Calgary may be called Cowtown, but it is also home to some of the CFL's most ardent fans and Shaw Communications' corporate head-office. The telecom is using the trophy match to promote its fast-growing Freedom Mobile service.
The Canadian Football League (CFL) has announced that four-time Grammy-winner Keith Urban will perform at the 2019 Freedom Mobile Grey Cup Halftime Show at the 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw on November 24.
The reigning Country Music Association (CMA) and Academy of Country Music (ACM) Entertainer of The Year, Urban will headline one of the nation’s largest annual sporting event.
The New Zealander has fond memories of big Calgary shows where he has friendships with western promoters Jim Cressman and Ron Sakamoto.
“The first time I think I performed a sold-out stadium (in Canada) would have been the Saddledome in Calgary,” Urban told ETALK. “I remember halfway through my show, thinking: ‘Man, this crowd is amazing! Whoever is coming on after us is gonna love these guys.’ And I suddenly thought: ‘I’m it. I’m the guy that’s coming on. I’m here. This is it. This is my crowd.’”
Urban has sold more than 20 million albums, six of which have reached No. 1. He has had 23 No. 1 songs, including Somebody Like You, Days Go By, Sweet Thing, Wasted Time, Blue Ain’t Your Color, The Fighter and Coming Home. His latest release, We Were, has already been streamed over 57 million times worldwide. In addition to his four Grammy Awards, he has won multiple Canadian Country Music Awards, 13 CMAs, 15 ACMs and four American Music Awards.
“I know we’ve scored an absolute touchdown for football and music fans everywhere when my three young daughters are as excited about this big news as I am,” said CFL Commissioner, Randy Ambrosie. “Our early relationship with Keith has already shown him to be as authentic and genuine as he is famous and talented. We can’t wait to see him and everyone in Calgary as we share his shining light and Canada’s spirit with fans here at home and viewers around the world.”
The Freedom Mobile Grey Cup Halftime Show typically attracts one of the highest viewing audiences of any live musical performance on Canadian television. Recent Grey Cup performers have included Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boy, One Republic, Shania Twain, and Alessia Cara. With Urban's presence, the telecast female viewer ratings are a sure score. Television partners include TSN, RDS in Quebec, and ESPN in the U.S.
“Whether they’re at the game or watching in the comforts of their own homes, the Freedom Mobile Grey Cup Halftime Show brings millions of people together from coast-to-coast to be a part of Canada’s game,” said Paul McAleese, President, Wireless, Shaw Communications. “For more than two decades, Keith Urban has established himself as one of the world’s best performers – a gifted musician who will energize the stage at the Grey Cup Halftime Show. With hundreds of thousands of Canadians choosing to switch to Freedom Mobile, we are thrilled to partner with the CFL to make this year’s halftime show one of the biggest and best.”
Urban’s headlining performance is part of the CFL’s partnership with Universal Music Canada which includes in-game broadcast music exclusivity and collaborations with the league’s nine teams as part of their Thursday Night Football series.
“We are pleased to be continuing our ongoing relationship with the CFL by bringing our world-class artists and music to football fans across the country,” added Kristen Burke, Executive Vice President and General Manager at Universal Music Canada. “Keith is beloved by Canadian audiences, and we are thrilled to have him be a part of this year’s Grey Cup.”
The 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw will be played on Sunday, November 24, in Calgary at McMahon Stadium, and broadcast across Canada on TSN – the country’s most-watched specialty network. This year’s championship will mark the fifth time Calgary has hosted the game and the first since the 97th Grey Cup in 2009. A limited number of tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.ca/GreyCup
Several ticketed events for the 2019 Grey Cup Festival presented by Shaw are on-sale now, including the Shaw CFL Awards, the Canadian Tire CFL Alumni Association Legends Luncheon, the Alberta Blue Cross Grey Cup Gala Dinner, the Cheer Extravaganza, the first-ever Grey Cup Rodeo, the SiriusXM Saturday Night Concert presented by Coors Light, and more. Additional event details, dates and purchasing information can be found at GreyCupFestival.ca.