It’s been a big summer for sports in Canada. And it has nothing to do with the free agency frenzy going on in the NHL.
In tennis, Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard are both making history. Raonic is the first Canadian men’s singles player in the Open era to reach the quarters at Wimbledon. Meanwhile, by advancing to the semi-finals at Wimbledon, Bouchard is expected to reach at least eighth on the WTA list, equaling the career-best WTA ranking held by a Canadian.
In basketball, Andrew Wiggins became the second consecutive Canadian to go first overall in the NBA Draft. In addition, Nik Stauskas went eighth overall to Sacramento. Tyler Ennis was selected 18th by Phoenix. And Dwight Powell was drafted by Charlotte 45th overall. No more than three Canadians had ever been drafted in the same year until this year. And no country other than the U.S. has ever had back-to-back #1 picks. As a result, the ripple effect in Canada should be huge and it looks like basketball is entering its golden age in this country.
On the diamond, the Toronto Blue Jays are rebounding nicely from a very disappointing season. It looks like the Jays will enter the All-Star break leading the American League East. This represents the first time since 1993 that the Blue Jays have been leading the division this late into the season.
And while Canada is not playing at the World Cup this summer in Rio, there’s been no lack of cheering and flag waving happening by the many immigrants and expats that call this country home.
There’s a lot of momentum right now for sports in Canada. The Canadian Olympic Committee started 2014 by doing an outstanding job of promoting amateur athletes in this country. Now we’re experiencing some great stories this summer in professional sports. In my opinion, there’s never been a better time for brands to get involved and share in the glory.