Oct 15

How Major League Sports Impacts City State Economies

Now that the Blue Jays have become only the 3rd
team in MLB history to come back from an 0-2 deficit in a 5-game series after
losing the first two at home, it’s time to reflect on why that is important for
everyone in Canada including non Blue Jay fans as well as people who don’t care
one whit about pro sports.

Here’s why they should care:

  1. -winning is contagious—win in one industry, win in others
  2. -when your home team does well, it lifts spirits in your area
  3. -positive people make positive decisions like to go ahead with a new project, make a new investment, expand your plant, hire additional staff, start renovating and so forth
  4. -it makes people feel like they are part of something special
  5. -it breaks down walls between neighbors, friends, colleagues, clients, customers, suppliers… “How about dem Blue Jays,” is heard at every water fountain… strangers talk to each other… it builds trust
  6. -it builds your town, city, county, province, state, even national brand
  7. -which makes people in other countries want to trade, visit or invest[1] in your nation.

TSN’s Off the Record
Mike Landsberg says that many of his US-based guests are woefully
under-informed about Canada.
When a Canadian-based team does well on a stage like the ALDS or ALCS or
possibly the World Series, it builds not only Toronto’s
brand but Canada’s.
For a trading nation like Canada,
this is important because it improves market awareness in Canada’s most important trading partner—the US.

Mr Landsberg says if asked about which countries border the
continental US, Americans will guess Mexico correctly, but not their
neighbor to the north. Some might say, “Europe” to which Michael tells them,
“Firstly, Europe is not a country, secondly, there is an ocean between the US and European
nations, and thirdly, you’re wrong.”

Building Canada’s
brand and R.E.S.P.E.C.T in the US
might also help to address Canada’s
chronic travel deficit with America.
Some folks there might actually want to travel north and experience what a
summer without 100-degree heat is like, and friendly people who don’t shoot

Go Jays!

[1] A US NYC
and Boston-based VC told me they only invest in tier 1 cities. How do they
identify tier 1 cities I asked him. “Easy,” he said, “we don’t. We rely on MLB,
NFL, NHL and the NBA to do that for us. We only invest there because we know
that if your town doesn’t have a major league franchise, it might have the
occasional brilliant lone wolf entrepreneur, but there isn’t enough support
around her or him to grow a multi-billion dollar business from her/his village.
They have to move—to a tier 1 city where they can get that support before our
investment committee will approve funding them. That’s why we think that the
future is in mega cities.”


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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.