JONES: CFL commissioner unveils Genius marketing plan

Ambrosie called the 2021 season “a triumph” due to the creation of a new business model, the revenue sharing initiative and the partnership with Genius

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HAMILTON – In many ways it was vague and lacking in detail. But CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie unveiled a big new plan on Friday for the league to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic as a brand new business.

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“If you look through the lens of what was to come, Winston Churchill once said ‘Never waste a crisis’ and I’m happy to say we didn’t,” Ambrosie said.

“For the first time in nearly 40 years, we now have a revenue sharing model that will help teams get back on their feet,” Ambrosie said at the annual State of the League media session.

He went on to announce what he called a “historic” partnership with an international sports marketing company, Genius Sports, drawn by the new legalization of single-game betting in Canada, to create a platform for the league. ‘she never had before.

It’s a league seen by many to have placed itself on the endangered species list again, this time missing an entire season in 2020 due to COVID-19 and playing a reduced schedule this year mainly involving crappy football heading into the four exceptionally entertaining playoff games leading up to Sunday’s 108th Gray Cup between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

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Ambrosie called the 2021 season a “triumph” due to the creation of a new business model, the revenue sharing initiative and the partnership with Genius.

“I’m not going to tell you that we’re going to be able to fix everything. I’m not going to suggest that we don’t have challenges on the horizon. We do. But what I mean is we did a lot of heavy work that was long overdue.

“We did things like reset our business model which was probably overdue. We took advantage of the crisis to reconsider. We literally looked this thing from the bottom up and from the top down and found a way to restructure our business in a way that gives us a much stronger foundation, a much stronger financial foundation.

“We have tackled a long-standing problem and that is revenue sharing. I think we’ve now created an environment, created a philosophy that all teams can and should, if they’re doing most of the right things, can and should be able to break even. At the heart of the philosophy, we want all teams to be able to reach the breakeven point. And we will hold each other to that standard. And that’s an exciting message.

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There must be devils in the details but Ambrosie offered no details.

How are you going to sell season tickets to community-owned Saskatchewan Roughriders fans to travel 500 kilometers to 10 games knowing that they will be subscribing to Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs and of the Toronto Raptors?

Since taking over the Argos, MLSE has reportedly lost perhaps more than double the $ 13 million the Edmonton Elks community has in its “rainy day” fund.

Maybe the geniuses at Genius Sports can fix this?

Ambrosie continued their revenue sharing announcement by saying, “I am now very proud to tell you that we have partnered with a company called Genius Sports. Genius is one of the best technology, fan engagement and sports betting organization in the world. They have relationships with 400 leagues around the world.

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“We have created a historic relationship with Genius and have effectively transferred our business assets to a standalone, self-sustaining equity investor in our business operations.

“Genius is going to use their technology, their fan engagement. They are going to bring the whole world of all their abilities to the CFL that have been proven with the Premier League, NFL and PGA and will allow us to reach the markets and find fans and connect with those fans and excite these fans. on our league. We really think there is an opportunity with Genius in Toronto to find fans and contact them.

“It’s not just a transformation for our league, but also for Genius, because Genius is not joining us as a supplier but joining us as a partner.

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Ambrosie said one of the things he kept hearing was, “Why don’t you do more marketing? Well, now we’re going to do something about a marketing boost that we never could have imagined before.

“It’s kind of the start of a new beginning. I believe we are ready to tackle our problems and face the future. For us, this is the opportunity we were looking for – a catalyst to lead our business in a new and positive direction. I think it’s an opportunity to do something special. It’s a great opportunity for the league to move forward. So we did not spoil the crisis.

“It’s a league that is ready for change. It’s a league ready to ask where our challenges are and what the solutions are. We have to look at the way Apple is going about its business and go to our fans and ask them, “Why? As opposed to “What?” It’s the start of a whole new conversation.

Sooner or later the CFL has to give fans details and forget about the “Why?” ” or what?’ and when it comes to both revenue sharing and Genius, explain “How?” “

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