Friday, 28 September 2018

There's Always Next Year ... So Time to Renew!

1964 Stampeder Season Ticket Renewal Pamphlet - Front 

One of the most interesting types of team ephemera and at the same time one of the most likely to have been discarded after it served its purpose, are the season ticket renewal brochures that it looks like began to be a separate distinct item some time in the sixties for most teams. This month's post will take a look at some of the more interesting examples of these that I have come across.

The above is among the earliest I am aware of and it is always interesting to look back now and see which of the highly touted newcomers actually ended up making a difference for the team. In this case Ted Woods was serviceable for a few seasons for the Stampeders and the rest, not so much. The smoking pleasure advertisement is killer too.

1964 Stampeder Season Ticket Renewal Pamphlet - Inside 

But the real killer here is the inside spread where almost unheard of for this time frame, full colour images of team stars were presented. These images came from a set of colour action photos that was catalogued in Collecting Canadian Football Volume II and is one of the very very few (like count them on the fingers of one hand and have fingers left over) sets that would have been shot in colour in those days. It is also one of my favorite Stampeder memorabilia pieces with four Hall of Famers (and should be five :  + Coleman).

1963 Eskimos Season Ticket Renewal Pamphlet - Front and Back

Above is an even earlier Eskimo brochure with their nifty green and gold colour scheme and a rendering of their sixties football shaped parka wearing Eskimo boy mascot, which is of course an innocent cartoon which explains why it does not resemble an actual indigenous human (or as it is known by today's standards, a hate crime). Thanks to Mike Smith-Knutsen for the scans.

If you have ever collected the 1963 Multiple Issuer Potato Chip plastic caps (often referred to as Nalley's but other chip brands were prominent as well) then you will recognize some of the player images on the brochure. The surprising thing is that so many newcomers to the team (7 out of 20 caps) were included, when you might normally expect to have had a greater percentage of veterans featured in the promotion. The images on the caps were of course, colorized from the team's B&W media photos.

1965 Rough Riders Season Ticket Renewal Pamphlet - Front and Back

The Ottawa 1965 brochure is notable for being one of the only ones that I have seen that features the opponent stars that season ticket holders could look forward to see play in the upcoming year, as well as one Rough Rider, Russ Jackson naturally. The three newcomers on the back page don't ring any bells.

Each of these images of opposing players were sourced from the relevant team's standard media photos (teams would accumulate player photos of other team's players and local newspapers would also have archives of players from many teams). Although there are two notable pictures, Bernie Faloney matches his 1963 Post Short Print White Back full length photo and Tommy Joe Coffey also matches his 1963 Post card picture.


1956 Blue Bomber - portion of newsletter and 1965 Blue Bomber pamphlet - Front

Initially teams would communicate their season ticket renewal information via team newsletters as shown above left, taken from one of the the Blue Bombers substantial multi-season publication "The Blue & The Gold". Eventually most teams transitioned to a standalone pamphlet, the example above right was designed to be mailed to the existing season ticket holder and presumably contained renewal information within. 

It seems to me (not always, but often) that collectibles from the sixties have slightly more oomph to them than those from the seventies. But for the remaining teams I have never seen a season ticket brochure dating from the sixties so the next best thing are some samples from the following decade.

1973 Roughriders Season Ticket Renewal Pamphlet - Back and Front

Astre-nomical prizes were the theme of the Roughriders 1973 season ticket selling campaign. Fans were encouraged to convince other fans to sigh up for tickets and the fan that managed the most referrals would be the owner of a sweet new Pontiac Astre with other prizes consisting of colour TVs. The inside of the brochure has more contest and prize details with no player images.  Thanks to Chris Coult for the scans.

1974 Alouettes Season Ticket Renewal Pamphlet - Inside pages

Montreal fans were encouraged to purchase season tickets with a brochure that highlighted a drawing of their ordinary superstar, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers. The other side of the folding brochure featured the same player graphic, stadium and city maps and transit information to get to the stadium. Thanks to Erle Schneidman for the scans.

1976 Argonauts Newsletter - Front and Back pages

It appears that well into the seventies both the Toronto Argonauts and the B.C. Lions were still communicating the details of their season ticket offerings via team newsletter, although the existence of these pieces of ephemera does not necessarily preclude the possible existence of specific specialized brochures for the same purpose.

1976 Lions Newsletter - Front and Back pages

As for Hamilton they are a bit of a mystery. It seems I have never come across any season ticket renewal publications for the Tiger-Cats or I just am not able to locate any in my image files maybe. They must have communicated the details of their prices and seat availability to their fans over the years, but it is not known in what format that information was produced.

1960 O.R.F.U. London Lords Season Ticket Renewal Pamphlet - Outside pages

There are of course some season ticket renewal pieces of ephemera floating around for teams other than the nine primary historical CFL franchises. The London Lords were established in the Ontario Rugby Football Union (O.R.F.U.) in 1956, two years after the league had stopped competing for the Grey Cup. They won the last O.R.F.U. Senior championship in 1960 and the following year they (and their league) transitioned to what became known as the intermediate level of competition.

As you might imagine there are a lot of really attractive (some less so) and unique Season Ticket renewal memorabilia items available to track down as they have been issued for decades for each team. Interestingly, this is one category of ephemera that continues to be intermittently produced on paper right up to the current digital era, sometimes still with great graphics and player images and sometimes not. Collecting the vintage ones is a real challenge because most are definitely very hard to find.