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Volume 21 No. 2
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CFL to celebrate 100th Grey Cup

The NFL has been talking for years about the 50th playing of the Super Bowl, set for 2016 in a venue to be chosen next May.

And then there’s the Canadian Football League. While the CFL can’t match the NFL for many of the leagues’ metrics, when it comes to championship game legacies, the CFL can more than match its U.S. counterpart.

The 2012 CFL season, which opens this week, will conclude in November with the 100th playing of the Grey Cup championship game.

American audiences are expected to be able to watch the centennial Grey Cup under a new TV deal the CFL was working on last week. The league would not disclose the network other than to say it is not NFL Network, which carried CFL games last year.

In addition, the CFL and its backers will spend more than $10 million this season touting the 100th Grey Cup, making it the largest promotional effort in the league’s history.

Commissioner Mark Cohon is rolling out a major marketing effort this season.
Photo by: NEWSCOM
“This is the biggest undertaking the league has ever done,” said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon. He pointed to the league’s marketing campaign, broadcaster TSN’s plans, sponsor activation, new licensed products and the Grey Cup festival in Toronto as hallmarks of what will be the largest media blitz in CFL history.

The league this week was set to unveil details of a three-month, nationwide tour to promote the 100th game, bringing the championship trophy to nearly 100 communities. In addition, Canada will issue official Grey Cup coins, and the postal system 50 million stamps, the biggest such effort in that agency’s history. TSN is planning an eight-part documentary series focusing on events and players in CFL history, and the annual Grey Cup festival will expand from its traditional three days to 10 in this year’s host city for the game, Toronto.

The Grey Cup rotates among the CFL’s eight team markets.

Sponsors are promoting around the championship, too. Sponsor Nestlé currently has a promotion in movie theaters affixed to buckets of popcorn.