Archives For CFL

Green Cup

MH3 —  November 27, 2013

The confetti had barely landed on the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Grey Cup Parade when the “dynasty” talk started.

If it wasn’t for a couple of excruciating losses in 2009 & 2010, the Riders would be sporting four Cup titles in the last seven seasons. Even winning two in that span puts them ahead of many of their rivals.

But off the field, the green Riders are a green dynasty. It’s estimated they will sell close to $10 million in merchandise this year; more than all other CFL teams combined…unless the Argos release the highly coveted limited edition Rob Ford XXXXL #12 jersey he has been modelling. It’s even more than most of the Canadian NHL teams, minus obvious exceptions like Toronto and Montreal. The Grey Cup Festival week and game generated $123 million for the local economy, which happens to be a part of what is now Canada’s richest province!

Brent Butt joked at one Grey Cup event that Saskatchewan loves football so much because the province is shaped like a football field. I might suggest the economics might also generate some of that affection!

But there is a key lesson in all this excitement. Like Darian Durant, it wasn’t so long ago that the province was trying to wave its team goodbye. They were lovable, yet losers. They were adored, but unsupported.

Magically, the team turned to community ownership and in a dramatic oversimplification, you could say the rest is history. But it’s true; community ownership has built this green machine. Over the Grey Cup weekend, Commissioner Mark Cohon talked about a 10th team for Atlantic Canada becoming a reality. The community ownership idea being eyed as the key business model.

Nothing makes more sense to me, for the CFL, than to see the Atlantic Schooners become a reality. The very real fan club by the same name would probably agree. A 10th team would do wonders for the league.

But I wonder if more teams shouldn’t look at this model. Sport building community. Community building sport. This past May we themed our sponsorship conference “Building Community.” Guess where we held it?

Saskatchewan. Home of the Green Cup!

Feeling Grey

MH3 —  November 22, 2012

Toronto is feeling pretty Grey today. In a good way!

With our soccer team quietly faded out of sight and our hockey team faded out of mind, and our basketball team fading early as usual, you wouldn’t expect this to be the case.

But the only teams not monopolized by the Toronto sports monopoly formerly known as MLSE are making big news. News is great when it is news. And news we’ve got.

It wasn’t news that Toronto was hosting the Grey Cup this week. It has been big news though how enthusiastic the city has been about it. Good planning aside, this is partially due to the unexpected news of the Argonauts actually playing in the game. Which is as rare a sight as a Leaf shot on goal.

More big news of course is our Blue Jays plucking the Marlins to the bone. Re-signing their formerly fired manager. Plus picking up a one-time MLB villain, who has talent to burn.

Continue Reading “Feeling Grey”…