BLOG | by Victor Gras

All remaining NHL games take place on Canadian soil. And fans seem pretty pleased.

After a four-and-a-half-month layoff, there are plenty of hockey fans very happy to see the return of the NHL this month.

But it’s possible that there’s none more so than Canadians. Canadians are generally pretty keen on their hockey but, like the rest of us, absence seems to have made the heart grow fonder.

Take a look at this chart tracking perceptions of Quality among fans (“Which of the following leagues do you think are presented to a high/low standard”).

The league’s point score is up by up around 20% since it re-started. Yet we can’t help but feel it has something to do with where games are taking place – the competition bubbles are in Edmonton and Toronto.

Other metrics show the same effect – the score for perceptions of prestige (Reputation metric), for example, has seen an uplift of 25% since the restart. And although there are echoes of these effects south of the border, Americans are not near to delivering these kind of figures for the league. That’s possibly because they have NBA and MLB games to think of too.

So when it comes to arrangements for re-starting the league, it looks like the NHL made a smart decision by taking games to Canada. They couldn’t have wished for a better impact among local fans.

BLOG | by Victor Gras

Head of Client Services

Joining YouGov Sport in March 2018, Victor brings seven years of global sports sponsorship expertise. In his last role, he led Nielsen’s Market Intelligence activity across all US verticals, working with brands, rights holders and agency clients. He also worked previously with the New York Road Runners, where he helped TCS launch the title partnership of the NYC Marathon, as well as with the ASO, optimizing sponsorship strategies for the Tour de France and the Paris Marathon.


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