CalReply powers calendars for the Canadian Football League

For the past 57 years, the Canadian Football League has kicked off each season with pre-season workout sessions that make Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Pumping Iron film seem like a bed-time story, in comparison. 

The CFL is the most popular professional sporting league in Canada, without ice skates. The CFL 2013 Grey Cup Championship between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats was the single most-watched sports program in Canada in 2013. 

This year the CFL and its Canadian broadcast partners, TSN, and French-Canadian sister channel, RDS, have partnered with CalReply to bring fans a unique Twitter-enabled Calendar Reminder offering that gives fans a deeper connection to CFL and TSN/RDS than ever before. 

CalReply’s technology enables fans to add game reminders to their smartphone.  To get reminders, fans simply Tweet @CFL #SCHEDULE or @CFLonTSN #SCHEDULE or @RDSCA #CALENDRIERLCF (for French speakers).  They’re then directed to a CalReply powered CFL Calendar Jump Page where they can choose to add every team and game to their calendar, or select just their favorite team from a dropdown menu.  

Try it for yourself

  1. Open Twitter
  2. Tweet @CFL #SCHEDULE or @CFLonTSN #SCHEDULE or if you speak French @RDSCA #CALENDRIERLCF

  3. Swipe down to refresh your notifications 
  4. Click the link in the reply
  5. Click 'Add to calendar'


In-stream Integration

The CFL are using their Twitter account to promote calls-to-action to build subscribers by shouting out to followers, such as this example:

On-screen Promotion

During the live broadcast the calendar was promoted to viewers by placing a call to action in the score overlay at the bottom of the screen. The call to action serves to instruct the viewer how to use Twitter to get the calendar. 


Website Integration

In addition to integrating via Twitter, CFL has created website assets that link directly to their calendar. Links have been added to the Schedule menu, the CFL Fan Zone and ads promoting the calendar have been included throughout the sites ad inventory.

Key features used by the CFL

Pre-Game Reminders

Prior to every game, subscribers receive a tune-in reminder on their smartphone.  The reminder includes all the must-knows about the game like which teams are playing, which channel to watch on (TSN, TSN1 or RDS) and time of kickoff.  Reminders also include valuable engagement content like links to follow game-related #conversations on Twitter, links to watch the game online or to purchase tickets online.

Ticket sales links

Leagues and sporting teams generate significant revenue from ticket sales. CFL has included links to the Ticketmaster, driving ticket revenue from within CalReply reminders. When a fan opens the event in their calendar, they are deep linked to the ticketing page for the event where they can instantly purchase a ticket.

Remote Calendar Modification

The CFL schedule changes from month-to-month. Games are played in the evening during June, July and August, and then shifted to afternoon kickoff in September and October. Factor in the playoffs, and it’s not exactly an easy task to keep track of the fixture. With change comes uncertainty, and with so many entertainment options for consumers these days, brands just can’t afford to leave their fans looming with ambiguity.  CalReply answers the call by offering the CFL the ability to remotely update fan calendars in real-time.

What’s this?  It’s the ability to revise any event on the fly via CalReply’s dashboard.  Uh oh, last minute change in schedule…no problem.  Playoff picture still up for grabs…we’ve got it covered. 

CalReply’s automated dashboard can publish changes to all subscriber events so that 100% of game reminders are 100% accurate, 100% of the time, in real-time.  

Multi-language support

CFL has taken advantage of CalReply's multi-language capabilities by enabling calendars in English for TSN and in French for RDS, giving fans the option to consume and respond to the media in either language. Below is an example of a calendar in French:

Multi-handle support

You might have noticed we’re promoting 2 distinct @Handles (@CFL and @CFLonTSN) to viewers.   This is intentional.  So that both the CFL and TSN can deliver this integrated offering to their followers via their proprietary brands, CalReply has synchronized two Twitter handles to the same Twitter page.  All consumer inbound Tweets are filtered and managed through one Twitter profile keeping all interactions in one unified location.

What’s more, CFL, TSN and RDS are taking the bull by its horns and utilizing multi-channel promotional strategies to deliver this offering, at scale, to fans.  By incorporating a mix of On-Air, Social Media, OOH, Digital and Print outreach, CFL, TSN and RDS are primed to further grow fan engagement.