The Grey Cup Fan Base
Published: Tuesday, Aug 25th 2020, 12:08pm
By: Stephen Safinuk
On Monday morning, the CFL announced a brand-new initiatives. For $349 (+GST) fans could get their names on a new table that the Grey Cup will stand on for all future appearances.
A lot of the talk over the past 24 hours has been about how allowing fans to buy a name plate disrespects the hard work and sacrifice players make to get their names on the cup. I could not possibly disagree with this more. If they were adding a ring around the base of the Grey Cup specifically for fans, I would agree completely. But they are not doing that (even if their original announcement did not immediately make that clear). They are adding a fancy table for the cup to sit on when it makes public appearances. Having been to events where they have tossed the cup down on some awful folding table, this is a huge step up for the historic trophy.
Current Ticat (and 2017 Grey Cup Champion) Dylan Wynn said it best on twitter yesterday.
“Just a little clarification because people seem confused. Fans names will be on a base for which the trophy is put on to. It symbolizes how you great fans lift us up and support us. Proceeds are shared between the league and the PA. We all together make this league special”
We as fans support the league through thick and thin, now we can quite literally support the Grey Cup as well. While the price tag is admittedly a little high, that is likely by design. Being able to afford this current promo does not make you a better fan, nor does not taking part in it (for whatever reason) make you a lesser one. We all support this great league of ours in whatever way we can.
One spot I think they should change about this promotion. For $350, they should send out a physical copy of the signed certificate to those taking part in this promo. It would not be that difficult in the long run and would come across far more appealing for the money. It would likely end up being something someone would frame if done right, much like many have framed Roughrider share certificates over the years.
After spending much of the last few months hearing people talk about the CFL’s reliance on gate revenue to survive, it’s surprising to see many immediately mock the CFL for attempting to create a new revenue stream (albeit temporary, until they fill the table). I expect to see more things like this from the CFL in the coming years, and I am all for it. While the price tag will keep me from participating in this promotion personally, I am happy to see the CFL think outside the box on new and interesting ways to generate revenue.
What I would love to see, going forwards, is more CFL branded merchandise available to fans. A bunny hug, or a t-shirt would see regular wear by many fans across the CFL. I would love to add a CFL mini football to my mini football collection. I know I am certainly not alone in this desire. There are many fans out there who love this league as much or more than they love their own team but have no legitimate way to show that love.