Excellence in Sports: Jeffrey L. Orridge

As the 13th commissioner of the Canadian Football League, Jeffrey L. Orridge is repositioning the CFL for the future.

After taking the helm two years ago, the first black commissioner in North American professional sport has introduced a progressive and inclusive approach designed to further engage avid CFL fans while attracting a new generation of fans.

Under his leadership, the CFL has innovated within the game of football, expanding the use of video review, adding a video official to assist on field officials, introducing an injury spotter to help teams identify and treat injuries, and creating an officials’ development program with the NFL.

He is a leading executive with a lifelong passion for sport and more than 20 years of experience in building major brands and businesses.

Orridge has worked to modernize many of the league’s regulations and processes, putting in place an enhanced and more transparent drug testing program for players and clear anti-tampering rules to govern the movement of coaches and managers.

Embracing technology to bring the CFL to fans in new and modern ways, the CFL under his guidance has introduced a new league-wide digital platform that is more responsive and more mobile.

In collaboration with EA Sports, CFL players and legends are now part of the Madden Mobile game; there are dramatically expanded CFL’s Fantasy Football offerings; and a partnership with TSN and RDS for the first time in broadcasting games featuring players and coaches wearing live mics.

Jeffrey Orridge -- Excellence in Sports

Orridge has leveraged the power of the CFL brand to deepen its impact on society at large, introducing the CFL’s first policy on violence against women, participating in Pride, and hosting the first LGBTQ Grey Cup Party.

He has worked with the league’s teams and board of governors to strengthen the CFL’s business footing, by announcing new ownership and a new home for the Toronto Argonauts, extending the league’s landmark broadcast agreement with TSN and RDS, welcoming adidas as the official outfitter of the CFL and introducing Shaw as the presenting partner of the Grey Cup.

Orridge came to the CFL from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, where he was the executive director of sports and general manager, Olympics.

He successfully secured the media rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games, the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, and the 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games.

He structured a multi-year sub-licensing agreement to preserve and amplify the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast and brand. Under his direction, the Sochi 2014 Winter Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup achieved record setting broadcast reach, digital consumption and profitability.

Previously, Orridge was the chief operating officer and head of global business development for Right to Play International, a charity that uses sport to improve the lives of children and youth around the world in the areas of health, education and wellness.

He served as vice-president, corporate strategic planning for Mattel Inc, identifying growth opportunities and capturing emerging trends for this $5 billion company, and as director, sport licensing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

His extensive resume includes stints in the 1990s as director, global sports marketing for Reebok International and as assistant executive director of USA Basketball, where he played an important role in introducing the first “Dream Team” to a global audience.

While he was born and raised in New York, Orridge and his family have lived in Canada since 2007. He lists becoming a Canadian citizen as one of his proudest moments.


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