Canadians might not be the sports aficionados we thought they were.

  • Less than 50% know that Canada is hosting the Pan Am Games
  • Only 60% of Canadians are aware of the Women Soccer World Cup event
  • 3 out of 4 Canadians haven’t purchased any sports publications or sports related equipment in the past 6 months


July 1st, 2015 – While Canadians have an enduring love affair with Hockey (54% follow the game), their passion for sports generally seems to be rather cool. On average, Canadians follow only two sports and almost 1-in-3 follows none at all.

Although sports may not be a hit with all Canadians, one would think locally hosted international events would spike dormant patriotism. But, according to a TNS Canada survey deployed by Lightspeed GMI, this is not the case. Neither the FIFA Women’s World Cup nor the Pan Am Games attracted the interest of more than 50% of Canadians during the period leading up to each event.

Undoubtedly, some of this has to do with lack of basic awareness. Just a week prior to the start of the FIFA Women’s Soccer World Cup in Canada, only 1-in-3 Canadians spontaneously recalled the soccer tournament, and a meager 1-in-5 recollected the Pan Am Games as a sporting event taking place in 2015.

Results are slightly better once a cheat sheet is offered. Optimists might see this as a glass half full, with 3-in-5 indicating awareness of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, and about one-half recalling the Pan Am Games. By way of comparison, a minority of Canadians (43%) claimed awareness of the Formula 1 Canada Grand Prix when prompted, even though the event has taken place annually since 1978!

In Ontario, the host province of the Pan Am Games, expressions of interest are jaw-dropping – only 29% of Ontarians appear interested in following the event. In the rest of Canada, the numbers plummet to 11% in the Atlantic Provinces, 17% in Quebec and 17% in the West.

Despite the rise of digital media sources, television emerges as the most popular medium for watching the Games among those who intend to do so (36%), followed by newspapers and and digital media (tied at 12% each). As might be expected, the younger the followers, the more connected they are, with 20% of those 18-to-34 years following via digital media. This drops to 8% among those between 45 and 64 years of age.

Regardless of the outcome of either competition from a pure sporting standpoint, three quarters of Canadians believe that hosting international sports events represents “a great way for other countries to discover our cities and regions.” And many (46%) look forward to a celebratory atmosphere, anticipating “a great time ahead for fun and parties.”

Would the party and the fun be affected by the recent saga at the FIFA top command level? A large majority believe Sep Blatter should immediately resign his leadership position (76%), while only 11% would now welcome the man in Canada during a FIFA event.

Enjoy the games, on the field, as ultimately – that is what matters!


About TNS

TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies as they relate to brands, communications, innovation, shopper experiences and and customer and employee relationships.  TNS employs long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.

TNS is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups. Please visit for more information.

About Kantar

Kantar is the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By connecting the diverse talents of its 12 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 27,000 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. For further information, please visit us at

About Lightspeed GMI

Lightspeed GMI is an award-winning global digital data collection enterprise. Founded in 1996, its innovative technology and proven sampling methodologies deliver operational excellence throughout the online research process. With more than 5.5 million online research respondents in 40+ countries, Lightspeed GMI’s proprietary panels deliver unparalleled quality, capacity and targeting.

Headquartered in Warren, New Jersey, Lightspeed GMI is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP, the world leader in marketing communication services. For more information, visit

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