in

17 Million Canadians Consider Themselves Fans of Women’s Sport According to New Research

First-of-its-kind Canadian study highlights unique attributes of Canadian fans of women’s sport and the value fandom represents for sport business.

Research conducted by Canadian Women & Sport and research and consultancy partner IMI International, presented by Canadian Tire Corporation and with support from Women and Gender Equality Canada.

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today,


This first-of-its-kind research polled Canadians aged 13-65 to reveal that two in three Canadians (67%) consider themselves to be fans of women’s sports—that is equivalent to more than 17 million Canadians. Canadian fans of women’s sport include coveted audiences like Gen Zs, Millennials and families, as well as diverse, well-educated and affluent Canadians.

It’s Time: Unlocking the Power of Pro Women’s Sport Fans is the second in a series of research, thought-leadership and connection aimed at exploring the commercial opportunities of the Canadian women’s professional sport market. The first installment, It’s Time: Accelerating Professional Women’s Sports in Canada, was released in 2023.

Key Insights from It’s Time: Unlocking the Power of Pro Women’s Sport Fans

  • 67% of Canadians aged 13-65 are fans of women’s sport.
  • 2 in 5 Canadians aged 13-65 (41% or 10 million Canadians) consider themselves “avid fans” and regularly watch women’s professional or elite sport and/or tune in for major events including the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • Canadian fans of women’s sport are more diverse, educated and affluent than the general population of Canada.
  • Women’s sport is popular among people of all genders. Slightly more than half (53%) are men, and the balance of fans are women (46%) and gender-diverse people (1%).
  • 8 in 10 fans of pro women’s sport are excited about the future of women’s sport in Canada and, if given the opportunity, are eager to engage further in various ways.
  • Unlocking the power of fans requires investment. Fans want and need Canadian teams to cheer for, and a high-quality and readily available product to watch, follow, and engage with.
  • Canadians see women’s sport as athletic and exciting. And, there is a tremendous appetite for more.
  • 6 in 10 fans think brands should do more to support women’s sport in Canada, and 4 in 10 fans are more likely to purchase from brands that support women’s sport. This jumps to 5 in 10 among Gen Z and young Millennials.

“We have seen trends and proof points over the past few years, but now we have credible—and uniquely Canadian—data demonstrating that fans of women’s sport are a large, attractive audience for brands and investors,” says Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CEO at Canadian Women & Sport. “Women’s pro sport is no longer a hypothetical opportunity. Case studies have been written, potential has been realized, and records have been broken. It’s time for more bold investment in professional women’s sport in Canada.”

“At Canadian Tire Corporation, we know that to truly champion professional women’s sports, we must create a roadmap for other Canadian organizations to understand and invest in its untapped potential,” says Ashley Curran, AVP, Sport Partnerships, Canadian Tire Corporation. “Together with the findings of the first installment, this new research provides us with invaluable data that not only furthers our understanding of the professional women’s sport movement but allows us to create meaningful connections with the fanbase that drives it.”

“The accomplishments and leadership of Canadian women in sports are inspiring young girls and women,” says the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth. “Studies like this show how fans of professional women’s sports influence change. Athletes aren’t just role models—they also play a significant role in growing the economy and fostering prosperity. WAGE is happy to help organizations like Canadian Women & Sport who encourage athletes and fans to participate in the collaboration and community of sports. It’s not just about putting money into sports; it’s about making sure everyone—athletes, fans, and future generations—can reach their full potential.”

The research was led by IMI Consulting, presented by Canadian Tire Corporation, and with support from Women and Gender Equality Canada and oversight from a Canadian Women & Sport advisory group composed of leaders representing media, corporate brands and sport properties.

This study was conducted in October 2023 with a representative sample of over 2,000 Canadians aged 13–65. The study set out to map the current Canadian fan of women’s sport, as well as the fan base potential going forward. The work was strategically designed to offer key partners and audiences fresh insights on how to grow fandom and how, ultimately, fans can help unlock a new era of growth and opportunity for women’s professional sport in Canada.

To learn more visit www.womenandsport.ca/pro-sports

About the Commercial Women’s Sport Initiative

In 2022, Canadian Women & Sport launched its Commercial Women’s Sports Initiative with Presenting Partner Canadian Tire Corporation.

Canadian Women & Sport believes in the power of women’s sport. The organization is committed to supporting the growth and development of a thriving women’s professional sport market in Canada by providing a uniquely Canadian perspective with research, data, insights, and partnerships to unlock the potential of women’s sport across the full pathway from grassroots to professional. Learn more at womenandsport.ca/pro-sports.

About Canadian Women & Sport

Canadian Women & Sport is a national nonprofit with a 43-year history of work as the leading voice and authority on women and sport. We believe in the power of sport as a platform for advancing equity for women across all areas of society. As such, we are committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive sport system that empowers women and girls as participants and leaders, within sport and through sport. www.womenandsport.ca

About Canadian Tire Corporation

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited, (TSX: CTC.A) (TSX: CTC) or “CTC”, is a group of companies that includes a Retail segment, a Financial Services division and CT REIT. Our retail business is led by Canadian Tire, which was founded in 1922 and provides Canadians with products for life in Canada across its Living, Playing, Fixing, Automotive and Seasonal & Gardening divisions. Party City, PartSource and Gas+ are key parts of the Canadian Tire network. The Retail segment also includes Mark’s, a leading source for casual and industrial wear; Pro Hockey Life, a hockey specialty store catering to elite players; and SportChek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts and Atmosphere, which offer the best active wear brands. The Company’s close to 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets are supported and strengthened by CTC’s Financial Services division and the tens of thousands of people employed across Canada and around the world by CTC and its local dealers, franchisees and petroleum retailers. In addition, CTC owns and operates Helly Hansen, a leading technical outdoor brand based in Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit Corp.CanadianTire.ca.

About Women and Gender Equality Canada

The Department for Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) advances equality with respect to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression through the inclusion of women and 2SLGBTQI+ people in every aspect of Canada’s social, economic, and political life. For more information, visit Femmes et Égalité des genres | Women and Gender Equality (canada.ca)

About IMI Consulting

IMI Consulting is an independent marketing consultancy focused on insight driving profit. With 50 years of experience and offices on 4 continents, IMI serves 150+ partners across multiple industries to optimize marketing spend effectiveness. IMI is recognized as an industry leader in offering its partners fact-based thought leadership, real-time insight platforms and custom solutions. For more information, visit www.consultimi.com.

Contacts

For More Information
Greg McIsaac

Junction Communications

416-458-3591

greg@junctioncommunications.com

Connect with Canadian Women & Sport
Facebook and Twitter: @WomenandSportCA

LinkedIn: Canadian Women & Sport

Website: www.womenandsport.ca
Email: info@womenandsport.ca

Written by SerieAUKWire

Scepter Simplifies Refueling with the Flip of a Switch

WiSA Technologies to Present at the Planet MicroCap Showcase in Las Vegas