The Prairie Basketball League, which is based in Steinbach, was recently featured in a TD bank advertisement. 

League Commissioner Abram Razon says it means a lot for a multi-national company like TD to feature the league, which started life as the South EastMan Filipino Association Basketball League

“TD had this idea of making a trilogy that highlighting an Asian individual that has made an impact in the community, so the one that they shot for us is the third one of that trilogy, they shot two last year. Since they saw us on the news, they figured it would be a good story that fits their criteria.” 

a sound guy attaches a mic to an actor behind the scenesA behind the scenes shot of Abram Razon filming the TD ad. Photo credit: Abram Razon.

When he first got the call, Razon laughs, noting he thought it was a scam so ignored it. After a few more attempts he finally picked up the phone and worked with a creative company TD had hired to film the ad.  

Razon says they held three exhibition games on March 9th that made up the majority of footage used in the ad. 

“We were filming basically until midnight and then call time, all of a sudden, became two hours earlier than what was originally planned. So, filming until midnight on Saturday and then we started filming at 7:00 AM on Sunday, all day until 8:00 PM on Sunday. So, there's a lot of work involved for a one-minute video, but it was a lot of fun, a lot of memories for sure.” 

The nation-wide ad has been released and is now in rotation. He says it is exciting to see it pop up and to see the finished product. 

“It's amazing. Knowing all the work that was put into it, all the little details that the creative company cared about, you could just see it all come to fruition. It's just been amazing what they were able to come up with.” 

a group of Filipino-Canadians pose for a photo around a fire pit in the snowThough the ad highlighted Abram Razon, he notes it features so many amazing people that are a part of the PBL family. Photo credit: Abram Razon.

After filming for two full days, Razon says it is funny to think about all of the great footage that they got that was never used.  

Though the ad does put emphasis on Razon, he notes the whole community deserves credit. 

“They highlighted myself in this ad just because there had to be one guy to be highlighted but as much as possible, I want everybody to recognize what we've done as a group. Not just the committee, but also the volunteers, everybody who is a part of every basketball league, whether they're players or family members, everybody's a part of that ad.” 

Razon thanks everyone that is involved with the Prairie Basketball League for helping make the league what it is today. 

Joking, Razon says we can now all enjoy skipping the ad on YouTube when it pops up.