toronto that are watching the NFL realize that if they want to see a football game live they only have to show up at BMO

I agree with other comments that the CFL needs to do a better job bringing younger fans into the game. I didn't give a hoot about football until I was in Grade 10 in the early 90s. I read an article in the paper about how the Tiger-Cats were struggling and needed fans to show up or else. I was one of those from the so-called "lost generation" (am 39 today) that the league failed to market to with blackouts, etc.. (I sometimes wonder if they're creating another "lost generation" by not streaming games)

I think there might be merit on creating and leveraging greater ties between the CFL and the amateur game (especially U Sports). A strong, healthy amateur/university game can only be good for the professional game. Start with pairing the Vanier Cup with the Grey Cup again. 2011 and 2012 were all deemed a success, so overcome the logistical challenges and figure out how to do it again.

Ottawa has been a great success story!
New Franchise, New Stadium, great ownership and a great successful team, it is a perfect storm.

The difference between OTT and TOR are TOR millennials have had years of negative for the CFL, the younger generation in TOR look at the Argos as my fathers team, they have grown up with the negative(it's not cool), moving into a new Stadium is not enough for most millennial's to be changed, (remember that Buick commercial from a few years ago "this isn't your Fathers Buick anymore" trying to get a younger Generation to look at their cars)TOR has to overcome much more than OTT did. It will take time if it ever happens!

OTT never had CFL football for over 20 years, The OTT millennial's had never been exposed to live CFL football or in the press, They haven't even heard of the Renegades, Gliebermans or Horn Chen so they are starting from scratch instead of negative like in TOR.
All the OTT millennials ever heard was how a bunch crotchety of old timers in the Glebe didn't want it, which probably made them even more curious about the Stadium and team.
So football comes back to OTT with a brand new Stadium, they decide to check it out for the 1st year, then the 2nd year they make the Grey Cup, the 3rd year they win it.
OTT will pack that Stadium with young people for years now!

The most recent Canadian sports survey showed that 21% of 18-34's follow the CFL while 23% follow the NFL. The league had tweeted this season that viewership among 18-34's is up substantially over last year, both for the regular season and Grey Cup. In many markets the CFL is very popular among young and old alike, so I don't think there's any looming disaster. Overall CFL attendance and TV viewership were both up in 2016.

I've been a TC STH for 40 years. At one time when the Cats were struggling with attendance they offered up ST for children under a certain age for 1/2 price. For my wife and I, this was cheaper than hiring a babysitter. We had 4 seats at the 52 yard line.
My kids were old enough (and good enough) to sit without disturbing others because they were bored but over time learned to love the game. They continued to go until the 1/2 price promo ended. Don't remember how long that lasted but it did give CFL two CFL fans that are now in their 30's.
Toronto could easily do this for a few years. Would give them revenue they wouldn't normally have. Would eliminate the need of a "family" zone in the end zone like in THF.

[b]this is the Globe and Mail Survey from spring of 2016.

CFL is 2nd only to hockey in age demographics on who follows each league, so it is FALSE to assume younger demographic is not watching. .[/b]

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I'd like to see a survey that includes female viewers, not just males.

Actually the third graph shows the percentage of females following each sport:

Among females, the CFL is 3 times more popular than the MLS and 4 times more popular than the NBA.
(Only 4% of Canadian females follow MLS; 3% NBA; and 12% CFL.)

Contrary to what we are told, the CFL (23%) has a higher percentage of 18-34 y.o. who follow the league, than NFL (22%), MLB (22%), NBA (21%). So much for the false theory that young football fans are flocking to the NFL over the CFL. :roll:

This Angus Reed/G&M poll mirrors Reginald Bibby's Online Canadian Sports survey quit closely, putting to rest the claim that online surveys aren't reliable.

But these on-line surveys are meaningless. The real polls are in the actual number that show up to sporting events and the Numeris polls that track the real numbers of people watching and the demographics.

If you want proof as to how useless the “surveys” are, you only have to look at the survey before last years Grey Cup, it was something like half of Canadians surveyed stated that they would probably watch all or part of the Grey Cup.
But the Numeris numbers came out showing that it was 4 million watched it or only 15 - 18 per cent of TSN/RDS viewers.

You only have to look at a TFC, Raptors or Jays crowd and see that they have a huge following of young people.
But if you go to an Argo game not only will you see by far the smallest crowd in the CFL but it’s an older crowd.
Your survey is useless if you want to look at Toronto

As I stated above, if you look at an Ottawa CFL crowd you will see a lot of young milleniums.
The point is not all markets are the same.

Sorry, I should have more concise:
I'd like to see a survey that includes female viewers, not just males when it comes to age demographic (since we are talking about younger fans).
I know the Red Blacks for instance have a high young woman demographic ... saw it for myself at Grey Cup. :smiley:

A poll/survey is a poll/survey. Both take a small sampling and apply it to a larger whole.

And the comparison you try to make is inaccurate because you are comparing the Numeris survey of 4 million average viewership and trying to say that it does not jive with the other survey of total reach. What did the Numeris survey say about total reach? That's the real equivalent, and obviously will be much higher than then average viewership and much closer to the 50% of the other survey.

And the Numeris surveys do coincide with the other survey numbers to a great degree. Numeris surveys show that CFL TV numbers generally do better on a per-game basis than NFL, and certainly much higher than NBA and MLS. The last two years, Blue Jays MLB games have done better than CFL games but non-Blue Jays games not so much.

The above 2016 Globe & Mail survey was conducted by Angus Reid pollsters. Their results mirror a number of other recent Canadian sports surveys about the level of support for each sport in Canada.

Not sure why Slim/Mike/CFL Gal would get so angry that Canada's leading pollster has proven that more young Canadians follow the CFL than the NFL, contrary to what Slim pickin's has been spouting in his anti-CFL non-truths for years? (...because not-so-secretly Sim wants the CFL to fail in Toronto paving the way for Canada's NFL team, he has craved for so long.) :roll:

More proof from Yahoo.
This is from the Yahoo Grey Cup write up. It is talking about the 18-34 year old age group with a 15% increase. Also the streaming up 35%. and 2.5 million streaming ESPN. that group is a younger demographic for sure.

I think the younger demographic sees with their own eyes what a great sport CFL football is and the quality of athletes that play in it. Looks like they are not being influenced by Toronto media as it is easily seen as BS by this group.

Here is a the quote from the Yahoo Grey Cup article.

"Among those viewers was a group of 18-to-34-year-olds, 15 per cent more than the number who saw last year’s Grey Cup. In addition to being the hardest demographic to reach, that group is the league’s future. And since the CFL television audience tends to skew a tad on the wrinkly side, this is a real positive that could lead to growth.

Add in the fact that live streaming on TSN digital offerings was up 35 per cent and assuming most of those viewers were not collecting pensions and you’ve got hope for the future."