One thing I've always wondered about the CFL is why can't their players be part of a national marketing campaign. Future Shop got on the ball last year by having Kerry Joseph and Jesse Lumsden in ads to promote CFL all-star voting. I've always wondered though why corporate Canada doesn't embrace CFL players when they advertise.
Proof of that came this week when I came across an article in which Montreal born UFC star Georges St. Pierre has signed on with Gatorade as one of their faces in the "G" marketing onslaught. The article went on to say St. Pierre will join other top Canadians like Gordie Howe, Cassie Campbell and Chantal Peticlerc and Ray Zahab. I don't even know who Ray Zahab is!!!(a Google search tells me is a marathon runner)
Gatorade's vice president of marketing says just like in the US, the Canadian Gatorade brand is recognizing some of our nation's most influential and inspiring athletes. They represent Canada's best while serving as motivation to any Canadian who sweats.
While I have no problem with that statement, I have to ask why Gatorade wouldn't approach the CFL looking for a couple of players. Would Henry Burris not make a fine spokesperson for Gatorade or Jesse Lumsden or Jason Clermont. Solid arguments could be made for a lot of CFL players.
The CFL doesn't have any problem with attracting corporate sponsors but those sponsors seemingly don't want to reciprocate by dedicating advertising campaigns behind players. Even though I hated their ads during the Scotties and the Brier, Capital One utilized Jennifer Jones and Kevin Martin. Can Wendy's not do something. Imagine the Rider o-line pulling up to a Wendy's drive-thru asking for a whole whack of Baconators. Could RONA not use some hulking linemen in an advertising spot or two. How about Nissan and Purolator. Yeah, Purolator does a great job hawking their food bank days but get some players involved.
Is it too much for corporate Canada to involve the CFL in what they do. Apparently it is. Are they to take complete blame for this?? That's something I don't know but one would think the players association and the league would want what would be a win-win situation for everyone involved. Maybe someone in the association has to take the bull by the horns and start lobbying those that put some dollars out of their advertising budget into the CFL. Whatever it is, here's hoping something is done in time for the 2009 season.