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

JHikka Apr 16, 2018 7:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63 (Post 8156378)
Can't be that many, 552,000 (most watched Raptors regular season game) was almost exactly (553k) the average rating for a CFL regular season game in 2016.

This number is also the average for regional Leafs broadcasts through the regular season.

"And Sportsnet’s regional Leafs broadcasts were up 32 per cent, to an average audience of 511,000. That gets them back to roughly where they were in 2014-15. TSN’s Leafs broadcasts were up 20 per cent." [Source]

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy
Raptors have some people outside the GTA that watch some or most of their games, but for whatever reason, they have not captured the attention of sports fans across the country like the Jays have.

This article (from 2016) elaborates on this a bit:

"The game was watched by an average audience of 1.8 million viewers on TSN, according to overnight Numeris numbers from Bell Media. The numbers were released late this week due to the Victoria Day holiday.

Viewership records have continued to fall throughout the NBA Playoffs this season, with game seven in the first round against the Indiana Pacers bringing in 1.5 million viewers on Sportsnet. The same average number tuned in to see the Raptors take down the Miami Heat in game seven on TSN in the last round.

However, Monday night’s game was the most-watched program on Canadian TV for the night, as well as the most-watched program of the day overall in the Greater Toronto Area, achieving a 36.5% share in the region."


At this time in 2016, the Raptors were outdrawing HNIC matchups between Tampa Bay/Pittsburgh, as well as the Canada Men's National Team at the World Hockey Championships:

"Here are the most-watched sports events on English-language television over the holiday weekend, according to Numeris overnight ratings:

1. NBA, Cavaliers at Raptors, Monday, TSN: 1,800,000
2. NBA, Cavaliers at Raptors, Saturday, Sportsnet: 1,430,000
3. Hockey worlds, Canada vs. Finland final, Sunday, TSN: 1,365,000
4. NHL, Lightning at Penguins, Sunday, CBC: 1,340,000
5. NHL, Penguins at Lightning, Friday, CBC: 1,100,000
6. NHL, Sharks at Blues, Monday, CBC: 999,000
7. NHL, Blues at Sharks, Saturday, CBC: 900,000
8. MLB, Blue Jays at Twins, Friday, Sportsnet One: 725,000
9. Hockey worlds, Canada vs. U.S. semifinal, Saturday, TSN: 688,000
10. MLB, Blue Jays at Twins, Sunday, Sportsnet: 634,000
"
[Source]

If the Raptors make another deep push into the playoffs they'll likely outdraw HNIC depending on how far the Leafs/Jets go. A Leafs first round match in 2018 outdraws the record viewing audience for a Raptors conference final game.

Likewise, it's entirely plausible that a Raptors playoff game outdraws a Jets playoff game.

esquire Apr 16, 2018 7:45 PM

^ If the Raptors won a NBA championship that would probably put them in a similar stratosphere as the Jays.

As things stand people in Winnipeg are barely aware of the Raptors. There's a small cohort of mainly young men 12-30 who follow them but it's a niche audience.

Compare that with the Blue Jays where the moment they start winning, they become a Big Deal here. They are easily the most popular non-local team and the only such team with a significant following here. The Raptors are nowhere near that level, although as I said, a championship run or two could certainly change that.

elly63 Apr 16, 2018 8:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8156480)
Just give it time.

It's been 22 years, it's not like they're an expansion team.

elly63 Apr 16, 2018 8:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8156548)
^ If the Raptors won a NBA championship that would probably put them in a similar stratosphere as the Jays.

As things stand people in Winnipeg are barely aware of the Raptors. There's a small cohort of mainly young men 12-30 who follow them but it's a niche audience.

Compare that with the Blue Jays where the moment they start winning, they become a Big Deal here. They are easily the most popular non-local team and the only such team with a significant following here. The Raptors are nowhere near that level, although as I said, a championship run or two could certainly change that.

Agree with most of that and while the Jays have become Canada's team (and the Raps have not) the Jays following rapidly diminishes when they're not in the hunt. I still believe that is because of the mass of GTA market which can turn on and off like a switch.

esquire Apr 16, 2018 8:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63 (Post 8156604)
Agree with most of that and while the Jays have become Canada's team (and the Raps have not) the Jays following rapidly diminishes when they're not in the hunt. I still believe that is because of the mass of GTA market which can turn on and off like a switch.

It's kind of funny, it's not like Winnipeggers rabidly follow MLB even when the Jays aren't in the hunt. They only seem to care when the Jays are doing well.

Conversely, the NBA simply doesn't hold broad appeal. There are young men who follow the NBA regardless of how the Raptors are doing, but even if the Raptors are doing well you don't suddenly start seeing little old ladies wearing Raptors gear the same way you do with the Jays when they're doing well.

JHikka Apr 16, 2018 8:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8156621)
It's kind of funny, it's not like Winnipeggers rabidly follow MLB even when the Jays aren't in the hunt. They only seem to care when the Jays are doing well.

Conversely, the NBA simply doesn't hold broad appeal. There are young men who follow the NBA regardless of how the Raptors are doing, but even if the Raptors are doing well you don't suddenly start seeing little old ladies wearing Raptors gear the same way you do with the Jays when they're doing well.

Jays are simply an easier team and sport to bandwagon.

elly63 Apr 16, 2018 8:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8156623)
Jays are simply an easier team and sport to bandwagon.

How does that work?

JHikka Apr 16, 2018 8:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63 (Post 8156626)
How does that work?

See:

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire
Conversely, the NBA simply doesn't hold broad appeal. There are young men who follow the NBA regardless of how the Raptors are doing, but even if the Raptors are doing well you don't suddenly start seeing little old ladies wearing Raptors gear the same way you do with the Jays when they're doing well.

It's anecdotal, but when the Jays are doing well their merch pops up everywhere. Same for the Leafs...casuals/non-fans pay attention more when they're doing well, and this shows in ratings. Jays get higher playoff ratings than non-Canada SCF games and Grey Cups.

At their height in 2015, the Jays were pulling in playoff averages between 4.5M/5.0M per game, compared to low 4Ms for Grey Cups and the 2.67M average for the SCF between Pittsburgh/Nashville. In fact, in 2017 the highest rated NHL broadcast was Game 7 between Ottawa/Pittsburgh which pulled in 4.29M - the Jays had three playoff games in 2015 higher than that, and one higher than that in 2016.

It's either a bandwagon or they're consistently the most popular non-hockey team in the country.

esquire Apr 16, 2018 9:18 PM

^ But what makes them an easier team and sport to bandwagon?

Personally I don't think it's about it being an easier team and sport to bandwagon, I think it's just a broad cultural preference for baseball. I simply don't think basketball resonates nearly as much. Which is funny because basketball is hardly exotic or novel, probably nearly everyone in Canada has played it at some point in their lives.

JHikka Apr 16, 2018 9:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8156686)
^ But what makes them an easier team and sport to bandwagon?
...
Personally I don't think it's about it being an easier team and sport to bandwagon, I think it's just a broad cultural preference for baseball. I simply don't think basketball resonates nearly as much.

That's essentially the answer i'm reaching. Baseball is more accessible for the majority of Canadians than basketball, for whatever cultural reasons we want or don't want to get in to.

elly63 Apr 16, 2018 9:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8156686)
^ But what makes them an easier team and sport to bandwagon?

Personally I don't think it's about it being an easier team and sport to bandwagon, I think it's just a broad cultural preference for baseball. I simply don't think basketball resonates nearly as much. Which is funny because basketball is hardly exotic or novel, probably nearly everyone in Canada has played it at some point in their lives.

Bingo!

esquire Apr 16, 2018 9:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8156690)
That's essentially the answer i'm reaching. Baseball is more accessible for the majority of Canadians than basketball, for whatever cultural reasons we want or don't want to get in to.

What do you mean by accessible, though? I don't think basketball is the kind of sport that Canadians are generally unfamiliar with or don't really understand, like, for example, cricket or rugby.

Brizzy82 Apr 16, 2018 9:27 PM

Is basketball really that unpopular in Winnipeg? I'm very curious to know what the local ratings are.

I work with a lot of young Filipino and Black dudes.. a ton of them watch NBA religiously (anecdotal of course, but I definitely hear way more talk about it around my work than the CFL for example.)

elly63 Apr 16, 2018 9:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8156690)
Baseball is more accessible for the majority of Canadians than basketball, for whatever cultural reasons we want or don't want to get in to.

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.

esquire Apr 16, 2018 9:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brizzy82 (Post 8156701)
I work with a lot of young Filipino and Black dudes.. a ton of them watch NBA religiously (anecdotal of course, but I definitely hear way more talk about it around my work than the CFL for example.)

Without a doubt that is the core NBA audience in Winnipeg, young Asian and black men. Basketball is particularly huge in the Philippines and the enthusiasm is visible here (no different than, say Italians or Portuguese and their love for soccer).

But once you get outside of that demographic, basketball fandom here falls off a cliff.

JHikka Apr 16, 2018 9:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8156700)
What do you mean by accessible, though? I don't think basketball is the kind of sport that Canadians are generally unfamiliar with or don't really understand, like, for example, cricket or rugby.

Three points:
  • 1) Age Demographics;
  • 2) Immigrant Demographics; and,
  • 3) Age of franchise/league impact in country.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Globe and Mail
The game is being played by 354,000 Canadian kids, according to the Youth Sports Report, making it the third most popular team sport, after soccer and hockey. But among new Canadian kids (and immigrants make up half Toronto's population), basketball ranked second. It's also more popular than hockey among girls, with more than 100,000 participating.

[Source]

The Canadian Youth Sports Report (2014), by the Solutions Research Group, highlighted the interest that young Canadians have in basketball:

"Thirty-two percent (32%) of Canadian kids and youth follow the NHL, ranked #1 in all youth demographics. The NBA is in the #2 spot in Toronto, Vancouver and among New Canadian youth. MLS ranks #3 in Vancouver and #2 in Montreal. The research suggests that youth engagement with professional leagues is an area of concern, however: even among teens 13-17, 43% do not follow any professional league."

They also echoed the beliefs from the G&M Article:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sport Report
BASKETBALL IS THE 2nd MOST POPULAR TEAM SPORT AMONG NEW CANADIAN YOUTH, NEXT TO SOCCER

New Canadian families, where the parents were born outside of Canada, value sports too, but they also put priority on participation in music, art, book clubs, language learning.

Fifty-five percent of new Canadian youth aged 3-17 participate in organized sports but they are slightly less likely to be in organized team sports (24% vs. 30% average). Top team sports for New Canadian youth were soccer, basketball, hockey and volleyball, in that order.

With over one million immigrants settling in Canada every four years, establishing a strong base among New Canadians is essential to the future growth of any sport in the country.

Also Sportsnet:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sportsnet
In the recent Canada Project survey of more than 1,500 Canadians, 11 per cent of millennial respondents said basketball would be the sport they’d want their child to excel in, while just 19 per cent said hockey. When the question was “Which sport do you watch with your parents?”, millennials were seven times more likely to answer basketball than baby boomers.

...

Many first-generation Canadians are second-generation Raptors fans who don’t know a Canadian existence without the Raptors.

The Raptors very own Superfan, Nav Bhatia, a Sikh immigrant turned sports celebrity, is testament to how basketball has been an assimilation accelerator in Canada like few other sports.

[Source]

Essentially, the Jays have had forty years to become an engrained image in the Canadian imagination (particularly with the WS wins in the early 90s) compared to the Raptors' 20 years. This sort of accessibility, coverage, and exposure needs a generation cycle or two to have full effect on interest and participation.

The put things bluntly, the Raptors are going to be more accessible in areas with higher ethnic minority and immigrants counts, which essentially means Canada's largest cities. Outside of that it wouldn't be a stretch to say that the Jays would be more accessible for bandwagons. The more that Canada's demographics shift towards ethnic minorities the more that interest will shift from the Jays to the Raptors, if only looking at those two in a vacuum.

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63
Baseball is definitely not more accessible to participate in than basketball.

I didn't imply participating in the sport, I meant watching and feeling culturally attached to the sport.

To put this in the most obvious of ways (it's Leafs, not Jays, but still relevant):

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bmzwhv8IUAEobi2.jpg:large
CTV, Twitter

https://i.cbc.ca/1.4073357.149248406...pg?imwidth=100
CBC

TownGuy Apr 16, 2018 10:07 PM

EDIT: You beat me to it! Lol

A picture is worth a thousand words. You just have to look at who shows up to Maple Leaf Square/Jurassic Park for Leafs and Raptors games.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/btoimage/pr...ue-w_1300_.jpg

https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...re-id470688042

isaidso Apr 16, 2018 11:29 PM

^^ In Toronto, basketball definitely has a far more diverse fan base. It's also more demographically representative of Toronto. The Raptors will soon be Toronto's #1 team; it's a mathematical certainty. The Leafs fan base is large but not growing. The Raptors fan base is large and growing extremely fast.

Basketball will become Canada's Game and it's not just because of what's happening in Toronto. Basketball Canada is noticing a huge surge in interest nationally. In a way, it's all just coming full circle. Basketball's roots are Canadian.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Denscity (Post 8155825)
I wonder how many Canadians outside of southern Ontario watch the Raptors?

As others have pointed out it's hard to say. What's clear is that interest in basketball and the NBA is mushrooming nationally. In the end it might not matter to the Raptors how many Canadians watch.

Consider this article from 2 years ago. According to this up to 10 million people in China watch the Raptors? That's 10 times more than all the viewers in Canada. Being the most popular basketball team in China is the big prize.

Quote:

Toronto Raptors Push for Playoff Wins and the Chinese Market

http://www.bladecreativebranding.com...er-800x412.jpg

The Toronto Raptors (at the time of this post) are one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time in franchise history. In this, their 3rd playoff push in as many seasons, the Raptors have grabbed the attention of sports fans in Toronto, across Canada, and in the world’s largest market as well. That’s right, China loves the Toronto Raptors.

Canadian TV ratings for the Raptors during their 56 win 2015-16 season sat at roughly 200,000 per game, with the playoff ratings this spring jumping to approximately 1 million each over the first 12 games. But in China the Raptors are seeing as many as 10 million viewers tuning into games, with the potential for millions more with the right strategy and marketing.

http://www.bladecreativebranding.com...hinese-market/


Video Link

isaidso Apr 16, 2018 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8156728)
I didn't imply participating in the sport, I meant watching and feeling culturally attached to the sport.

Are you implying that basketball is culturally foreign to Canadians? It says more about how insular some regions of Canada are and how insular hockey folk tend to be, in particular. Perhaps Ottawa has little basketball history but I'd be wary of extrapolating that to all of Canada.

I'm an immigrant to Canada from a non-basketball playing country: England. My first exposure to basketball was when I moved to Halifax at 11. All the kids grew up playing, watching, or attending basketball. It felt as Canadian as hockey or heading to the cottage.

isaidso Apr 16, 2018 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8156715)
Without a doubt that is the core NBA audience in Winnipeg, young Asian and black men. Basketball is particularly huge in the Philippines and the enthusiasm is visible here (no different than, say Italians or Portuguese and their love for soccer).

But once you get outside of that demographic, basketball fandom here falls off a cliff.

How bizarre. In the Maritimes basketball is the sport of old stock Canadians. Immigration to that region is relatively small but they seem to like basketball too.

elly63 Apr 17, 2018 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isaidso (Post 8156926)
How bizarre. In the Maritimes basketball is the sport of old stock Canadians. Immigration to that region is relatively small but they seem to like basketball too.

Easy now, first, some of the sentiments you read these days are that basketball suddenly appeared with the Raptors which is patently ridiculous. Basketball was played in the schools and on the playgrounds many decades before the Raps came on the scene. The same goes for soccer being played in the schools, both had high participation rates across the country except that it was in the schools.

However, no one ever took them seriously as a way to have a career and there was no coverage on TV to speak of (pre 1980s) so let's not get carried away here.

I was into basketball and went to a week long camp every year at Mount A but that was not common. The only (organized) sport I didn't play as a kid was hockey and that was because everyone else did and I had to be different but hockey still was the number one sport by far.

JHikka Apr 17, 2018 12:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isaidso (Post 8156921)
Are you implying that basketball is culturally foreign to Canadians?

I'm implying that, generally-speaking, Canadians are more willing to bandwagon a baseball team than a basketball team. Baseball, today, appeals to a broader swath of Canadians than basketball does. In the future, basketball will appeal to a wider swath of Canadians.

Quote:

Originally Posted by isaidso (Post 8156921)
It says more about how insular some regions of Canada are and how insular hockey folk tend to be, in particular.

You'll have to expand on this.

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 1:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8156662)
See:



It's anecdotal, but when the Jays are doing well their merch pops up everywhere. Same for the Leafs...casuals/non-fans pay attention more when they're doing well, and this shows in ratings. Jays get higher playoff ratings than non-Canada SCF games and Grey Cups.

At their height in 2015, the Jays were pulling in playoff averages between 4.5M/5.0M per game, compared to low 4Ms for Grey Cups and the 2.67M average for the SCF between Pittsburgh/Nashville. In fact, in 2017 the highest rated NHL broadcast was Game 7 between Ottawa/Pittsburgh which pulled in 4.29M - the Jays had three playoff games in 2015 higher than that, and one higher than that in 2016.

It's either a bandwagon or they're consistently the most popular non-hockey team in the country.

A Stanley Cup final involving the Leafs would make all of those numbers look like chump change.

So would one involving the Habs - it might pull in over 4 million viewers in Quebec alone and probably as many in the rest of the country.

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 1:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isaidso (Post 8156921)
Are you implying that basketball is culturally foreign to Canadians? It says more about how insular some regions of Canada are and how insular hockey folk tend to be, in particular. .

I don't see what's insular about liking your country's national sport and expecting it to get a lot of attention. Given its history and sustained popularity.

And I say this as a person who used to be a huge hockey fan. Some years I had mini season ticket packages for both the Habs and the Sens, believe it or not. But I a guy who has gradually tuned out the NHL as something I follow closely. I am now at best a casual hockey fan. Though I am watching Leafs-Bruins as I type this.


Quote:

Originally Posted by isaidso (Post 8156921)
Perhaps Ottawa has little basketball history but I'd be wary of extrapolating that to all of Canada.

.

I don't think JHikka can be said to be a typical Ottawa guy. He's from New Brunswick I think and only moved to Ottawa fairly recently.

James Naismith the inventor of basketball was from a small town 45 minutes west of Ottawa, for what's it's worth.

I don't think Ottawa has any more or any less historical basketball culture than any other city in the country except Halifax. This arguably includes Toronto before the Raptors came along.

JHikka Apr 17, 2018 2:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8157079)
A Stanley Cup final involving the Leafs would make all of those numbers look like chump change.

So would one involving the Habs - it might pull in over 4 million viewers in Quebec alone and probably as many in the rest of the country.

Absolutely. The Vancouver SCF in 2011 averaged 5.4M with Game 7 fetching 8.64M. I'd imagine a Leafs Eastern Conference Final would fetch somewhere in the 4-5M neighbourhood. Their first round games are usually between 2-3M.

For what it's worth, the Jays were hitting between 4-5M for ALCS/ALDS. I'd be curious to see how high that could go for a WS.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8157092)
I don't think JHikka can be said to be a typical Ottawa guy. He's from New Brunswick I think and only moved to Ottawa fairly recently.

Nobody is ever actually from Ottawa - it's a myth. :P

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 2:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TownGuy (Post 8156764)
EDIT: You beat me to it! Lol

A picture is worth a thousand words. You just have to look at who shows up to Maple Leaf Square/Jurassic Park for Leafs and Raptors games.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/btoimage/pr...ue-w_1300_.jpg

https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...re-id470688042

I don't dispute this is happening, and this won't be a popular comment, but it's hard not to see it as a "failing" that the kids of newcomers to the country haven't been turned into fans of the national sport in greater numbers than they have.

Basketball is obviously way more popular than hockey globally but a lot of these kids (maybe most of them) aren't necessarily coming from basketball hotbed countries, and so their passion for the game isn't really driven by anything that's Canadian-originated nor is it driven by the sports culture of their parents' country of origin. We all know what it's driven by.

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 2:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8157112)
Absolutely. The Vancouver SCF in 2011 averaged 5.4M with Game 7 fetching 8.64M. I'd imagine a Leafs Eastern Conference Final would fetch somewhere in the 4-5M neighbourhood. Their first round games are usually between 2-3M.

For what it's worth, the Jays were hitting between 4-5M for ALCS/ALDS. I'd be curious to see how high that could go for a WS.
.

While the Blue Jays broadcasters in Quebec are generally satisfied with their ratings, the second largest market in the country is a bit of dead zone for them - relative to the rest of the country anyway. (Jays playoff games in recent years drew way fewer viewers than midweek Habs early season games.)

The reason I am bringing this up is that in Quebec at least any Stanley Cup final involving a Canadian team would draw way more viewers than the Jays in the World Series.

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 2:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brizzy82 (Post 8156701)
Is basketball really that unpopular in Winnipeg? I'm very curious to know what the local ratings are.

I work with a lot of young Filipino and Black dudes.. a ton of them watch NBA religiously (anecdotal of course, but I definitely hear way more talk about it around my work than the CFL for example.)

I worked with a young guy from Winnipeg about 10 years ago and he was of Asian origin (I won't out him by naming the country but it's not a basketball hotbed at all.) He was first generation born in Canada.

Anyway he was really big on the NBA and largely indifferent to the NHL and the CFL.

Totally anecdotal of course but he was my first indicator that something was up.

Until then I had always assumed that kids growing up in Canada regardless of origin were likely to be into hockey just like we were. Certainly in the 80s the gangs I hung out were mostly old stock anglophones and francophones with a decent-sized chunk of immigrant guys thrown into the mix - and they were definitely into hockey too. I played hockey on the ice and on the road with kids from the most non-hockey cultures imaginable.

Acajack Apr 17, 2018 2:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8156987)
I'm implying that, generally-speaking, Canadians are more willing to bandwagon a baseball team than a basketball team. Baseball, today, appeals to a broader swath of Canadians than basketball does. In the future, basketball will appeal to a wider swath of Canadians.
.

My father and father-in-law are quite typical of this.

They're both in their 70s from different regions of the country, and while baseball is not in their top sports (which are NHL and CFL followed by NFL probably) they will watch the Jays playoff runs even though they're not watching the Jays right now and likely won't this summer either.

I doubt either of them has ever watched an entire NBA game. They don't watch basketball any more than they watch soccer.

Actually I think my dad watches more soccer as he watches the World Cup to some degree.

It might not be as cut and dried but I think these interests are fairly common in younger generations such as mine - I am in my late 40s.

esquire Apr 17, 2018 2:53 AM

^ 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.

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.

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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