It’s going to be a day full of expectations in Toronto, Canada today as four major professional sports teams will all begin action starting at 3 pm Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday. The Toronto Blue Jays will start things off with some regular season action at home against the Tampa Bay Rays. Then the Toronto Football Club kicks off their action at 4 against the Seattle Sounders at home in Toronto as well. The Raptors and Kawhi Leonard start their journey to the NBA Finals at 5 against the Orlando Magic. And the night concludes with the beloved Maple Leafs looking to go up 2-0 against the Boston Bruins.
Professional Sport in Toronto: Playoff Elevation
Two playoff games capping off two incredible regular season matchups is going to be exhausting for any sports fan. Especially with so much overlap you are sure to wear out your last channel button on your remote and keep you scrolling Twitter to see what highlights you may have missed as you flip back and forth. But it can be just as exhausting for the marketers of each team. You need the fans focused on your game and consuming your advertisements.
The playoff games are easy; your favorite team has to be the first to the clinching games to move on to the next round. The difference here is that Toronto is a hockey city through and through. The Maple Leafs have their work cut out for them both through city culture and playing last so that everyone is ending the day with their most important team. If you are the Raptors you are in an inherent advantage in being the first playoff game and in the sports hierarchy playoff games are always more valuable than regular season games, especially when you are up against pro baseball, which has the longest regular season schedule at 162 games.
The playoff games will also be covered on the national networks so your local channels will be clear and free to show the earlier regular season matchups. The Blue Jays game has the inherent advantage of being first. People are starting their days with baseball. A slow moving sport that will keep people engaged and the perfect background event to keep people excited about sports, but won’t tire them out for the main event. Start your day with the Blue Jays and end it Maple Leafs.
Toronto soccer should pitch itself as a much more interactive start to your fandom experience. Soccer is nonstop and consuming. It can get the sports watching party, more excited and prepared for the night of fandom ahead. This will be a much more involved party than baseball, and can be sold as a much more involved pregame start to your playoff viewing.
Raptors basketball has brought Toronto together and captured the heart of an otherwise hockey based city. Raptors games are closer to a party than any of the other sporting events and should be sold as a communal experience where a resurgent basketball team takes center stage in a round of the playoffs they are expected to dominate. If you can’t make it to the Maple Leafs game, a Raptors game is where you will want to spend your time.
Maple Leafs playoff hockey. You won’t need any more branding than that in the city of Toronto and the surrounding areas. This is a premier franchise in one of the great hockey cities in the world. They are already up 1-0 over the Boston Bruins, another elite hockey city steeped in tradition. This is the hot ticket in the city and appointment television. All you have to do here is remind people not to get too full on bread and appetizers to enjoy the main course of their sports fandom for the night. This is still a hockey city and the Maple Leafs are still King.
In conclusion, the timing of these events could not have worked out better for the sports individual strengths. Baseball as the perfect background sport to start your day of sports fandom. Soccer to get people moving and focused on the task at hand. Raptors basketball to get the people excited and ready for the main course, and then finishing with the beloved Maple Leafs.