A weekly digest of the top Canadian sports business news, tweets, and more. All links are curated by hand by the Sports Business Canada team. Submit your links to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Betting on Beirne
On Wednesday, the Canadian Premier League (CPL) announced that Paul Beirne has been named President of the highly anticipated domestic men’s soccer league set to debut in spring 2019. The announcement comes on the heels of David Clanachan’s appointment as the first Chairman and Commissioner of the league, which was announced in early January. As President, Beirne will manage the day to day league operations of the CPL. His primary focus will be to ensure all elements are in place for the league’s debut in spring 2019 and its long-term success. Beirne, hired as the first employee of the CPL as Project Manager, has been leading the efforts to develop the CPL over the past 18 months. Beirne was formerly the Vice-President of Business Operations for Toronto FC.
“I have travelled extensively across the country over the past year and have seen firsthand the passion and enthusiasm that Canadians have for professional club soccer,” – Paul Beirne.
— CPL (@CPLsoccer) January 24, 2018
Hockey Day scores big ratings
Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada’s marathon broadcast last Saturday was watched by 1 in 4 Canadians – reaching a total of 9.1 million viewers. Starting with a two-hour pre-game show focused on celebrating the heroes of the game, the 12.5-hour broadcast featured four games which included all seven Canadian teams across three channels (Sportsnet, City, CBC). The game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators was the most-watched game of the day with an average minute audience of 1.54 million viewers. It was also the most-watched program in all of Canada on Saturday. Overall, the broadcast had an average minute of 1.23 million Canadians, marking a 7% increase over the 2017 edition and up 21% from 2016’s telecast.
“Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada in Corner Brook was a true celebration of hockey and community,” – Clinton Braganza, Senior Vice President, Canadian Banking Marketing at Scotiabank
The verdict is in! Canada loves #HockeyDay. 1 in 4 Canadians tuned-in to watch Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada on Saturday, as the 12.5 hour broadcast reached 9.1 million viewers. https://t.co/Yco2TWjANR
— Sportsnet PR (@SportsnetPR) January 22, 2018
One in four Canadians tuned-in to Saturday’s 12 ½ hour marathon broadcast of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada on Sportsnet, City and CBC.
— Edward Rogers (@EdwardSRogers) January 24, 2018
Just another casual flight home from Newfoundland with a couple of buddies and some silverware. Thanks Corner Brook for a great time at Hockey Day. The ride home was a few laughs too… pic.twitter.com/x3GmOEnnm5
— Scott Moore (@MooreScottmoore) January 21, 2018
Team Canada defines what it means to ‘Be Olympic’
As Team Canada gears up for the start of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 5th, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) unveiled a new brand platform this week which highlights Canadian values while challenging Canadians to think about what it means to ‘Be Olympic’. The eight-week campaign, developed by Montreal-based Sid Lee, features a number of highly cinematic short films based on athlete stories and insights (including 10, 30 and 60-second spots), as well as a host of other innovative narrative elements, including digital video content, out of home advertising, print stories, and social media tactics.
“We wanted to shine a light on moments in our athletes’ stories that showcase the best of us – values that define what it means to be Canadian and to be Olympic. In doing this, we honour their dedication and their journey. We want to encourage Canadians to dig deeper and be inspired by our Olympians’ incredible passion for sport. Inspired by their values of determination, unity and resilience.” – Derek Kent, COC Chief Marketing Officer.
— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) January 23, 2018
Winning with honour is the message from Canadian Olympic Committee.
— Devin Heroux (@Devin_Heroux) January 24, 2018
Things will be great when you’re downtown
A month after owner Eugene Melnyk threatened to relocate the Ottawa Senators due to attendance woes, fans can now heave a sigh of relief. On Thursday, the National Capital Commission reached a preliminary agreement with Senators-backed developer RendezVous LeBreton to redevelop LeBreton Flats. The downtown development centres around a new NHL arena, and will also include an accessible community centre, 4,000 units of housing, a French-language school and public space. The Senators currently play at the Canadian Tire Centre in the suburb of Kanata, which is a 20-30 minute drive from Parliament Hill in the city’s downtown. The push for a new downtown arena has heated up over the past 12 months after the Senators finished 23rd overall in NHL attendance last year, and failed to sellout home games during their second round playoff series with the Rangers. Construction at Lebreton Flats could begin as early as 2019.
Today's decision on #LeBretonFlats puts the @Senators one step closer to what they've wanted for a long time…a new downtown arena. @TerryMarcotte reports – watch it here: https://t.co/UAPP0iVntP pic.twitter.com/ce28JWT1td
— CTV Ottawa (@ctvottawa) January 26, 2018
— Eugene Melnyk (@MelnykEugene) January 25, 2018
Leafs, Matthews, and McDavid = #Winning
While the Vegas Golden Knights owned the Twitter conversation in recent months thanks to their remarkable success on the ice, it was Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid who were the most mentioned players during the first half of the NHL season. Meanwhile, despite the Winnipeg Jets being the top Canadian team in the standings, the Leafs had the most mentions amongst Canadian teams behind only the Golden Knights, Penguins, and Rangers. Get the complete data breakdown in this blog by Christopher Doyle at Twitter Canada.
— Twitter Sports CA (@TwitterSportsCA) January 26, 2018
— Auston Matthews (@AM34) December 7, 2017
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