Last season Twitter user Platinum Seat Ghosts (@3rdperiodsuits) created a new account, @MotBLeafs, with the intention of raising money for the Maple Leafs charity, the MLSE Foundation. With a new era for the Maple Leafs beginning, excitement for the team at an all time high, it was the perfect time to bring Maple Leafs fans together to do some good for our community.
I spoke with PSG about how it all came together and what the goals are for this season.
First some background, where did the MotB campaign come from?
A: I first heard of the campaign when it was being run in Ottawa by @BonksMullet, but my understanding its original roots were in Columbus. The concept evolved from players or coaches in NHL locker rooms pinning cash to the board to motivate players in meaningful games. Justin Bourne wrote a good piece on the practice back in 2009. Ron Wilson actually got in a wee bit of trouble for it when he was with the Leafs and they were up against his former team, the San Jose Sharks.
I saw how well the campaign was received in Ottawa, and thought it was odd that Toronto fans didn’t really have anything similar. I set to work last summer and created the inaugural Leafs MotB season-long charity campaign in support of MLSE Foundation. Now we’re back with a vengeance for season 2.
Is there any official connection to the MLSE Foundation?
There is not. While I have a consistent dialogue with people at both MLSE Foundation and the Maple Leafs organization, Leafs MotB is run as a completely separate entity. That being said, they are very supportive and have provided plenty of help along the way.
How much was raised last season?
Leafs Nation came together and raised over $6,000 dollars through Leafs MotB last year. I ran a season-long pledge drive, as well as a singular game drive and got pretty good traction with both.
This year, we’ll be running a season-long campaign, as well as two MotB nights: December 10th vs the Oilers and February 10th vs the Sens. There are really special gifts that will be given to randomly selected donors for all three campaigns.
Would there be any pledges to turn away? Like “I'll give $100 if Matt Martin knocks someone out?”
Now that is a great question. Hasn’t happened just yet, but never say never I suppose. In this wild climate, it wouldn’t shock me if some trolls decided to descend on it. I’ll have to get back to you guys about this one once the campaign gains more traction.
What was the biggest pledge anyone has made?
Many people would describe the Maple Leafs 2016-17 season as a positive surprise. No one knows this better than the generous Leafs fans who pledged 5 dollars for every Auston Matthews goal, or 5 dollars for every win. The totals kept climbing and the fans came through. I think the largest single donation made last year was in the vicinity of 500 dollars.
What was the weirdest pledge anyone made?
I’ll give you two…
First one was someone pledging 81 dollars if Tyler Bozak finished the season with more points than Phil Kessel. That did not come true.
Someone else pledged a dollar for every game that Frank Corrado played that Roman Polak didn’t. This happened zero times.
Are there any goals for this season?
The goal for this season has been set at 10 thousand dollars and I’m hoping we soar right past that. Leafs Nation is huge and it doesn’t take too many small donations to make a huge difference and help further MLSE Foundation’s goals. A non-monetary goal is to have a Maple Leafs player complete a pledge, but I’m not holding my breath for that one.
The MLSE Foundation states it’s mission as:
Improving the lives of youth by building facilities, giving to sustainable programs and empowering youth through sports and recreation.
In the past they have participated in the Regent Park revitalization by building a soccer field, basketball court, and hockey rink in the rebuilt community housing area.
They give grants to hockey/soccer/basketball organizations to help build the game in communities across the GTA, and have several sport specific branches of the foundation as well; Kickstart, Beyond the Rim, Hockey in the Neighbourhood, as well as a partnership with Right to Play.
If you would like to participate in Leafs Money on the Board this season, you can click here to fill out the form, and then give @MotBLeafs a follow to see what your fellow Leafs fans are pledging.