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-   -   The Great Canadian Sports Attendance, Marketing and TV Ratings Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=228928)

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 2:57 AM

Regardless of the defensive platitudes invoking James Naismith, the growth of basketball if it happens to the detriment of hockey will make Canada less Canadian and more American, anyway you slice it.

It doesn't have to be that way, but the way basketball is deploying across the country doesn't look promising to me. You have a juggernaut club in the biggest city that plays in an American league, and that most Canadians will be relegated to watching on TV from a(n often great) distance. Other than that you'll have an archipelago of B-league teams several rungs in calibre below the Raptors playing in rinky dink leagues - often minor level American ones that are not the same leagues depending on where you are in Canada! So Calgary, Saskatoon and Ottawa will play in the All-American Basketball League whereas Montreal, Halifax and Abbotsford will be in the International Basketbal Federation or someting. Or maybe a few clubs will join the latest incarnation of an all-Canadian league that everyone knows will die out eventually. Then get inevitably replaced with the next ill-fated Canadian league a few years later. And then of course the CIS teams wil be bravely playing in front of wives and girlfriends while their campus classmates are glued to NCAA games on TV just a short walk away.

Anyway.... as much as I hate them, please don't tell me the Leafs will be Argos of the future... eeewwww... hockey.

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 3:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8157192)
^ It doesn't help that amateur hockey became almost singularly focused on elite development. I'm not sure how it is in other parts of the country but high school hockey has become more popular in these parts as a means to continue playing reasonably competitive hockey without necessarily signing your life away at 16 so you can ride the bus for years in the juniors. But that's still kind of the exception.
.

High school hockey doesn't even exist here in Quebec AFAIK. At this point, hockey isn't really rivalled by any other sport here - and certainly not basketball.

Football and soccer jostle for the position behind hockey. Most high schools have teams in both sports now.

Baseball is also above basketball though it is behind the other two.

Even though everyone plays basketball in gym class here.

JHikka Apr 17, 2018 3:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8157192)
No matter how you slice it, hockey is going to be a huge commitment of time, energy and money. And you have to start young and continue up the ranks. Not a lot of immigrant families will have the inclination to put up with all that. So naturally the immigrant kids will gravitate to pick up basketball or soccer where all you need is shoes and a ball, and then end up on school teams with the skills they gained that way. And not surprisingly, it ends up creating lifelong fans along the way.

OTOH, i've seen immigrant families (who can afford it) put their children into hockey because they think that's the pinnacle of being Canadian. Often it seems like these immigrants are more Canadian than whatever Canadians they think they're emulating. Hockey's problem is that it's so prohibitively expensive.

Soccer and basketball benefit from being cheap and easy and relatively injury-free.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack
Then get inevitably replaced with the next ill-fated Canadian league a few years later.

NBL Canada is just finishing its seventh season. It's not the world's best basketball but it hasn't faded away like most thought it would. :shrug:

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 3:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8157227)


NBL Canada is just finishing its seventh season. It's not the world's best basketball but it hasn't faded away like most thought it would. :shrug:

Yet. (Not that I wish for them to fail.)

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 3:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8157227)
. Hockey's problem is that it's so prohibitively expensive.

Soccer and basketball benefit from being cheap and easy and relatively injury-free.

For some reason there is money for football equipment in our high schools here but not for hockey equipment.

I understand how football programs in the US get subsidized through stuff like Pop Warner but I doubt something like that exists here so I guess it's the schools shelling out.

But not for hockey.

Again, I am not a hockey uber alles guy. Just asking some questions.

esquire Apr 17, 2018 3:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8157227)
OTOH, i've seen immigrant families (who can afford it) put their children into hockey because they think that's the pinnacle of being Canadian. Often it seems like these immigrants are more Canadian than whatever Canadians they think they're emulating. Hockey's problem is that it's so prohibitively expensive.

No question that I'm sure some like it as a means of enthusiastically adopting Canadiana or as a status symbol. But I'd wager that's definitely an exception... you don't see loads of immigrant families down at the rink. Basketball is a lot different.

esquire Apr 17, 2018 3:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8157200)
Regardless of the defensive platitudes invoking James Naismith, the growth of basketball if it happens to the detriment of hockey will make Canada less Canadian and more American, anyway you slice it.

It doesn't have to be that way, but the way basketball is deploying across the country doesn't look promising to me. You have a juggernaut club in the biggest city that plays in an American league, and that most Canadians will be relegated to watching on TV from a(n often great) distance. Other than that you'll have an archipelago of B-league teams several rungs in calibre below the Raptors playing in rinky dink leagues - often minor level American ones that are not the same leagues depending on where you are in Canada! So Calgary, Saskatoon and Ottawa will play in the All-American Basketball League whereas Montreal, Halifax and Abbotsford will be in the International Basketbal Federation or someting. Or maybe a few clubs will join the latest incarnation of an all-Canadian league that everyone knows will die out eventually. Then get inevitably replaced with the next ill-fated Canadian league a few years later. And then of course the CIS teams wil be bravely playing in front of wives and girlfriends while their campus classmates are glued to NCAA games on TV just a short walk away.

I'd be surprised if it played out any other way.

JHikka Apr 17, 2018 3:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8157249)
No question that I'm sure some like it as a means of enthusiastically adopting Canadiana or as a status symbol. But I'd wager that's definitely an exception... you don't see loads of immigrant families down at the rink. Basketball is a lot different.

Oh absolutely, just offering anecdotal examples to the contrary.

EpicPonyTime Apr 17, 2018 3:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8157246)
For some reason there is money for football equipment in our high schools here but not for hockey equipment.

I understand how football programs in the US get subsidized through stuff like Pop Warner but I doubt something like that exists here so I guess it's the schools shelling out.

But not for hockey.

Again, I am not a hockey uber alles guy. Just asking some questions.

I think the answer here is not the equipment, but available ice. Name one city in Canada that doesn't have a major shortage in ice time at its rinks already. I know Saskatoon is desperate for more right now. There's no way you could get several high school teams the time they'd need to practice and play since it would either be the overcrowded public rinks or a high school-exclusive rink. I don't think there's many schools that can afford that; I know mine couldn't!

In comparison, nearly every high school in this country has a gym with a basketball court, and many have a field outside that is good for both football and soccer.

That said, I do know there is a handful of high school leagues around the country.

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63 (Post 8156714)
Baseball is definitely not more accessible to participate in than basketball. And race is a very big part of the argument of why basketball is not as popular outside the GTA and in the ROC.

Interestingly enough, basketball is the king of the castle in very white states like Kentucky and Indiana, and runs a close second to football in many others like Utah, Kansas, etc.

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 3:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8157254)
I'd be surprised if it played out any other way.

I've been to no shortage of games played in b-level leagues over the years, from the National Capital Pioneers (playing in Aylmer QC) to the Ottawa Intrepid to the Montreal Roadrunners to the Ottawa Rollers to the Halifax Windjammers...

From the point of view of the spectator/fan it's only rarely a satisfying experience.

Often in these leagues you get one or a couple of star franchises that actually do things right, but one always gets the impression that it's all sitting on a house of cards and that it could all fall apart with a light gust of wind. Which is what usually happens.

The only all-Canadian pro sports league that's ever demonstrated anything resembling true staying power is actually the CFL.

le calmar Apr 17, 2018 3:42 PM

I just learned about the existence of the NBL, that's interesting. Based on Wikipedia there are some hints that the organization does not have a solid foundations, some teams have folded or filed for bankruptcy over the last few years for example.

osmo Apr 17, 2018 3:45 PM

Jays vs Raptors.

People forget history and context. The Blue Jays strategically and systemically papered the country with branding and marketing campaigns. Leaving Quebec alone when the Expos were around the Blue Jays made sure to get marketing material out to every corner of the county. No other sports franchise in the country ever attempted such. This push was before and after the WS ran of the early 90s and continued up until the late 90s. I remember as a kid Blue Jays propaganda such as free hats, blue jays bars, and other stuff. Blue Jays would sponsor slow-pitch and baseball camps. They were easily the most identifiable sporting brand in my hometown aside from the Riders, Canadiens, and Leafs. The residual still carries over to today. Kids that are now adults grew up with an introduction the Blue Jays, and once they started winning again, it was easy to draw in fans coast to coast.

Basketball, with the youth, is very popular. It has the youngest fan base that is the most tech savvy. Most young people watch games online and not on TV. The youth that grew up with Vince Carter is now all die-hard Raptors fans as adults. Also, with basketball in Canada if you are not a Raptors fan you are cheering for the Cavs, Lakers, Golden State, etc. There is much more diversity in team preferences outside of Southern Ontario versus any other sport.

kirjtc2 Apr 17, 2018 7:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by osmo (Post 8157711)
Jays vs Raptors.

People forget history and context. The Blue Jays strategically and systemically papered the country with branding and marketing campaigns. Leaving Quebec alone when the Expos were around the Blue Jays made sure to get marketing material out to every corner of the county. No other sports franchise in the country ever attempted such.

On the other side, the Raptors really brand themselves as explicitly a Toronto team ("the 6ix" and all that). That leads to a lot of apathy from the rest of the country.

Even their annual exhibition game in Vancouver seems to have become more of a vehicle for fans there to support the return of the Grizzlies.

JHikka Apr 17, 2018 9:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kirjtc2 (Post 8158105)
On the other side, the Raptors really brand themselves as explicitly a Toronto team ("the 6ix" and all that). That leads to a lot of apathy from the rest of the country.

We The North begs to differ.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kirjtc2 (Post 8158105)
Even their annual exhibition game in Vancouver seems to have become more of a vehicle for fans there to support the return of the Grizzlies.

The Jays exhibition games in Montreal are almost entirely used as a vehicle for renewed interest in the Expos.

elly63 Apr 17, 2018 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8158219)
We The North begs to differ.

And people across the country bought into that, outside of a playoff run?

JHikka Apr 17, 2018 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63 (Post 8158350)
And people across the country bought into that, outside of a playoff run?

According to Strategy Online:

Quote:

Results: The target to increase the proportion of new purchaser ticket sales from 6.6% to 50% was exceeded by 18.1%. In one year, brand health scores show that brand connection exceeded objectives by growing 14.7 points to 63%, making the Raptors the highest-scoring MLSE team for brand connection. Through strategic media partnerships, “We The North” received $1.1 million in earned media and generated a return on investment of 378%.

Cause & Effect: The Raptors’ social channels exhibited record growth, up 300% versus the regular season, and the campaign received 157 million impressions through owned Facebook and Twitter platforms. Facebook likes increased 170% versus the 2013-2014 regular season, with Twitter followers up 130% and YouTube views up 350%.

#WeTheNorth became the most-viewed video ever on the Raptors’ YouTube account with 865,000 views. The Raptors’ social following shifted from being heavily Ontario-centric to comprising of 60% non-Ontario followers. The 2014-2015 season ticket prices increased 2.5% (an average of $2 per game) with no extra promotional activity.
http://strategyonline.ca/2016/02/18/...orthern-pride/

And echoed in the National Post:

Quote:

Originally Posted by National Post
Four years ago, the team started planning for a rebrand that would launch in 2016 — the 125th anniversary of James Naismith’s invention of basketball. They pursued the NBA All-Star Game, which they were granted for next year, they worked on new logos and slogans, and they started making a push into other markets, which Hosford says was a change in philosophy to promote the Raptors as Canada’s team. They hosted pre-season games in Vancouver and Montreal last year, and will go back to both cities — and Ottawa — in 2015. Hosford says interest in the team outside of greater Toronto is growing — by its own measurements about 60 per cent of fan engagement on social media and the wider Internet come from outside Toronto, up from a 50-50 split a couple of years ago.

The interest is partly driven by the team’s success and partly by the We the North marketing campaign — which was planned for 2016 then moved up for last year’s playoff run

http://nationalpost.com/sports/baske...ow-and-prosper

Berklon Apr 17, 2018 11:47 PM

Ignore the naysayers.

The Raptors have a following across the country. Not as big as the Jays, but it takes a while to grow. It took the Jays a while, and it required a couple World Series wins and the Expos leaving.

Judging by friends and co-workers in different parts of Canada, there's definitely growing interest.

Drake's endearing the rest of Canada to the team with this to.

Video Link

Acajack Apr 18, 2018 3:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8158219)
The Jays exhibition games in Montreal are almost entirely used as a vehicle for renewed interest in the Expos.

This is very true although the series have also drawn up a modest amount of fandom for the Jays here that never existed before. Since they've been holding those games I've been seeing Jays gear from time to time, something you almost never used to see.

Obviously if the Expos ever came back most anyone who is a Jays fan in Quebec at the moment would switch over to them.

mistercorporate Apr 18, 2018 2:26 PM

I noticed a lot of Raptors gear among high school aged white kids in Northern Ontario (North Bay and thereabouts). If they're building a fan base there then they probably have support in other parts of Canada too.

I recall I picked up the Jays viewing habit (during playoffs) back when I lived in Ottawa. Exposure is half the battle.


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