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  • What's in a name? The Nutrilite Canadian Championship v The Voyageurs Cup


    The Nutrilite Canadian Championship for the Voyageurs Cup – flows off the tongue, eh?

    Ok, not really. However, that mouthful is what I decided on a couple years ago when it comes to addressing the Canadian Cup competition, which starts tomorrow. It’s a sensitive topic for many. Those that feel that corporate branding is the bane of modern football hate the Nutrilite label. For these types of fans it’s Voyageurs Cup or nothing.

    Then again there is a subsection of the fan base – bigger than many want to admit – that really have no clue what you are talking about if you just say “Voyageurs Cup.” For these newer fans Nutrilite Canadian Championship, or “NCC” is the way to communicate.

    It’s impossible to satisfy the former group, while communicating what you are talking about to the latter. Unless you create a cumbersome and ineloquent term.

    So, Nutrilite Canadian Championship for the Voyageurs Cup it is.

    But, should it have to be?

    [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]Well, probably.

    Canadian soccer needs corporate support. So, to never say Nutrilite is counterproductive to the growth of the game. Why would a sponsor pay naming rights if no one uses the name? Yes, it does see, well, cynical to throw corporate names on things, the truth is it’s how the world works now. So, you can’t leave out the N in the NCC.

    Yet, ignoring the Voyageurs Cup ignores the history of the thing. And, it’s a great history. Most reading here don’t need to be reminded, but if you are new:

    The Cup was conceived in 2002 when fans in Canada grew sick of waiting for anyone involved in the game to show some leadership and actually do something on the club level. So hundreds of individual fans came together, passed the hat around and bought Canada a national cup. The CSA didn’t get it done in the 90 years it had been around at the time, so the fans took it upon themselves.

    Then they kept it alive through six seasons of varying indifference by the clubs. It probably would have stayed that way if it wasn’t for CONCACAF changing the format of its confederation championship and, by doing so, opening up a spot for Canada. Suddenly a competition was needed and if you have a competition then you might as well have a cup.

    Technically the competition and the cup are different things, but emotionally they are not. One day Nutrilite will put its money somewhere else and that competition will change in name, but the cup will always be there.

    As fans, let’s thank Nutrilite by using the name, but let’s also show respect for those that don’t have a financial stake in things – those that have always just wanted to see the game grow stronger.

    The Nutrilite Canadian Championship for the Voyageurs Cup. Actually, it’s not that much of a mouthful is it?

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