leadership | November 30, 2014

Leaving the League in Better Shape: Mark Cohon, CFL Commissioner

This past weekend's Grey Cup celebrations marked the end of Mark Cohon's masterful reign as Canadian Football League Commissioner. Writing on his legacy, the country's national newspapers offered their assessments. "The CFL was lucky to have him," writes The National Post. " A lot of good happened to the league on Mark Cohon's watch."

Talking to the Globe and Mail, Cohon—"known for his smooth manner and stylish threads"—put the CFL's present popularity in context: "We're bigger than the NFL in this country, we're bigger than the Toronto Blue Jays in this country, much bigger than the NBA and the (Toronto) Raptors," he said. "We're second only to the NHL in this country." The Globe writes, "Mark Cohon is leaving the league in better shape now than when he took the reins eight years ago."

As the league's 12th commissioner, Cohon led the league to exponential growth—a remarkable achievement, considering that he inherited the CFL in a state of disarray. In his action-packed eight years, though, Cohon oversaw a blockbuster multimillion dollar TV deal, worth over twice as much as the previous one. The league also expanded to the nation's capital, and several teams moved to new stadiums or now play in substantially refurbished ones. Cohon also brought years of stability to player-owner relations, and made fan interaction and experience a top priority. And all of this was achieved under tremendous scrutiny from owners, players, media, and fans alike.

Leadership speaker Mark Cohon is exclusively represented for speaking by The Lavin Agency. In his keynote, "The Turnaround League," he offers lessons from his years as CFL Commissioner. To book Cohon for your next event, please contact us.

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