Local sports teams want to make a change in Quebec to ensure the future of their industry and the survival of their franchise.
In the program l’Antichambre de RDS on the occasion of the presidents nightGeoff Molson of the Canadiens, Mario Cecchini of the Alouettes and Gabriel Gervais of CF Montreal spoke about the importance of betting on local players to reconnect with the public.
The challenges of the next few years are the same for the teams: retaining the public by seeking to rejuvenate the clientele to ensure the profitability of the franchises in an area that will be affected by rising costs. If the goals are the same, the means to achieve them may be different from team to team.
If for the Habs it is important to have a star player in training to retain the public, for Gabriel Gervais the presence of local players is a necessity to succeed because a star on the pitch does not ensure a championship or economic sustainability. of the club
“To say that you absolutely have to have a designated player to connect with people, I’m not convinced that’s it. Of course when Didier Drogba came in, the stadium was packed and ticket sales for the following year were very good, but we were not reaching the average number of season tickets in the league, which is around 13,000. It will fill the stadium year after year. I think that the attachment to a club can come from local players. »
For Geoff Molson, if this player comes from Quebec, that’s even better. “Having star players is very important and if they come from the province, stronger. If we’re lucky enough to pick a star from Quebec and see him play for us, that’s probably what will have the biggest impact. »
The Alouettes, who start their season on Thursday in Calgary, have turned resolutely to the Quebec market for years. For Mario Cecchini, it is essential to continue this momentum.
“We have Quebecers that we try to make known, even if it means involving them in Older brother like we did with Marc-Antoine Dequoy! We also have a core like Vernon Adams, Eugene Lewis, William Stanback, Christophe Normand and Kristian Matte who have been with the team for a long time. »
The presidents answer your questions
The CFM uses its academy to train players from the Bella Provincia and join the ranks of the first team. “We want to put players coming out of the Academy on the field,” added Mr. Gervais. Players from Quebec who grew up in the Montreal or Quebec districts. It is a way of differentiating yourself. »
In this post-pandemic era, the Alouettes will try to give a little more this season to solidify their ties with the fans. Mr. Cecchini hopes that time will prove his organization right. »
What the three presidents agree on is the importance of connecting with the young public to ensure the future of their team, but to get there you have to go where the young people are. The organizations want to be sure to listen to them and have developed a multimedia strategy that inevitably involves social networks and the atmosphere in the match venues.
“The young people who come to the game check their phones at every whistle and if we can interact with them between periods, Mr. Moslon recalls. It’s a good thing. »
“We have 17 home games, we have to create 17 events, Mr. Gervais added. We know we can do better in season ticket sales, but we are among the best in MLS in individual ticket sales. We have to create this enthusiasm. »
The Alouettes also hope the deal between the Canadian Football League and Genius Sports will create a festive atmosphere at Molson Stadium.
CF Montreal wanted to get closer to its public last year by changing its name and logo, but the initiative raised an outcry among the team’s most loyal fans. Even the new president admits that he, too, had trouble finding his bearings. He also quickly sought to correct the situation to partially repair the broken pots after his appointment last March. “There was a break between 2012 and 2021. We didn’t see the fleur de lis and the color blue. There was a lack of history in the logo and people talked about not seeing the team in the snowflake. As a former player it was difficult for me to connect, I did not see the history with the club. »
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