CFL kicks off season with new site

The new digital network amalgamates individual player sites and central web properties to make it easier for national advertisers to reach all markets.

The Canadian Football League (CFL) kick-started its season with a new site that connects 13 of its sites into one network. The redesign and amalgamation, developed by Hamilton-based sports marketing co MRX, will make it easier for fans to navigate across the CFL channels. The move will also benefit advertisers looking for national access to the league’s male-skewing demo via individual team sites, explains Adrian Sciarra, director of partnerships at the CFL.

‘The [sites] don’t look the same because each team has its own look and feel,’ says Sciarra, ‘but they have a similar structure and similar advertising units, so an advertiser who wants to place ads and direct messaging to CFL fans can do it through or any of our team sites in a much more simple way. Uptrend Media has recently signed on as the CFL’s exclusive digital sales agency, and will be handling ad sales for its new network of sites.

New features on the site include a new big screen video player featuring game clips and interviews with players, a new photo gallery, a homepage scoreboard and blogs from writers, fans and CFL players themselves. Advertisers can sponsor a specific section of the site, for instance the Live Play section, where fans spend an average of 23 minutes watching stats as they come in from the game, says Sciarra.

The new site will be promoted through CFL’s own properties and in stadiums across the league.

Last year,, the network’s central site, received about 3.3 million uniques according to Google Analytics, and CFL expects this figure to rise dramatically following the amalgamation and this year’s redesign. Current advertising on the site is local to the teams, like Stagg Chili on the Toronto Argonauts website and Group Medical Services for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

CFL has about 11.9 million fans in Canada, according to an October 2008 Angus Reid Strategies poll. This year’s season began July 1 and runs through to the Grey Cup in November.