The Canadian Football League honoured the Winnipeg Football Club last week at the CFL Congress 2012 in Toronto with its inaugural Best Marketing & Ticket Campaign Award. The award recognizes the CFL club with the most outstanding marketing and ticketing success from the previous season. In 2011, the WFC enjoyed a record-breaking year with several sales records, including season and game-day tickets and merchandising.

“The annual Canadian Football League Best Marketing & Ticket Campaign Award acknowledges an integrated marketing campaign, and we congratulate the Winnipeg Football Club for an outstanding 2011 season,” says Sara Moore, CFL Vice-President of Marketing. “A lot has to come together to make a campaign resonate at this level, including a well-developed plan. We also know that great strategy drives impactful creative. Impactful creative drives great results. And great results – sales, clickthrough rates, perception changes, behaviour changes – are proof that the objectives, as set out in the strategy, were met or, even better, surpassed.”

The WFC’s long-time agency of record, McKim Cringan George, developed the campaign in partnership with the club, which called on fans to help shape history by participating in the team’s last full season at the Canad Inns Stadium. Fans were invited to be part of the nostalgia as the team transitions to their new home at the University of Manitoba this year.

“The Our History. Our House. multimedia campaign helped sell more season tickets than ever in the history of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, a record of 21,155,” said Jerry Maslowsky, the team’s Marketing Vice-President.

Other records were also broken in 2011. It was the first season in WFC history that the 260,000-attendance mark was surpassed, with many home games requiring the addition of temporary stands to accommodate the overflow. The Bombers averaged 29,532 fans per home game, almost 800 more than the previous record of 28,739 set in 1985, with eight sellouts in all. The team and WFC employees also participated in community and ambassador outreach programs in rural Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. And one game day in October marked the most Winnipeg Blue Bombers merchandise ever sold at the Bombers store.

The campaign creative was used on superboards, digital billboards, print and online ads, the team’s website, posters and in in-game promotions, communications materials, at media events and in a nine-minute video shown during halftime.

“The campaign captured the deep-rooted love Manitobans have for their football team,” adds MCG’s CEO Peter George. “And then the team went to the Grey Cup. It was a spectacular year for the Club, team, campaign and fans.”