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Author Topic: "It's special to be a part of the franchise in this new way"  (Read 1909 times)
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Blue Bombers and Fans

« on: March 30, 2020, 06:06:56 PM »

"It's special to be a part of the franchise in this new way" | Izzy Idonije partners with Bombers

by Ed Tait

There are certain basic elements common to any great sports story, from the heroes and villains, to a compelling storyline capped by a dramatic, pull-you-to-the-front-of-your-seat conclusion.

Izzy Idonije understands all this as well as anyone, for his own story - a kid born in Nigeria and raised in Brandon who then went from nine-man football to the University of Manitoba to the National Football League - has the makings for a Hollywood script.

And now there's another chapter to his own remarkable tale, and it loops in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a starring role.

Idonije is the founder of Athlitacomics, the Chicago-based company that created the comic book line 'The Protectors' and has since grown the business into an association with the National Football League Players Association and the creation of the Chicago Bears? award-winning marketing campaign 'The Monsters of the Midway.'

That concept - athletes as superheroes - will be the feature theme as the Blue Bombers celebrate their 90th season.

"It's interesting, when I retired from the NFL Wade (Miller, Bombers President & CEO) called me and said, 'Izzy, come home. Come play with us,'" began Idonije in a conversation with from his office in Chicago.

"I wasn't prepared to come and play a season in Winnipeg, but I sure didn?t think these years later I'd be joining the team in this capacity and working on a project like this. It's special to be a part of the franchise in this new way. It truly is incredible how life works sometimes."

The details of the Bombers' marketing concept can be found here, but the original idea comes from Idonije. Back in the summer of 2007, Idonije was heading into the fourth of what would be a 10-year NFL career with the Bears and Detroit Lions.

Looking for a way to break up the monotony of training camp - two-a-day practices followed by meetings, treatment and working out - Idonije was determined to take a concept rolling around in his head and begin putting it into reality with his own sketches during his tiny windows of free time.

That's when the idea for 'The Protectors' first began, although the inspiration even predates that moment.........

Read the rest of Ed Tait's article here!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 06:14:16 PM by ModAdmin » Logged

"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden
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Posts: 7115

« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2020, 05:59:47 AM »

This is actually really neat.  Hard to tell what they are trying to achieve directly with the Bombers just by reading that short excerpt, but click on the link, and also see:

They're basically making comic book versions of the Bomber players, complete with "super powers".  I showed it to my little boy and he's pretty excited about this!  This is a great way to reach out to that next generation, as well as the millennial "cosplay" type crowd.  Make it cool and play up our players!

My fave is Medlock's:
"When he's dialled-in, Justin Medlock often looks like he can't miss - and with his ability 'Locked On', Medlock doesn't. When he enters his 'Locked On' mode, he can focus on a singular point and drown out all surrounding noise, allowing him to hit field goals with uncanny precision. When he enters 'Money Mode', Medlock can calculate factors like wind, barometric pressure, and drag at incredible speeds to increase the probability of success."

Money Mode... hehehe.

Also, as a guy who knows guys (in Winnipeg!) in this tough business (comic book artistry), it's good to see the industry find ways to branch out and give these talented guys work.

Win / Win for everyone.  Great to see Winnipeggers leading the way on this.  Spread the word!

Never go full Rider!
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