Mark Cohon has signed on to serve the Canadian Football League as its commissioner for at least another three years, providing the league with strong and stable leadership as it gears up to celebrate the 100th Grey Cup in 2012.
“Our Board of Governors is unanimously pleased to have Mark at the helm at a time of positive growth and enormous potential for our league,” said John Butler, Chairman of the CFL’s Board of Governors.
“We have come a long way together and all want our forward momentum to continue and accelerate.”
Cohon credited the league’s Board of Governors, teams, and fans for the renaissance the league is enjoying across the country.
“The CFL in general, and the Grey Cup in particular, have a unique bond with millions of Canadians, and our mission is to strengthen and expand that connection,” Cohon said.
“I’m thrilled to continue this work because I know there is so much more we can achieve, and our teams, and most importantly our fans, are counting on us to elevate our league to yet another level.”
Cohon became the 12th Commissioner of the CFL in 2007. Working together, he and the CFL’s Board of Governors have:
• Seen television ratings soar, under an exclusive broadcasting agreement with TSN.
• Watched attendance remain strong, at an average of about 28,000 per regular season game.
• Seen corporate partnerships hit record levels.
• Ushered in a new collective bargaining agreement with CFL players without any work stoppage.
• Successfully enforced a hard salary cap which has created parity and fostered fiscal responsibility.
• Announced that Ottawa will be rejoining the league with a strong ownership group following the construction of a new stadium project.
• Renewed its infrastructure, with new stadiums planned for Hamilton and Winnipeg, as well as Ottawa, the complete refurbishment of BC Place in Vancouver, and significant improvements to several other existing CFL stadiums including Edmonton and Montreal.
• Introduced the league’s first ever drug testing policy, targeting performance enhancing drugs and is the first league in North America to test for HGH.
• Celebrated Touchdown Atlantic, the first ever CFL regular season games played in Atlantic Canada.
• Unveiled its Command Centre for officiating, streamlining and centralizing video replay review.
• Launched a concussion awareness program, targeting young athletes, parents and their coaches.
• Expanded access for fans through initiatives that include the annual Fans’ State of the League gathering, Grey Cup TweetUps, Fan initiated rule changes
and an aggressive social media campaign.
• Introduced the CFL’s “This is Our League” campaign that has resonated with Canadians across Canada.
• Brought greater attention to CIS athletes through the introduction of the CFL Canadian Draft on TSN.
• Funded the launch of the CFL Alumni Association to celebrate the great past players of Our League
“We know we have exciting work to do, to grow our support in Southern Ontario, work towards our next broadcast agreement, and lead Canadians in a stirring celebration of the 100th Grey Cup,” Cohon said.
“We see these as tremendous opportunities and see a bright future ahead for our league. I’m proud to be a part of that future.”