The Grey Cup touches down in Toronto

Details on activations for the big 100th anniversary game this weekend from the CFL's Sara Moore and Bell Media's coverage on TSN.
CFL

The 100th Grey Cup kicks off this Sunday in Toronto, with the Toronto Argonauts taking on the Calgary Stampeders at the Roger Centre in front of a sold-out crowd.

Sara Moore, VP of marketing, CFL, tells MiC activations leading up to the big game started at the beginning of the year, with Rona sponsoring an event at Toronto’s Rosedale Park, the site of the first Grey Cup game in 1909, and also announcing its “Home Field Advantage” program, which saw the national chain of stores renovating football fields in CFL cities across the country.

The home improvement company also sponsored a cross-country Grey Cup tour which saw a Via Rail train go across Canada with the trophy, stopping in more than 100 places along the way.

Fans will literally have a hand in bringing the Grey Cup into the Rogers Centre ahead of the game on Sunday, with the launch of the first-ever Sun Life Grey Cup Fan March. The walk starts at Varsity Stadium, near Yonge and Bloor, with fans, CFL alumni and special guests like the Governor General all taking part in handing the Cup off hundreds of times down Yonge St.

Bill Ramsammy, assistant VP of corporate brands and marketing, Sun Life says the brand, which is sponsoring the CFL for the second time this year, does so because the league aligns with the company’s community focus and reaches every one of its targeted “life stages” of consumers aged 25 to 71.

Coming onboard as a new halftime sponsor this year is SiriusXM, bringing Gordon Lightfoot, Carley Rae Jepsen and Justin Bieber to the field in what Moore says will be an “unbelievable production.”

Greg Cormier, director of marketing, SiriusXM Canada, told MiC earlier this year that the brand wanted to make a splash at this year’s Grey Cup because of the larger than normal reach the anniversary brings.

“We wanted to take advantage of the 100th Grey Cup because there would be a lot more fan interest across the country,” he said. “We thought it would be a great opportunity to get the SiriusXM brand associated with this event and to further the relationship we’ve already established with the CFL over the past years, while making a bigger splash.”

Bell Media’s TSN is also going big for the game, with coverage all weekend with Grey Cup Saturday events beginning at 1 p.m. live from Scotiabank Football Experience for two hours. Sunday’s coverage starts again at 1 p.m. leading up to the game at 6 p.m. on TSN, TSN Mobile TV, TSN.ca and TSN Radio as well as French-language coverage on RDS beginning at 5 p.m.

In addition, TSN is adding new second-screen elements to its coverage, with a Field Access hub on TSN.ca, which will feature pre-game warm-ups, an alternate overhead camera angle of the game, live chats with CFL alumni and social media reaction to the game from the channel’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds.

A representative from TSN says sponsorship opportunities around the Grey Cup are still available.