Let's suppose YOU owned the Lions.....

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David
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Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:28 pm

Money is no object. You have David Braley's deep pockets, you're passionate about the team, and you hold considerable influence over front office. What changes would you make to this franchise? What would you like to see implemented, and conversely, what should the club move away from? How are you going to increase the fan base? Grow the brand? Make players want to come here?

While this is off-season "fantasy" discussion, it's not a fairy tale. Don't say, "sign every available free agent on the market." We still live in a cap world. :wink:
Ideas can be anything from uniforms to stadium configuration, from pricing structure to marketing/promotion.


DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

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Rammer
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:53 am

David wrote:Money is no object. You have David Braley's deep pockets, you're passionate about the team, and you hold considerable influence over front office. What changes would you make to this franchise? What would you like to see implemented, and conversely, what should the club move away from? How are you going to increase the fan base? Grow the brand? Make players want to come here?

While this is off-season "fantasy" discussion, it's not a fairy tale. Don't say, "sign every available free agent on the market." We still live in a cap world. :wink:
Ideas can be anything from uniforms to stadium configuration, from pricing structure to marketing/promotion.


DH :cool:
Sounds like you won a big lottery and are gleaning concepts from the gallery. :)
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Hambone
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:51 am

As always WCJ detailed thoughts and absolutely not without merit in terms of the team football ops perspective. However I took David's query to be more of an "if you were the owner" question. In that light would it not take a meddlesome owner micro-managing his GM to achieve most of those suggestions? Seems to me that historically in sports it rarely turns out to be a good thing when an owner starts playing defacto GM.
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WestCoastJoe
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:14 am

Hambone wrote:As always WCJ detailed thoughts and absolutely not without merit in terms of the team football ops perspective. However I took David's query to be more of an "if you were the owner" question. In that light would it not take a meddlesome owner micro-managing his GM to achieve most of those suggestions? Seems to me that historically in sports it rarely turns out to be a good thing when an owner starts playing defacto GM.
Yes, Hambone, my post was in standard fan mode, not from an owner's perspective, nor from business ops perspective. I pulled it. For a discussion of football ops, as you mention, it would be appropriate.

I have no problems with the owner of the Lions. Tremendous loyalty to the team and to the league. Braley hires the best people he can find, and lets them do their work.

David likes to comment on marketing and business ops, from time to time. That might be more of what David was getting at with this thread.

Following Rammer's point ... One wonders, David, if you won a humongous Lottery, would you be in the market to buy the Lions? I wouldn't. As many headaches as fun times, it seems to me. Or would it be the greatest toy a very rich man can have?

I can't help recalling the line of Georgie Best, footballer extraordinaire, when asked where all his money went. Booze, women and fast cars, he said. The rest he just squandered. :wink:

I think a football team could be like a yacht. Open the hatch and pour the money in.
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

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jcalhoun
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:44 am

Press release: Vancouver. Since seizing power in a bloodless coup, dictator for life James (praised be his name) has decreed certain changes will take place regarding the BC Lions, the official team of the People's Democratic Republic of British Columbia.

The first thing I'd do is fire Dennis Skulsky. He's tone deaf. Everyone else with the organization may keep their jobs, with the understanding that if they fail to perform at high levels of competence, whether on the field, coaching or answering the phones, they will be summarily sentenced to five year terms in prison and forced to listen to TSN 1040 twenty-four hours a day.

As defacto owner of the stadium and supreme ruling overlord, I now decree the following:

At the game:

1). Fans may bring a small bag containing food into the stadium (bag must have BC Lions logo)
2). Fans may bring one standard sized hip flask into the stadium, filled with whiskey. Non whiskey drinkers will be sent to reeducation camps. Rum drinkers, being deviants, will be shot.
3). Smoking sections will be set-up in three locations outside the stadium, where fans may venture to flavour country without disturbing those fans who do not smoke. As they represent 17% of the population,( and we are now a democratic republic), their systematic discrimination will no longer be tolerated.
4). All Saskatchewan Roughrider fans are welcome, but they will be housed in a special area, closed off with chain-link fencing and surrounded by water cannons. The cannons will be turned on whenever Saskatchewan scores. This will prevent the decent fans in the rest of the stadium from being overwhelmed by the smell of Pilsner.
5). The parking lots immediately around the stadium will all permit tailgating. The dictator for life will award one tailgating fan per game with the title of "Hero of the Republic" and he will be permitted to a). watch the game from the field, b). kick a convert, c). call the opening play from a list provided by the head coach, and d). ensure the felions maintain their rigourous sartorial standards.
6). The endzone seats over the change rooms are now reserved for the BC Lions marching band. It will number 350-500 members, drawn from the Republic's high schools. All will wear team jerseys and caps. Seating for their parents will be provided in the last ten rows (or so) of this endzone. A platform will be built over the field entrance (where the tarp now is) for the band-leader to conduct from. The national anthem and half-time bands will also perform from this space. The marching band will march around the outside of the stadium once before the game, then file towards their seats, while playing.
7). The upper deck endzone opposite the changerooms will be reserved for college-aged students. It will be isolated from the other areas, so they can fully engage their college spirit without disturbing others. The only beer on tap in this section will be Kokanee Gold and will cost a dollar. Ticket price will be 15 dollars per head.
8). The entire upper deck sideline behind the visiting team bench will be a family section. From goal-line to goal-line. Tickets are $15-$20 for adults and $10 for children. No adults are permitted in this section without a child. There will be special security in this section, so nobody without children can get into this area of the stadium (meaning, amongst other things, one can let their kids run around with fear of them a). getting lost or b). coming to harm. The concourse in this area will be filled with bouncy castle type amusements, free handouts of plush footballs, power paws, etc, while team mascots and cheerleaders will pose for photos. All children will be offered a pop, popcorn and hotdog free of charge. Adults accompanying children may have one beer, from a list of the world's finest breweries (or whiskey, if their wives insist on talking during the game). This goal of this section is to create the future fans of our glorious Republic, and to give their over-taxed parents the strange sensation of not being gouged.
9). Crazy Pete, as an enemy of the Republic, will be shot.
10). The scoreboard will have a crawl along the bottom keeping fans apprised of game stats and player injuries. If the TSN commentators accidentally make a germane observation, a clip of said unlikelihood will be broadcast to the crowd.
11). Local breweries and restaurants will be offered space within the concession & concourse area to sell their product, as will local retailers, on the condition that a). they sell their product for the same price as outside the stadium and b). they promote the team via their business.
12). All games will be played at 1pm on Sundays. Any mention of Friday or Saturday game play will land one in a reeducation camp. Thursday night advocates will be shot.
13). Half-time shows will be eliminated. They are outdated products of a bygone age. If some outstanding act is coming through town they will be invited to perform, however, it will be a special, rare occurrence.
14). Ticket prices in the lower deck will remain the same. Ticket prices upstairs will be cut by 50%.
15). There shall be more security.
16). The bathrooms shall be spotless.
17). Drunken behaviour (outside of the college section) will result in a public flogging administered by the middle linebacker of the losing team after he has been berated by his head coach.
18). Ticketmaster, as an enemy agency, will be purged. All tickets will be digital and service charges will be forbidden, because the people of the People's Republic will not be gouged.
19). Decibel-meters will be part of the ribbon scoreboard. Fans will have these pointed out to them in the guise of "health and safety announcements" whenever the other team has the ball.
20). As the band is in one endzone, the other endzone will no longer have a net to prevent balls from sailing into the crowd. This will be a little treat for these valiant citizens watching from such horrible seats.
21). Player introductions will be scrapped. Players will enter the field via the back doors of each locker room (they're roughly in each corner of the endzone) in single file, in numerical order, simultaneously and in line with the other team, like they're gladiators. House lights off, spotlights on. March on to the field, national anthem, kickoff.
22). The coin toss will happen pregame and be announced to fans. We don't need to see it.
23). Nobody may be permitted on the field who doesn't absolutely have to be there.
24). Season ticket holders will be required to submit their date of birth and a cell number. If it falls on a gameday, cheerleaders/team reps deliver a BC Lions cupcake and a card signed by the players/or some piece of appropriate swag. It is put on the big screen.
25). Every famous person going through Vancouver, be they actors, politicians, writers, athletes, etc will be invited to watch from a corporate box. Because seeing Tom Hanks or Joe Sakic at a game lends credibility to the team & league.

At the practice facility & in the media:

1). We will build a new, state of the art, indoor practice facility.
2). There will be space for fans to actually sit, in *seats* and watch practice.
3). There will be state of the art video editing equipment available for the media so they can prepare their stories at the Lions' facility.
4). There will be exclusive catered lunches, daily, for the media so long as their story is about the Lions.
5). Lions video staff will upload daily content to their website, and it will not look like the half-assed effort they have put up until now (ie, the Tedford signing video --ugh).
6). On a weekly basis, a video will be released online featuring Wally Buono, who will walk fans through an offensive and defensive series from the previous game in mind-numbing detail. In the past it has several times been reported that longtime fans have been outraged, called the team to complain, and when invited to watch practice or film with coaches suddenly are blown away by the details. Lets give all the fans the details.
7). Players will be given lessons in how to be interviewed. Staff will work to minimize cliches, "ahhhs", "you knows", and other hallmarks of the US university system. Rob Murphy will be brought in as an instructor.
8). The Lions will seek to promote Leo's collectors on their website. They will scan football cards, programs, etc and host them on their website.
9). The Lions will lovingly restore each of their Grey Cup appearances, along with the playoff games that led them to the GC, produce secondary audio tracks with former coaches and players, and release these on DVD/Bluray/Download etc at the rate of one per year over the next few years. They will also lovingly restore all former game footage, and slowly, over the next decade + release these games as an online archive.
9). The Lions will create a kid's section online, with colouring pages of players, games etc.
10). Children who enter their birthday and favourite player (with parent's permission, of course) get a birthday card from said fav player.
11). The Lions will produce their own playing cards for kids, available free online for downloading.
12). The Lions will commission a biography of Lui Passaglia. I hear Jim Taylor is available.
13). And a statue.
14). The Lions will commission a book called 'How to win: coaching secrets of Canadian football". Authors will include Wally, Huff, Trestman, Don Matthews, Hugh Campbell, etc. Brief bios, followed by coaching philosophy, memories, favourite plays, lots of technical detail, etc. Think Bill Walsh's book, but by multiple authors.
15). The Lions will produce a weekly article for each of the Vancouver dailies, explaining technical elements of football in depth (how to recognize a zone, how to exploit it, what to watch for, etc).
16). The Lions will offer a weekly podcast which includes clips of all the media interviews from the previous week, a talk with the coach, etc. 30 mins to 1 hour. It will be released for download on the day before a game.
17). The football 101 course will be filmed, edited so it looks professional, and posted online. A football 202 course will be developed.
18). The Lions will produce articles for the ethnic press in Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi and will cultivate better links with this community.
19). The Lions will offer radio broadcasts in real time via their website in Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi.
20). The Lions will seek 25-75 volunteers to jam sports talk radio. Whenever the phone boards are opened, these people call in and talk football. They will lead the herd. The media, being halfwits, will slowly begin to talk more about football.

Misc:

1). The schedule for the following year will be announced during Grey Cup week.
2). The preseason game will always be played outside of Vancouver: Victoria, Kelowna, etc.
3). Efforts will be made to coordinate buses/trains/ferries/flights from around the province for gameday.
4). Transit will be free for those with a game ticket, as it is in Winnipeg.
5). Develop a partnership with UBC/SFU and play their games at BC Place before Lions games.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get on with this coup thing....

James

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WestCoastJoe
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:03 am

James, that is amazing. A very fun read, along with many serious, constructive ideas.
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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Lions4ever
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:29 pm

WestCoastJoe wrote:James, that is amazing. A very fun read, along with many serious, constructive ideas.
If I'm Skulsky I put jc on the payroll toot sweet.

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David
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:22 pm

Some thoughts....

* Purchase a private plane so team wouldn't have to fly commercially (would help make this an attractive destination)
* Build the team an indoor practice facility for inclement days in October/November
* Foster deeper ties with amateur football (specifically closer alliances with UBC and SFU)
* Dramatically increase the Marketing budget. On game days, all local papers (Sun, Province, 24 Hours etc) will have a shroud (outside cover ad) announcing "GAME TONIGHT: BC LIONS vs ______." More TV spots too (i.e. advertising season tickets during Super Bowl)
* Purchase a lot near the stadium or on Expo lands specifically for sanctioned, McMahon Stadium-style pre-game tailgating. Barbecues, beer in plastic cups, Port-o-potties etc.
* A lot of you know my thoughts on BC Place - better than it was but not ideal. It's way too big for the CFL (95% of all events held there for that matter) and atmosphere suffers. Look to partner with Whitecaps on 25,000 seat state-of-the-art waterfront stadium (expands to 33,000 for football) with mountain views. Team can play here during regular season then move indoors to BC Place for playoffs.
* oh, and bid sayonara to the away uniform with orange pants. :wink:


DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

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David
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:38 pm

jcalhoun wrote:Adults accompanying children may have one beer, from a list of the world's finest breweries (or whiskey, if their wives insist on talking during the game). This goal of this section is to create the future fans of our glorious Republic, and to give their over-taxed parents the strange sensation of not being gouged.


Love the creativity, James. This one got a :rotf: LOL.

BTW, another one for me. An in-game addition. After the players come out after the introductions, let the starters introduce themselves (like on NFL football telecasts). In other words, pre-recorded intros by the players. For example, if we win the coin toss and elect to start the D, have them come on the giant scoreboard, "Solomon Elimimian, University Of Hawaii," (next shot) "Ryan Phillips, Eastern Washington," (next shot) "Ronnie Yell, San Jose State" etc.

This would let newcomers get to know these masked gladiators. :thup:


DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

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Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:03 pm

David wrote:
James Calhoun wrote:Adults accompanying children may have one beer, from a list of the world's finest breweries (or whiskey, if their wives insist on talking during the game). This goal of this section is to create the future fans of our glorious Republic, and to give their over-taxed parents the strange sensation of not being gouged.


Love the creativity, James. This one got a :rotf: LOL

BTW, another one for me. An in-game addition. After the players come out after the introductions, let the starters introduce themselves (like on NFL football telecasts). In other words, pre-recorded intros by the players. For example, if we win the coin toss and elect to start the D, have them come on the giant scoreboard, "Solomon Elimimian, University Of Hawaii," (next shot) "Ryan Phillips, Eastern Washington," (next shot) "Ronnie Yell, San Jose State" etc.

This would let newcomers get to know these masked gladiators. :thup:


DH :cool:
Good idea, David. Broadly, I'd answer the question with "Improve the gameday experience by giving the ticket-buying fan something they won't get from sitting at home on their couch in front of their hi-def." Because right now, that's probably one of their biggest competitors: themselves, on TV. Now exactly what that is, I'm not really sure. But I think this has to be one of the guiding principles in promoting the team. The fan tweets from during the game that get posted on the video board, something they started last season, are a good step in that direction. They could expand this to include instagram material as well, basically any social media.
Sports can be a peculiar thing. When partaking in fiction, like a book or movie, we adopt a "Willing Suspension of Disbelief" for enjoyment's sake. There's a similar force at work in sports: "Willing Suspension of Rationality". If you doubt this, listen to any conversation between rival team fans. You even see it among fans of the same team. Fans argue over who's the better QB or goalie, and selectively cite stats that support their views while ignoring those that don't.

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KnowItAll
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:31 pm

every game, one fan in attendance gets 2% of the gameday take. Friends and family of players and staff not eligible

fans would vote on a team uniforms and they would stay the same for as long as I owned the team.
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Hambone
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:49 pm

James I was about to read your entire list but require clarification on item 2). As a devoted beer drinker I think that would place me in your Non-whiskey drinker category. Another strike against me might be that I have resorted to the apparently demon rum. However that has strictly been on an emergency basis as in "In case of brewery strike open rum bottle". Thankfully the last BC beer strike was about 35 years ago. So I'm not sure if that would mean I'd get shot, pi$$ed on or both making the rest of your suggestions rather moot. :tease:
You're as old as you've ever been and as young as you're ever going to be.

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sj-roc
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:10 pm

KnowItAll wrote:every game, one fan in attendance gets 2% of the gameday take. Friends and family of players and staff not eligible
There's already a 50-50 draw where the take usually exceeds $25k. The prize average for the 2014 reg season was just under $30k ($29907 to be more exact).

http://www.bclions.com/page/50-50-draw-results
Winning Ticket Numbers from 2014 BC Lions Regular Season:

Friday, November 7 vs Calgary
#L-237609 ($32,167.50)

Saturday, October 11 vs Ottawa
#K-363674 ($31,322.50)

Friday, September 19 vs Toronto
#J-366300 ($28,505)

Friday, September 13 vs Winnipeg
#I-102221 ($31,740)

Sunday, August 24 vs Saskatchewan
#H-344347 ($48,642.50)

Friday, August 8 vs Hamilton
#E-15442 ($22,912.50)

Friday, July 25 vs Winnipeg
#D-42532 ($26,180)

Saturday, July 19 vs Montreal
#C-16894 ($25,245)

Saturday, June 28 vs Edmonton
#B-28806 ($22,445)
If the avg ticket price is $65 then with last year's att avg of 28,011 the per-game gate is about $1.82M, 2% of which is about $36k. So what you've suggested is more or less already happening (you just have to buy tickets for it!).
Sports can be a peculiar thing. When partaking in fiction, like a book or movie, we adopt a "Willing Suspension of Disbelief" for enjoyment's sake. There's a similar force at work in sports: "Willing Suspension of Rationality". If you doubt this, listen to any conversation between rival team fans. You even see it among fans of the same team. Fans argue over who's the better QB or goalie, and selectively cite stats that support their views while ignoring those that don't.

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KnowItAll
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:34 pm

sj-roc wrote:
KnowItAll wrote:every game, one fan in attendance gets 2% of the gameday take. Friends and family of players and staff not eligible
There's already a 50-50 draw where the take usually exceeds $25k. The prize average for the 2014 reg season was just under $30k ($29907 to be more exact).

http://www.bclions.com/page/50-50-draw-results
Winning Ticket Numbers from 2014 BC Lions Regular Season:

Friday, November 7 vs Calgary
#L-237609 ($32,167.50)

Saturday, October 11 vs Ottawa
#K-363674 ($31,322.50)

Friday, September 19 vs Toronto
#J-366300 ($28,505)

Friday, September 13 vs Winnipeg
#I-102221 ($31,740)

Sunday, August 24 vs Saskatchewan
#H-344347 ($48,642.50)

Friday, August 8 vs Hamilton
#E-15442 ($22,912.50)

Friday, July 25 vs Winnipeg
#D-42532 ($26,180)

Saturday, July 19 vs Montreal
#C-16894 ($25,245)

Saturday, June 28 vs Edmonton
#B-28806 ($22,445)
If the avg ticket price is $65 then with last year's att avg of 28,011 the per-game gate is about $1.82M, 2% of which is about $36k. So what you've suggested is more or less already happening (you just have to buy tickets for it!).
that's the crutch, you have to buy tickets for it. More appealing if the ticket you already bought can win you a prize greater than the present 50/50. However, based on your info, I would raise the prize to 3%
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"Freeze, Mother-Stickers, this is a F--- Up"

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sj-roc
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Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:27 pm

KnowItAll wrote:
sj-roc wrote:If the avg ticket price is $65 then with last year's att avg of 28,011 the per-game gate is about $1.82M, 2% of which is about $36k. So what you've suggested is more or less already happening (you just have to buy tickets for it!).
that's the crutch, you have to buy tickets for it. More appealing if the ticket you already bought can win you a prize greater than the present 50/50. However, based on your info, I would raise the prize to 3%
One drawback I see in your suggestion is that by having such a prize for which all fans are eligible, it might cannibalise 50/50 ticket sales, the proceeds of which support BC minor football (with whom the Lions would do well to have a good relationship). If people already have a shot at a decent cash prize just for showing up then I think they'd be less likely to pay out extra for draw tickets to what might end up being a smaller pot.

They have other seat-based giveaways at the games as well, sponsored by Safeway, with prizes similar to the touchdown-to-win promotion they run during the TSN broadcasts. I almost won a food smoker once, had the right section and seat number but the winner was only two rows directly behind me.

I think they do enough in terms of gameday giveaways. If they're awarding a share of the gate as a cash prize, straight up, I think it could risk devaluing the on-field product. A promotion like that would probably run its course over a few years and then you still have to sell the game. It also probably wouldn't be a good idea for the Lions to award such a fixed slice of the revenue pie as I don't know if it does them any good as a private enterprise to basically disclose their gate revenues in the process.
Sports can be a peculiar thing. When partaking in fiction, like a book or movie, we adopt a "Willing Suspension of Disbelief" for enjoyment's sake. There's a similar force at work in sports: "Willing Suspension of Rationality". If you doubt this, listen to any conversation between rival team fans. You even see it among fans of the same team. Fans argue over who's the better QB or goalie, and selectively cite stats that support their views while ignoring those that don't.

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