Toronto, ON, Friday, December 10, 2021 – Vividata, Canada’s leading media and consumer research firm, has just released their 2021 Sports & Esports Database, featuring the latest audience metrics, consumer behaviours, fan attitudes and more, as the industry roars back from its pandemic pause.
With the new database, you and your organization can explore Canadian fandom associated with dozens of professional men’s and women’s sports and esports leagues in exceptional detail – from how Canadians follow and watch each sport, to their favourite teams, to live attendance, to attitudes toward their teams, and so much more. Plus, through a state-of the-art fusion with Vividata’s Fall 2021 Survey of the Canadian Consumer (SCC), this latest Sports & Esports database lets you cross fans with over 60,000 demographic, consumer, lifestyle, audience and psychographic variables for a more complete view of Canadian Sports & Esports fans.


Sample highlights from the 2021 Sports & Esports database include:


CFL – Getting set for the Grey Cup

Over 8.7M Canadian adults say they follow the CFL playoffs, with nearly 1 in 2 watching at least more than half of all playoff games.

Of the two teams heading into the 2021 Grey Cup, Winnipeg Blue Bombers fans were 2x more likely than the average Canadian to follow every playoff game, while Hamilton Tiger Cats fans were 45% less likely to do the same.

When it comes fanbases overall, the Montreal Alouettes score big with over 1.6M Canadians saying Quebec’s CFL franchise is their favourite team – nearly 500,000 more than the number of Canadians who said the same about the Toronto Argonauts, and nearly 2x more than those that chose the BC Lions as their favourite CFL team.

Over 5.5M Canadians that have a favourite CFL team have been fans of that team for more than 6 years, with Blue Bomber fans the most likely with 90% of their fanbase cheering them on for over half a decade. On the other hand, Canadians that chose the Tiger Cats as their favourite are a newer group, with 1 in 3 jumping on the Ti-Cats’ bandwagon within the past 3 years (2x more likely than the average Canadian CFL fan).


2022 Winter Olympics

While the Canadian government has announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, 23M Canadian adults (or 3 out of 4) plan to follow the games this February. Of those that plan to follow, 5.5M identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of colour (BIPOC). More recent immigrants to Canada, those who arrived under a year ago, are nearly 10% more likely to follow the games compared to the average Canadian.

Younger Canadians, those aged 18-24 are also more likely than the average adult to follow the games. Nearly 80% of this age group intend to follow the Winter Olympics compared to 75% of all Canadian adults.

Canadian women are the most eager audience awaiting the Winter Olympics. While 62% of men that tune-in for the games report that they follow either all of the events or more than half, 71% of the female audience do so.

Being Canada’s national sport, it’s no surprise that men’s ice hockey (at 64%) takes the gold as one of the sports Canadians plan to follow. Men’s ice hockey will feature leading Canadian NHL players like Connor McDavid, Sydney Crosby, and Mitch Marner. At 51.9%, women’s figure skating takes the silver, followed closely by women’s ice hockey (at 51.8%) taking bronze. To round out the top 5 sports, 40% of Canadians plan to follow men’s figure skating, and 38% men’s ski jumping. In last place is the women’s biathlon, at 14%.


NFL in Canada

Over 9.2M Canadian adults follow the NFL with over 1 in 5 (21%) following every game of the regular season or playoffs and over 1 in 3 (34%) following every game of the playoffs.

Nearly 1.5M Canadians said the Buffalo Bills were either their favourite team or second favourite team, followed by the Green Bay Packers (1.3M), New England Patriots (1.2M) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1.2M).

Canadians that chose the Dallas Cowboys as their favourite team are 60% more likely than the average Canadian to follow every game of the season, with New England Patriots fans the second most likely to tune-in to every game.

Tom Brady’s move to Tampa Bay and the Super Bowl win that followed attracted a swath of new fans from Canada. 72% of Canadians who said the Buccaneers are their favourite team said they started following the team within the last 3 years – making them 2x more likely to be newer fans than the average NFL fan in Canada. The Seattle Seahawks on the other hand, were 39% more likely to have a more entrenched fanbase, with 73% following the team for 6 or more years.

Being near an NFL team’s city also appears to have an effect on whether a Canadian is a fan. Those who live in British Columbia for example, are 4.4x more likely than average to pick the Seattle Seahawks as their favourite team. The same trend is seen in Ontario, where Ontarians are 2.1x more likely to be Buffalo Bills fans, those in the Prairies are 52% more likely to be Green Bay Packers fans, and Quebecers are 32% more likely to pick the Patriots.


NHL Fandom

Over 15.5M Canadian adults follow the NHL, with over 3 in 5 followers tracking either all or more than half of the games throughout the season.

Riding the wave of last year’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Montreal Canadiens enjoy the largest fanbase, with over 9.3M Canadians following the team at least occasionally. Second to Montreal is the Toronto Maple Leafs with nearly 8.8M followers, and the Edmonton Oilers with nearly 6.6M to round out the top 3.

Montreal also has the largest proportion of top fans, with 46% of followers saying the Canadiens are their favourite NHL team. Toronto again falls behind the Habs with 39% of Maple Leaf’s followers saying the team is their favourite, with 25% of followers of the Vancouver Canucks saying the team is their favourite in the NHL.

Of teams with the largest out-of-market appeal, the Calgary Flames top the list, with 38% of Canadians living outside of Alberta saying the Flames are their favourite team (37% live in BC, 34% live in Ontario, and 16% in Saskatchewan).

Canadians who follow all or more than a half of NHL games/events follow live events by cable television (40%), television using a sports package (37%), by streaming online (not through an official provider) (20%), or on the radio (19%).


NBA and the Toronto Raptors

In 2019, prior to the NBA Playoffs, 13% (or 3.8M) of Canadian adults said the Toronto Raptors are my favourite team. Following the Toronto Raptors win of the 2019 NBA championship, that number went up to 22% (or 6.7M) in 2020. With the Raptors struggling to build a winning momentum in the current season, their avid fan base has dropped in 2021 to 14% (or 4.4M), near the level of 2019.

Even with a smaller fan base in 2021, the NBA and the Toronto Raptors continue to attract a more young and diverse audience. 31% of BIPOC Canadians follow the NBA during a regular season, compared to 24% of White adults. While 25% of all Canadians follow the NBA during a regular season, 33% of those under 35 do so.

1 out of 4 current Toronto Raptors fans (those who said this is my favourite team) agree: It’s very important to me that my favourite team wins”.


More on Women’s Sports, Esports & Sports Betting

This latest release of Vividata’s Sports & Esports database also features new data on the continued emergence of the women’s professional sports audience, professional esports leagues and team fandom, top sports betting sites and behaviours, and so much more. Look for new and exciting insights on these trending topics and more, coming soon.


Benefits of the Sports & Esports Database

Get it all in one database
From leisure activities to consumer habits, to media usage, and more, subscribers can get a complete look at the lives of fans – both inside and outside the world of sports and esports – with data that delves into their behaviour across 60,000+ consumer variables.

Spark insights with powerful psychographics  
Peek into the mindset of Canadian sports and esports fans with powerful psychographic statements designed to spark insights from topics like sports fandom, women in sports, sports betting, finance, health and wellness, media use, automotive, and more.

Segment, target, and inform to greater effect
Using a ground-breaking fusion methodology, users see logical profiles and behaviours of sports and esports fans nationwide.

Access, cut, and slice with ease
Vividata’s new Sports & Esports database is available through Dapresy, Nielsen and Telmar platforms, allowing subscribers to dig into the data on-demand.

How To Access Our Data

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