Canadian Football League Names New Boss

A leading executive with a lifelong passion for sport and more than 20 years experience in building major brands and businesses, Jeffrey L. Orridge is the new Commissioner of the Canadian Football League.

“Jeffrey will be a tremendous leader for our league at an exciting time for its future,” said Jim Lawson, Chairman of the CFL’s Board of Governors, as he announced Orridge’s appointment as the league’s 13th Commissioner.

“He has every skill set our board was looking for and he clearly understands what our league means to this country and what our fans and partners mean to this league.”

Most recently the Executive Director of Sports and General Manager, Olympics for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Orridge has overseen rights acquisitions, partnership management, revenue initiatives and program execution involving marquee sports properties and digital opportunities.

In his role as chief strategist and negotiator, he successfully secured the media rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games, the 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Games, and the 2018 and 2020 Olympics.

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

“I believe we are living in an age of seemingly limitless possibilities and the opportunities ahead for the Canadian Football League are second to none,” said Orridge, a graduate of Harvard Law School who will officially assume his new duties April 29th.

Previously, Orridge was the Chief Operating Officer and head of Global Business Development for Right to Play International, a charity that improves the lives of children and youth around the world in the areas of health, education and wellness.

He has also 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 resumé includes stints in the 1990’s 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 basketball fans around the world.

Born and raised in New York, he and his family have lived in Canada since 2007 and he is about to become a Canadian citizen.

“My international experience and background have only reinforced for me the importance of the Canadian Football League,” Orridge said.

“Its place in Canadian culture, on the Canadian sporting landscape, and in the hearts and minds of Canadians make this a responsibility I take very seriously and an opportunity for which I am very grateful.”