The Toronto RUSH are Canada’s first and most successful professional Ultimate team. Playing it’s inaugural season in 2013, the team saw immediate success, both on and off the field. Through its first season, the RUSH posted an undefeated record, on route to winning the AUDL Championship. Off the field, the team has boasted a strong loyal fan base. Since it’s inaugural season, the RUSH has continued to build its supporter base in the crowded Toronto sports market.
As a new professional team, in a new league, playing a relatively unknown sport to the general public, in a crowded Toronto sports market, the RUSH were immediately facing an uphill battle. The team needed to get the word out about the upcoming season, launch a professional ticketing operation, and meet with Corporate Canada to seek corporate sponsorship; all with the impending season opener looming just 8 short months away. As a Start-Up franchise, there was no infrastructure in place yet, so everything needed to be well thought out and executed, quickly.
Understanding the need for urgency, Cosmos was brought on to assist the new Start-Up team in getting off the ground. The Cosmos group quickly mobilized, and developed ticketing, sponsorship, and marketing plans for the team.
It was identified that Varsity Stadium would be the best venue to host the RUSH. Located centrally, with easy access by car, public transit, and walking, it was the perfect destination. Having a pre-established relationship with U of T, Cosmos was able to initiate discussions about a venue lease. This was a first for both the RUSH and U of T, as Varsity was not historically rented to outside groups.
With a team name, logo, and venue in place, Cosmos began working with a 3rd party web developer to design the team’s first website. This was followed by establishing ticket prices, sponsorship inventory, and marketing collateral.
As the Home Opener approached, there was a definite buzz amongst the ultimate community. To further entice those less familiar with the sport, Cosmos wanted to ensure that the entertainment being offered extended beyond simply the play on the field. This meant carefully curating music, and visuals to show on the video board. It also meant building out a sizable game day staff made up of Cosmos staff, part time staff, volunteers and interns.
As the season progressed, a focus on revenue generation was maintained, with emphasis placed on building the team`s fan database, and continuously reaching out to new potential group leaders.
Game Day Operations