Canada may be a nation synonymous with hockey, but people across the country have jumped on the basketball bandwagon thanks to the Toronto Raptors.
In April, with three Canadian teams competing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canadians were engaging on the NHL more than basketball, peaking at 7% of Canadians on April 23rd while 2% of Canadians were talking about the Toronto Raptors.
With all three Canadian NHL teams being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the number of Canadians talking about the NHL playoffs soon dropped dramatically. In fact, engagement on the NHL playoffs hasn’t been above 5% of the population since April.
With no Canadian teams left to cheer for, Canadians officially jumped on the Raptors bandwagon on May 12 when they beat the Philadelphia 76ers 92 – 90 thanks to a dramatic buzzer-beater by Kawhi Leonard to win the conference semi-finals. After that memorable game—the only game 7 buzzer-beater in NBA playoff history— nearly 9% of the Canadian population was talking about the Raptors.
Engagement on the Raptors dipped significantly when the team lost two straight games against the Milwaukee Bucks in the eastern conference finals, but it’s amazing what a little winning can do: engagement hit a high of nearly 15% of the Canadian population on May 26 the day after the Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks to win the eastern conference finals.
Whether it’s hockey or basketball, Canadians want to support a winning team and in the eyes of many Canadians, that team is the Toronto Raptors.
Sample Size: 267,897
Date Range: April 2, 2019 – June 11, 2019