Friday, June 27, 2014

TSN takes pride in its CFL product

Regina Leader-Post
Friday, June 27, 2014

By: Greg Harder



TSN has about 40 million reasons to embrace its role in the heightened profile of the CFL.

The league signed a fiveyear contract extension last spring which officially kicks in this season, securing TSN as its exclusive television partner through 2018.


The landmark deal, valued at approximately $40 million per season, has been called a game changer for the budget conscious CFL - tangible affirmation of its increased value within the Canadian sports landscape.


The new contract is believed to be worth almost three times more than the previous deal, an investment which means that TSN's commitment to the CFL is stronger than ever.

That said, it doesn't mean the network is planning to stray from its tried-and-true



As the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix.


"We don't feel pressure to up our game," said Mark Milliere, TSN's senior vicepresident of production. "We're very proud of the work we've done on it. More than anything you feel that extra sense of ownership. It's Year 1 of an exclusive arrangement and you want to keep building on all the momentum you put behind it and keep growing it. That's not pressure, it's more excitement."


TSN and the CFL entered into their first exclusive television agreement in 2008, ending the league's 55-year relationship with CBC.


The move was followed by a steady ratings upswing - in conjunction with a period of unprecedented growth for the league - which validated the network's faith in the product, not to mention its investment.


"It's a huge source of pride," offered Milliere, TSN's second in command. "Everyone at TSN feels they've had a hand in that. The CFL is a great product. To see where the momentum is at, where it's building, to see the new stadiums coming on board, to see the job that (commissioner) Mark (Cohon) and his team have done in terms of building the league and working together with them, it's very rewarding."


Although the CFL's lucrative deal with TSN was regarded as being good for the league, it also provided some ammunition for the players heading into negotiations this spring for a new collective bargaining agreement. After several weeks of posturing and on-again, offagain talks, the sides came to an agreement in the midst of training camps, ending the threat of a strike and ensuring the season would begin as scheduled.


"You look at it and go, 'That's just the byproduct of a successful league,' " noted Milliere. "When a league starts getting that momentum and that success, everyone wants their slice. It's just like other leagues. They all go through it. There's obviously angst that goes with that when you're the broadcaster, hoping it all gets resolved. You don't want to break stride. Thankfully they got it resolved."


TSN was recently involved in a strenuous negotiation of its own when the network was outbid by rival Sportsnet for the national rights to NHL hockey.


Despite that setback, Milliere said the network is going full steam ahead with its remaining stable of sports properties, including the CFL.


"We still have a ton of hockey to produce," he said. "I'll produce as many hockey games or more this regular season than I did last year (due in part to the acquisition of regional broadcasts). The NHL is still a huge part of TSN.


"The CFL has always been a priority for us because of its exclusive arrangement. That is unique, like our Hockey Canada arrangement. I don't know if anything changes. We feel a tremendous amount of ownership - a tremendous amount of pride - in terms of the growth of the league. We just want to keep going with that momentum."

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friends and family still top influencers: Veritas study

June 10, 2014

Family and friends are still the number one influence on decision-making, according to a new study by Veritas Communications.

The Veritas Canadian Influencer Study found that family (70%), friends (67%) and trusted experts (34%) have the greatest influence on female consumers’ decisions to try a new product or service.

“When marketers think of tapping into influencers, they automatically think of media and social media, and that makes sense because they do have a lot of influence,” said Krista Webster, president and partner at MDC-owned Veritas Communications. “But marketers have forgotten the lost art of tapping into family and friends.”

Webster added that there’s a big opportunity for smart brands to recognize the power of word of mouth. “It’s authentic, it takes time and you have to nurture it,” she said. “For many marketers, things have to happen immediately. But true staying power and true loyalty comes from allowing things happen in their own time… This is the slow movement for earned media.”

Overall, bloggers continue to grow in influence among women, who cite a blogger recommendation as an important trigger to trying a new product or service for the first time (22%). “The voice is authentic [in blogs]. It’s like a friend,” said Webster.

The study also found that trust in new channels is on the rise. While conversations with family and friends tops the list of most-trusted channels for women sourcing information about a product or service (65%), the gap between traditional and new media is closing. The most-used channels for finding information about a new product or service include traditional media (41%), online media (37%) and advertising (30%).

“The trust of influencers in [a female consumer’s] circle is very high and she does not discern between online and offline anymore,” said Webster. “The authenticity of that voice is more important to her than ever.”

In addition, women are more likely to source information from social and digital channels where friends, family or trusted sources post information, including social networks (38% versus 31% national average), online communities (27% versus 25%) blogs (26% versus 19%) or branded apps/tools (22% versus 19%).

Other findings in the survey:

·39% of female respondents consider themselves to be influencers—by more often acting as an influencer than one who is influenced.

·37% of female respondents said people often ask their opinion about what products or services they should consider buying or using.

·48% of female respondents said they actively share news on new products or events with others.

·74% of female respondents have switched from at least one preferred brand in the past year.

·73% said they plan to change preferred brands in the coming year.

·The sectors most frequently cited by female brand switchers are: automotive (39%); online video/gaming (39%); travel service or hotel (38%); alcoholic beverage (34%) and media/entertainment (34%).

·Female consumers are likely to seek out 2.7 sources of information before making a decision on using a new brand or service.

The study of 500 adult Canadians (both men and women) was commissioned by Veritas and conducted by Northstar, an MDC Partners market research and consulting firm.

#MillennialTalk: Marketing to the Me Generation

While the Millennial generation indeed founded the social media movement, their interests, backgrounds and aspirations span well beyond what’s listed on their Facebook pages. This generation’s digital tendencies, however, mean that marketers and brands need to step up their games in order to keep up and engage with them. Adding to the challenge is the need for diversity with a greater portion of millennials belonging to a multicultural group – redefining mainstream. 
And these 18 to 34 year-olds are worth the effort. Why? Because they are 9 million strong in Canada — on par with Baby Boomers — and make up 26 percent of the country’s population. And while many are still climbing the income ladder, this group’s size and age range highlight its long-term purchase power. Carman Allison, VP Consumer Insights Canada at Nielsen, takes a look into the trends surrounding this changing generation—including purchasing habits, consumption patterns, media choices and more.