RGD responds after CFL launches Grey Cup Ticket Design Contest

RGD writes to CFL after organizers ask contestants to submit original design work without compensation for its Grey Cup Ticket Design Contest.


One of our Members approached us about a design contest being held for the design of the 2017 Grey Cup ticket. The contest invites the general public to submit original design work to be used on the ticket.

RGD wrote to the organizers through the general contest email and RGD’s Executive Director, Hilary Ashworth, also wrote to the VP of Communications & Content and VP of Ticket Sales & Marketing at Ottawa Sports & Entertainment (which becomes the owner of the intellectual property created for the contest) as well as the Senior VP of Marketing & Content for the CFL.

RGD presented alternatives that would allow them to engage the public in various ways, all with the focus on increasing their own marketing efforts through avenues that do not request free labour.


They haven't changed their minds yet and might not ever.

Jenn Taback RGD, Vice President, Ethics & Ethics Committee Chair writes:

"RGD's focus on addressing the issues of spec work in the design industry is not an easy task. We have worked hard to educate organizations on the value of design and how detrimental it can be to request free work, especially for large-scale and high-profile projects. We have had several victories but not all organizations change their minds when presented with our arguments and alternative solutions.


Although all of our efforts aren’t successful we know that they help educate and often convince organizations, particularly businesses, to re-examine requests for spec and employ more meaningful avenues to engage their audiences. We might not change everyone's mind, but that won't stop us from making sure they know that no one benefits from spec work."


We encourage all designers, Member and Non-Members alike to stand with us on this issue. Tweet to the CFL to express your displeasure at this contest. Use the hashtag #nospec and tag us @rgd. Let us know when you come across examples of spec work. Check our RGD’s Free, Fee or Flee website when you are not sure what course to follow. And most importantly, never do work for free as part of contest, RFP or any pitch for new business.