Travis Lulay ‘bittersweet’ leaving Lions; numbers show franchise has a strong following in B.C.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Charismatic quarterback Travis Lulay is leaving the CFL for his family business and believes the B.C. Lions can recapture fans on the West coast.

After a decade wearing the Leos uniform on the field, Lulay joined the organization’s corporate partnerships team for the 2019 season. However, the 36-year-old has chosen to work in financial planning with his father Dennis and brother Trevor.

“Bittersweet is the word I’ve used because that’s true. After I retired, as we settled down and really discerned what we wanted to do, and what we wanted our life to look like, the family pull was too strong,” Lulay said on The Rod Pedersen Show.

“I got my university degree in finance, my dad’s been a financial services provider for 35 years in Oregon locally. But I jumped on that football train and rode it for the next 14 years.”

Lulay spent all 10 of his CFL seasons playing for the Lions. He led the franchise to a Grey Cup championship in 2011 to cap a campaign in which he threw for a career-best of 4,815 yards and 32 touchdowns while earning the league’s Most Outstanding Player Award.

“Football is a strong drug, it pulls you in. You meet the people within and you get connected. That’s where a lot of your natural network is and it provides a pathway to a next career if it’s connected to football in some way,” Lulay said.

“Obviously, I loved my time in Vancouver. Football will always be a part of me even if it’s not part of my every day role.”

President Rich LeLacheur officially hired Lulay on May 16, 2019. During Lulay’s year on the other side of the organization, he was able to learn how he business part of the franchise operates. Even though in-stadium support has wained in recent years, there is still a strong Lions following.

“There’s so many people still tuned in watching games. You’ve got 125,000 watching any Lions game at any snapshot of a Lions game just in Vancouver and on the island alone. You see all those eyeballs and you say if you could just capture one out of 10 of those people to get them back into the stadium, you’d have 30,000 people in the stadium,” Lulay said.

“I’m sitting in meetings with different corporations — huge corporations — throughout all of Canada and North America. To hear how much they would value an association with the club, it speaks to the Lions brand, it’s been around for a very long time — one of the two most recognizable brands in all of British Columbia.”