CFL Week wasn’t just a success for the league — it was a win for 3DownNation too.
The inaugural event was held in Regina from March 21 to 26 and was a mashup featuring several elements that had previously been run separately: a media “car wash” that made players available to broadcaster TSN as well as print and online outlets, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame induction announcement, and the CFL Combine.
On their own, these events typically created small ripples in the large and quiet sea that is the CFL off-season, which stretches from the end of November until training camps get rolling at the start of June. But by combining them, the CFL appears to have created a tidal wave.
According to the league’s director of communications, Paulo Senra, CFL Week generated 1,489 online articles nationwide and more than 351 million “global media impressions.” That’s more commonly referred to as “reach” and combines the estimated number of visitors to a given publication that has published a story about the CFL.
There’s also an apples-to-apples comparison: in March 2016 there were 5,808 online articles anywhere in the world that included the keywords like “CFL,” “Canadian Football League” or “CFL Combine.” So far in March 2017, with “CFL Week” added in, there have been 7,993. That’s a jump of nearly 40 per cent.
Measuring the similar metrics at 3DownNation can be tough, if only because our year-over-year growth has been so substantial in 2017 (we’re up close to 200 per cent in March.) But 3Down produced 26 stories and counting regarding CFL Week, and readership was up more than 20 per cent from the week before.
It was a wide range of content. The biggest snubs of the week — there wasn’t single Canadian offensive lineman or American defensive back in attendance — was the most critical thing we wrote, but there were plenty of warm-hearted stories as well. Darian Durant’s goodbye speech to Rider Nation, the Regina woman who has become a Ticat fan, and a behind-the-scenes look at the Hall-of-Fame selection process were all well-received.
With five contributors in Regina, we were also able to expand our multimedia offerings: a series if “fireside” videos recapped each day’s events, while regular podcasts featured a series of player interviews as well in-depth analysis on the CFL Combine.
CFL Week may be over but there’s still more content to come. This week, we’ll have detailed analysis on how various prospects fared in the all-important one-on-one drills at the combine, and contributor Josh Smith will make the case that next year’s event should be held in Hamilton.
The league has given every indication that CFL Week will return in 2018, and the numbers certainly back that up.