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Now’s the time for Argos to make strides off the field


In the wake of Le Coupe Grey Cup, a story, and a suggestion:

A couple of weeks ago on a Friday night, Baseball Steve was home watching his beloved Bruins (yeah, no accounting for taste) when an ad comes on for the CFL Eastern final two days hence.

Now, BS – yeah, that’s not a good acronym; now, Baseball Steve at time was a diehard Argo fans, sat through all those years at The Ex sipping his smuggled in booze with Cousin Paulie and a few other reprobates and even went to games in the SkyDome so he’s got some history with the team.

Anyway, he and I often lament the lack of marketing the team has done over the years – I think David Braley was probably not up to snuff when it came to spending money to make money – and how no one knows who the players are or what the team is and that simply putting the schedule out and hoping people buy tickets won’t ever work.

That Friday night, a minute or so after that ad showed, he got a text from a buddy asking if he wanted to go to the Eastern final. A minute or two after that, one of his nephews, no huge CFL fan, texted and asked the same thing.

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All of sudden, there was some momentum and interest, a bunch of them bought tickets and they went and the weather was miserable but they had a really good time; Baseball Steve had been at a TFC game or two this season and he said the atmosphere at the game against Saskatchewan basically rivaled that of a soccer game, which is saying something.

Okay, that’s the story and it proves that with some advertising and reaching out, selling is possible.

Here’s the suggestion:

In the wake of last night – Shania and the dog sled, the snow, the dramatic ending, Shania and the dog sled, the storybook finish, Shania and the dog sled and the Mountie – if the Argos are serious about making even any kind of inroads into the market, they need to do this:

I know it’ll be a slow morning for the staff after a busy week and a long night, but today they need to comb the archives for every e-mail of every season ticket holder they’ve had and lost in the last decade and they need to reach out to them and see if they can get them back.

If it takes offering a nine-game package for the price of seven games, do it.

If it takes some groveling and apologizing for a horrid lack of marketing in the past, do it.

If it takes sweetening the pot even more – give everyone two free tickets to whatever pre-season game they play, offer four free tailgate tickets in the regular season package – do it.

They need to reach out to everyone they can that bought a single game ticket this season and send them in a link to a youtube highlight reel they put together.

Make it some kind of Christmas promotion and maybe you get some impulse buyers, which is better than not getting impulse buyers.

And on a grander scale, the team’s sales staff has to on the streets this afternoon or tomorrow meeting with sponsors, showing them last night, capitalizing on the moment.

Waiting makes no sense, there’s some momentum right now and they will regret it if they procrastinate until next year and next spring. Yeah, it’s gonna be hard but the possible benefits out-weigh the extra work at the end of long season.

I remember about a million years ago – after Saskatchewan beat Hamilton at the ‘Dome in an outstanding game – writing that if the CFL had any sense they would have a highlight video out by the end of the week to sell so they do something to revitalize the league and maybe make a buck or two.

That goes double for the Argos right now.

Time’s a’wasting, let’s see if they can do anything with the chance that’s in front of them.

I can pretty much guarantee that the game I was in Halifax on Friday will be the only basketball game I’m at this year where they play The Fables during a break in the action.

The NBA should take note.

Okay, let’s go through this:

Monday: off day. Tuesday: off day. Wednesday: game day. Thursday: off day. Friday: game day. Saturday: off day. Sunday: off day. Monday: off day. Tuesday: game day. Wednesday: off day. Thursday: off day.

See a trend?

If you’ve got story ideas, I’m open to any and all suggestions. But don’t tell the other people on the beat, they’re in same boat as I am.

This NBA schedule is taking some getting used to.

Hey Griff, Laura, Zorro:

When’s that baseball team gonna make a move or two? It’s almost December and we want stuff to talk about.

Get on it, would you?

Things I care about concerning Prince Harry:

His tremendous work with the Invictus Games.

Things I don’t care about concerning Prince Harry:

His relationship status.

TORONTO STAR

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