Randy Ambrosie, CFL commissioner: FP Magazine sits down with the ex-Bay Street executive and pro football player to talk about leading the Canadian Football League and the joys of cottaging.
What’s the state of the CFL?
We got a chance this winter to visit every one of the nine cities where we have our teams, and a tenth in the Atlantic region where we all hope one day to be playing, and you just walk away unbelievably optimistic. Our fans are passionate, they love the game, they’re filled with energy and ideas. They’re interested and interesting. Every stop we went I felt more energized.
Entertainment is a crowded marketplace. How does the CFL separate itself out?
We’re focusing a lot of effort on telling the story of our players so fans get to know them as people. We know that’s an important aspect of attracting fans, because our guys are cool and they’re interesting and they’re selfless. Getting them into the communities is another big part of our strategy. I think, pound for pound, there are no athletes in the world who give back more to their communities than CFL players do. I’m absolutely convinced of that. They’re not looking at their watch for when they have to leave. They tend to immerse themselves in whatever they’re doing and they’re making sure every kid gets a smile, that everybody is included. And that inclusion extends into our strategy. We want to make every Canadian feel welcome in our stadiums so that it becomes a perfect representation of what makes our country so fantastic: Everyone belongs and your next-door neighbour can be from anywhere.