Monday, July 20, 2009

Leafs Nation Demographics and Media Partners

Given last year’s posts around the ‘Net on the future of the Leafs fan-base and the challenges of marketing an, ahem, less than successful franchise I thought it was fascinating to note the Leafs’ media partners for this season’s free exhibition game.

The Back Story

The dominant narrative structure out there, if it’s to be believed, suggests that the Leafs’ long-term fan support is threatened by four things: high ticket prices, lack of ticket availability, crappy on-ice product and the changing demographics of Toronto and the GTA.

The first two points are never going to change. High ticket demand enables high prices. So long as the Canadian tax code enables corporations to write-off 50% on every leaf ticket the lower-bowl is going to be full of suits and sushi. Up in the cheap(er) seats, the Leafs’ prices are actually in-line with what the other Canadian franchises are charging. In fact the Leafs purples are cheaper than the Canucks and only $0.50 more than the Oilers’ cheap seats.

But let's not let that get in the way of a good meme.

The hiring of Burke is perhaps the best move the Leafs have made post-lockout and certainly sends the message that ownership and management are committed to winning.

That leaves the changing demographics of the GTA.

One look at the media partners for the unfortunately named Coca-Cola Zero Fans First Game and it’s clear MLSE has realized the importance of reaching out to different communities and nurturing new fans. In addition to the standard bearers Toronto Star and AM640, the Leafs have partnered with:,,,, and

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s two South Asian pubs, two Chinese pubs, a Spanish and a Russian outlet.

It's like someone at MLSE actually knows what they're doing.


  1. It's like someone at MLSE actually knows what they're doing.

    Wait a second, that can't be right. Unless Burke is Director of Marketing now, too.

  2. I actually met Tom Anselmi in university (the Chief Marketing Officer iirc) and he seemed like a smart cookie.

    This was actually a pretty interesting post! I hadn't noticed the media partners.

    I laugh every time I hear the name Coca-Cola Zero Fans because that's how many go to this game.

  3. Tree1Heatley010:47 am

    PPP you are wrong... last year was a sell-out - I was selling beer at the game and it was actually a great event. But yes it's a shitty-named event. Coke Zero Free Game is simple and to-the-point