Just over 5 million (5.1M) Canadians participated in fantasy sports online or via a mobile device at some point in the past (about 20% of the online population), according to SRG’s most recent Sports Canada Quarterly report which tracks sports fans, sponsors and emerging consumer behavior in the sports space.
Top sports for fantasy sports participants in the past year were (in order of popularity): NHL Hockey, NFL Football, Major League Baseball, MLS Soccer, NBA Basketball and CFL Football.
On a top-of-mind basis, the top sites/apps that came to mind for fantasy sports information were: Yahoo!, TSN, ESPN, RDS, Draft Kings, Sportsnet, CBS Sports, Facebook and FanDuel. On an aided basis, half of those participating in fantasy sports (51%) were aware of Yahoo Sports, while 34% were familiar with Draft Kings.
One feature that makes the fantasy sports consumer attractive to leagues and teams may be the fact that they tend to be disproportionately young and male – 91% of fantasy sports consumers online and via mobile are under the age of 50, with a median age of 34, about 10 years younger than the average fan of sports such as NHL, NFL or MLB in Canada. In terms of gender, 74% of those who participated in the past year were male and 26% were female.
In other findings, it is clear that Toronto Blue Jays’ world series run was a big hit for MLB, Jays’ owner Rogers and sponsors.
- An estimated 8.7M Canadians expressed an interest in following the MLB playoffs in September 2015 according to Sports Canada Quarterly, representing a 41% increase in interest year-over-year from an earlier benchmark in 2014
- 27% of those surveyed last week during the Kansas City Royals vs. Blue Jays series (about 7 million Canadians) said they followed the series ‘very closely’
- 68% of those following the series were able to name at least one sponsor or advertiser and 30% at least two, suggesting strong engagement with sponsor/advertiser content
- Rogers, TD Canada Trust, Honda, Miller and Budweiser (in that order) were the top 5 sponsors/advertisers in unaided recall last week during the Royals-Jays series. Rogers in particular dominated, with an impressive 34% saying they noticed Rogers on an unaided basis. Other names rounding out the top 10 were Coca Cola, Bell, Allstate, Canadian Tire and Expedia
Technical: The fall edition of the Sports Canada Quarterly is based on interviews with 1,500 national respondents in two waves by Solutions Research Group. The first wave was conducted in September 2015 among 1,000 respondents (aged 12 plus). The second wave was conducted October 19-22 (during Blue Jays – Kansas City Royals series) among 500 additional respondents (aged 18 plus). Sports Canada Quarterly is an independent syndicated research study which aims to provide an objective comparative perspective on sports consumer trends including sponsorships. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org