Size of Canadian sports market

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There is a very big misconception out there about the size of the Canadian sports market. Some of this comes from TV ratings which are not accurately accounting for the other ways people consume their sports in Canada. Now obviously people in the U.S. consume their sports in other ways as well, but specifically in Major League Baseball and in the NBA, this is skewing the size of the Canadian sports market.

Canada has only one Major League Baseball team and one NBA team. The Blue Jays and Raptors are both from Toronto but since they are there aren’t any other Canadian teams in these leagues, they have a monopoly on Canada. This means the market size for these two teams is far bigger than just the Greater Toronto Area. This is a fact that is not lost on these two sports teams.

The Toronto Raptors tweaked their logo and uniforms in recent years to reflect a more Canadian fan base potential. They removed the purple from the logo and added more red. They also placed a more visible, red maple leaf on their uniforms.

The Toronto Blue Jays are in the process of doing the same thing with their logo and uniforms. Unfortunately, I happen to really like the current Blue Jays logo and uniforms, but the strategy is the correct one. If these two teams successfully penetrate the rest of Canada like they have in Toronto then they will both become among the largest franchises in their respective leagues. This has actually already begun to occur. The Raptors play pre-season games across Canada and see sellout crowds cheering for them in every city and town they play in.

The Blue Jays are picking their time to “Canadianize” their franchise very carefully. They recently added a very popular Canadian rookie, Brett Lawrie to the roster. He is from British Columbia and is very marketable. This gives them the perfect opportunity to gain western Canada as fans of the franchise.

In the coming years I think and hope that the U.S. media, as well as, MLB and the NBA will take notice at the Blue Jays and Raptors true market size. This is something that the teams deserve and should be given that credit and respect.