“We created Mark’s CFL Week to share our best with the best fans in the world,” said Christina Litz, the Chief Marketing, Digital and Strategy Officer of the Canadian Football League.
“This is where we showcase our stars, audition our prospects, honour our legends and, most of all, deliver all sorts of fun for fans. There is no offseason for our fans’ passion and Mark’s CFL Week celebrates that.”
At Mark’s Polo Park store today, the CFL and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers revealed the full schedule for Mark’s CFL Week from March 21 to 25.
“Mark’s CFL Week is a perfect opportunity to not only celebrate the game of football, but to introduce it to new fans in an exciting way,” said David Lui, Vice-President of Marketing for Mark’s, a proud partner of the CFL and one of Canada’s most trusted retail brands.
“Winnipeg is in for an action-packed week and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it.”
Here are just some of the highlights:
- The Stars Come Out: 50 of the CFL’s top players will be in town to meet fans and attend various events, including a massive TSN/RDS photo and video shoot for the upcoming season. Stars confirmed so far include: Matt Nichols, Andrew Harris, Mike Reilly, Zach Collaros, Jonathon Jennings, Solomon Elimimian, Alex Singleton, Marken Michel, C.J. Gable, Willie Jefferson, Jeremiah Masoli, Simoni Lawrence, Ricky Ray, S.J. Green, Trevor Harris, Greg Ellingson, Josh Freeman and Chris Williams.
- CFL Fan Fest is free and it’s fun: Taking place March 22 to 25 at the RBC Convention Centre, CFL Fan Fest features autograph sessions with players and alumni, live shows featuring CFL personalities, your own photo op with the Grey Cup, a chance to participate in your own CFL Combine, and prizes and activities delivered by Mark’s, adidas, Shaw, Athabasca University, Kubota, New Era, Purolator, Pendopharm, PwC, Tim Hortons, Tourism Winnipeg and Twisted Tea as proud sponsors of Mark’s CFL Week. The Twisted Tea Fan Cave beer garden will be open from Thursday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, with live player interviews, entertainment and trivia nights.
- 2018 CFHOF class unveiled: This year’s inductees to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame will be announced at a special VIP Reception hosted by CFL on TSN’s Rod Smith on March 21 at the Pinnacle Club in Investors Group Field. Bomber legends Doug Brown, Paul Bennett, Matt Dunigan, Milt Stegall and Chris Walby will join fans to salute the brand-new class of ’18. To purchase tickets for the Canadian Football Hall of Fame VIP Reception, click here.
- Jumpstart Games: Mark’s will be holding a Jumpstart Games event to introduce 150 kids to the game of football led by ten top CFL players on March 22. Jumpstart Charities is a national charity dedicated to helping kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation in order to provide inclusive play for kids of all abilities.
- Shaw Respect Camp: Thanks to Shaw and the Canadian Red Cross, hundreds of local school children will come together to learn about the importance of treating each other with respect at a special gathering that features CFL personalities.
- CFL National Combine presented by adidas: The top prospects for this May’s CFL Draft will compete in front of football personnel from all nine CFL teams from March 24-25 at the RBC Convention Centre and University of Winnipeg. Players show their speed in the 40-yard dash and test their strength in the bench press as scouts search for the next CFL stars. To register for free tickets to the CFL Combine events, click here. The Western Regional Combine, the last chance for local talent to earn an invite to the national event, will also take place in Winnipeg on March 22 at Subway Soccer South.
- Think Tank: CFL coaches, general managers, and league executives discuss the state of the game in meetings of the league’s Rules Committee and Competition Committee.
- All Access: Media will have the opportunity to speak with every player involved in the TSN/RDS photo and video shoots over the course of not one but two Media Days. Media are also invited to the Football Operations Media Conference, featuring West and East Division coaches or general managers discussing the upcoming season. In addition, the top prospects for the 2018 CFL Draft will be made available to the media following combine drills.
- Mark’s CFL Week Live: Brodie Lawson and Davis Sanchez will take to the Fan Fest stage to connect a live audience of fans with their favourite CFL personalities. The show will also be streamed live March 22nd and March 23rd on cfl.ca/live.
- Passing Showcase: The stars of USPORTS take the field on March 25 for a very special Passing Showcase, a fast-paced, high-scoring brand of football. Members of the University of Manitoba Bisons, University of Saskatchewan Huskies, University of Regina Rams and the University of Alberta Golden Bears will display their skills at Subway Soccer South.
“Having Mark’s CFL Week here in March, a few months before we start training camp, is a bit like Christmas in July for Bomber fans,” said Wade Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Winnipeg Football Club.
“We can’t wait to show the entire country that Winnipeg loves to celebrate and Winnipeg loves Canadian football all year round.”
Fans can get all the details by visiting www.markscflweek.ca
“Mark’s CFL Week brings together our top players, prospects and legends,” added Litz. “It’s our way of celebrating today’s CFL, our history and even our future with our favourite people – our fans.”
NOTE: Media wishing to attend the 2018 Canadian Football Hall of Fame announcement, CFL Media Days, the Football Operations Media Conference, or the CFL Combine presented by adidas or the Regional Combine are asked to apply for accreditation by using this link.
Media seeking overnight accommodation are advised the CFL has an allotment of rooms reserved for media at a rate of $129 a night. Media can book rooms by emailing email@example.com or calling 204-956-0410 and giving their name under Media, CFL.