Realty One

Saturday, November 28, 2015


WINNIPEG - Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge continues to put his stamp on the CFL.

Orridge unveiled a new logo, slogan and marketing campaign for the league Friday at his first Grey Cup state-of-the-league address. The new logo consists of the block letters "CFL'' over a small maple leaf on a silver, football-shaped background with its new slogan, "What we're made of.''

Orridge's presentation also included a 90-second video that will run during the television broadcast of Sunday's game between the Ottawa Redblacks and the Edmonton Eskimos at Investors Group Field. The move is aimed at attracting a younger demographic.

"Our great fans will be the first to tell you: we need more fans and in particular, we need to attract the next generation of fans so this league is strong for years to come,'' Orridge told reporters. "The time has come to update and transform how we present ourselves.

"We're not asking our new fans or casual fans to join our already avid fans in the stands just because somehow it's their duty as Canadians. We're inviting them to join us because the product and the experience are fun, exciting, accessible and authentic. We are showcasing who and what we are today and we're looking to build for the future.''

Since being hired in March, Orridge has said attracting younger fans is a top priority. In May, the CFL partnered with Whistle Sports, a multi-channel digital network with millions of subscribers on various platforms including YouTube and Facebook.

These days, the CFL is on solid economic footing, thanks in large part to a lucrative, long-term TV deal with TSN. But attracting the next generation of fans remains very important. Orridge said league attendance remained stagnant this year with reports TV ratings dipped 15 per cent.

"While the league has come a long way ... it would be foolish and even irresponsible for us to ignore these rapidly changing landscapes and challenges,'' Orridge said. "We also have a lot of momentum with new stadiums in place and more on the way, some great, new young stars on the field, emerging technologies and the social dynamic that allows us to reach new fans in new ways and we need to capitalize on that.''

One team that struggled at the turnstiles this season was the Toronto Argonauts, who played four scheduled home games outside the GTA due to the Pan Am Games and scheduling issues at Rogers Centre. But next season, the Argos - who posted a 10-8 record to make the East Division playoffs - will be under new ownership (MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum and Bell) and play at a refurbished BMO Field.

"We can't assume these two things will automatically ensure the Argos, who've been strong for years now on the field, will be just as strong in business,'' Orridge said. "However there is tremendous potential for a new era for the Argos, and a new era we plan to mark with a tremendous Grey Cup in 2016 in Toronto.''

The CFL also adopted several significant rule changes this season, including pushing converts back 20 yards and moving up two-point attempts two yards. Another major move was preventing defensive backs from contacting receivers more than five yards downfield, giving pass-catchers a less obstructed path to the football.

The changes helped create an eight per cent boost in scoring (44.5 points per game this year compared to 37.7 in 2014) while shaving three minutes off the average length of games (two hours, 52 minutes).

One-point converts dipped to 85.5 per cent from 99.5 per cent while two-point attempts were successful 65.9 per cent of the time. But there was also a nine per cent spike in penalties that resulted in continued criticism of CFL officials, which Orridge felt was wrong.

"I wish everyone who watches our game was just as quick to acknowledge when a good call is made and when a good game is officiated,'' he said. "Overall our officials do a really difficult job very very well but I say to them ... our best can always get better and we'll always work to get better.''

Orridge said the league is always looking at improving itself and left the door open to the possibility of hiring American officials.

The CFL's most pressing issue was the health of its starting quarterbacks as seven-of-nine teams lost their starter and/or backup for significant portions of the season. Ottawa's Henry Burris, the league's outstanding player and oldest quarterback at age 40, was the only one to start all 18 regular-season games although Calgary's Bo Levi Mitchell made 17 straight starts before being rested in the Stampeders' regular-season finale.

"Injuries are part of any sport,'' Orridge said. "But the truth is this affected teams' ability to perform at their best and so it did affect our product.

"I plan to sit down with our teams, our football leaders, in the off-season and really examine this issue.''

(Canadian Press)


Anonymous said...

I thought Orridge had a marketing background. Does he not see that new logo is as bland and as bad as the product was this year? Who approved that?

Anonymous said...

The rule changes didn't make the game interesting in my opinion. They made for a hell of a lot more penalties, re-plays and wrong calls. Didn't mention the spike in penalties but should have as they made the games unbearable to watch and I am a long time CFL fan.
As far as new fans go, none of my grandsons are remotely interested in the CFL.Why? They are not interested in the NFL either, nor the NHL. They are only interested in their Iphones.
Not sure what anyone can do to change it.

Anonymous said...

Huh?...New logo a cheap ugly ass app button? Nothing about it pro football. Not aestheticly pleasing nor eye catching, just plain ugly ass.

Anonymous said...

Can't see this guy helping the league. Argos could be sinking, if ALs have losing season like the riders with Les Habs contending again the Als will be sinking. BC won't support continued losing. But that is only a third of the league.

Anonymous said...

Ugly, ugly logo.

Anonymous said...

This new logo is lacking. Boring and plain, not exciting or inspiring. It looks like some cheap tv graphic from the 60's, back when there was black and white tv's. Hardly any colour to and with what colour there is, it is a small half red maple leaf. It makes it seem almost that we are ashamed of being Canadian, but I guess it seems to be Canadian thing that we almost hide our patriotism. Should we not have something larger representing our pride in our country. If this is "What we are made of" we don't have much to look forward to.

The more I see and hear from this new Commish, the more I don't like him. He hasn't done much except maybe make the league take a step back or two. Not impressed.

Anonymous said...

Is this the 1920's? What a plain, boring and lame sauce logo. Not much hype there...

Anonymous said...

This guy get's $750,000 a year!

Anonymous said...

Changing the rules won't make the game better. Hiring officials that know how to enforce them will. It's about time this guy showed his face and actually said something about the state of the league. This was a brutal year for the CFL. Too many boring low scoring games with comical officiating.

Anonymous said...

I do not think this boso knows what he is doing !!!!!

He needs to go !!!!!!!!! NOW = before he does more damage

Anonymous said...

he wont make the begining of next season

Anonymous said...

You people are idiots. The 'League' problem was a Rider problem. Around the rest of the league all teams adjusted to the new rules. The Riders were the only team that couldn't. The Stamps had less than 10 illegal conduct penalties all season.

At the conclusion of the season the overall penalties were right within the five year average.


Anonymous said...

The cfl needs the riders to have a winning season to be successful, ratings were low in 2011 as well

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Who’s the Bozo?

Anonymous said...

That's bozo, ... boso!

Mr. Bozo

Anonymous said...

The jury is still out on this guy, but I just find he has an uppity type of attitude.

Mr H

Anonymous said...

Go Pats!

Anonymous said...

The league is definitely in some trouble but at least Oridge acknowledges it. I'm not sold on this guy, he certainly doesn't have the presence that Cohon had. Hopefully he can turn the ratings around and hopefully they were just a blip based on the Blue Jays, crappy Riders and Pan Am / FIFA conflicts.

Bingo Arms

Lewis Grant said...

1. New logo is a both little more hip and retro than the current one, which is the right idea. Unfortunately, the execution isn't very good: the maple leaf is far too small and the football is not obvious enough. The biggest problem may be that the logo will usually be shown against a white background, but with the white-on-white, the logo may look like it's missing an outline.

2. Penalties do need to come down (and Orridge has acknowledged that).

3. The new convert rule is good. When converts were at 99.5%, they were a waste of time. Now they actually mean something.

4. Scoring is up! 37.7 to 44.5 is in fact a ~20% increase in scoring. Even with injured QBs, the game was much better this year compared to last year.

5. Speaking of QBs, you can't do much more to protect QBs than we already do. We've already taken away the intentional grounding penalty for throwing the ball away. It's a contact sport! Injuries are inevitable. Besides, some of the new QBs (Trevor Harris, Jonathon Jennings, Rakeem Cato) look promising.

Anonymous said...

So, Grey Cup tomorrow. What team to cheer for that is the question. Should it be the RedBlacks or the GreenGolds? Henry or the next GM/HC of the Riders, Mr Chris Jones. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

I deleted my CFL app off cellphone today because of that new CFL branding

Anonymous said...

The game was much better this year? Put down the bottle and take a look at reality my friend. The game was 1000 times worse! What the hell were you watching because it wasn't what those who still decided to watch was.

Anonymous said...

I watched the entirety of the State of the League. He is definitely not as "folksy" as Cohon was, but he was very well spoken and had an answer for the questions that were asked. He carried himself quite well.

Remember, as the Commissioner he doesn't work for the fans. He works directly and is answerable exclusively to the Board of Governors. That's who sets his mandate and sets him on task. We'll see where that takes us, but this weekend the CFL hosted a Hack-a-thon opening up their database to coders and computer geeks to take a shot at what they can build with it (advanced stats? fantasy?) that's a great start. There's a new website on the way (He got razzed on the Cage for saying it's coming next year when it'll actually launch next week. Oops. It's December. Next year pretty well IS next week).

The new logo is.......very "Brooklyn Nets" "Drake". It'll play alright in the younger urban markets WHERE THE LEAGUE NEEDS TO GROW.

I'm liking him.

Darren said...

This was not a good year for the CFL. The officiating ruined pretty much every game. The no yards rule has to be modified as well as the blocking on punts.It felt like a flag had to be thrown on every punt this year. Figure this out please!! A poor job of educating players or refs just throw flags cause they have to is taking the fun out of our game. Bad years in Sask and Winnipeg hurt but also worried about B.C. and Mtl if they don't produce better teams next year. Great stories in Ott and Ham are a big plus. The Ott/Ham playoff game was best officiated game of the year.Why? cause ya didnt see them every damn play. the loss of QB'S hurt too but good to see the young kids step up and play well. To the people that support our league good on you. Enjoy the Grey Cup!!

@mrt_man said...


@mrt_man said...