First-of-its-kind research from Canadian Women & Sport presents the business case for a thriving women’s professional sport market in Canada and a roadmap to get there
Toronto, ON (Monday, April 24) – Canadian Women & Sport in partnership with Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) released new research today outlining the growing investment opportunity for the professional women’s sport market in Canada.
According to the report, It’s Time: Accelerating Professional Women’s Sport in Canada, the Canadian women’s professional sport market of today is dramatically underserved and underdeveloped.
“The findings are clear and undeniable: investing in professional women’s sport in Canada will unlock a new era of growth and opportunity, one that will herald commercial and social benefits for decades to come,”says Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CEO at Canadian Women & Sport. “It’s time to invest in this industry and create a prosperous and viable ecosystem around professional women’s sport.”
“From hockey and soccer to basketball and esports and beyond, professional women’s sport in Canada is ripe for investment,” says Nan DasGupta, Managing Director and Senior Partner at BCG. “This untapped sector offers a unique and strong value proposition for investors in Canada, particularly those with a vision and a venture capital mindset.”
Key Research Insights
- Women’s professional sport is a growth market with a relatively low cost to enter and high potential for significant long-term upside.
- Women’s professional sport aligns strategically with emerging trends in fandom and consumer engagement, enabling investors to capitalize on the rapidly changing trends that are disrupting the traditional sport business model.
- Early investors have ample opportunity to shape the market, exert influence and create the conditions to help ensure positive outcomes.
- Led with intention, women’s professional sport supports corporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) objectives. A virtuous cycle between commercial and societal benefits will deliver value for a double-bottom-line strategy.
To unlock the potential of this market, the research suggests that key groups (investors, sponsors, media, government, athletes and fans) need to activate to produce a powerful cycle of commercial and social benefits.
It’s Time: Accelerating Professional Women’s Sport in Canada is the first in a series of research, thought-leadership and connection aimed at exploring the commercial opportunities of the Canadian women’s professional sport market.
“Canadian Tire Corporation has a long-standing tradition of investing in sport and we are proud to work alongside Canadian Women & Sport and BCG,” says Kim Saunders, Vice President, ESG Strategy, Community Impact and Sponsorships, Canadian Tire Corporation. “We hope this partnership will encourage other brands to invest in building women’s professional sports, ultimately joining us in the journey to champion gender equity in Canadian sport.”
The report was curated by BCG with oversight from a Canadian Women & Sport advisory group composed of leaders representing media, corporate brands and sport properties. Members of the advisory group include:
- Nathalie Cook, Initiative Chair, Sport Media and Sponsorship Executive
- Dr. Cheri Bradish, Initiative Research Chair, Toronto Metropolitan University, Founder/Managing Director, Future of Sport Lab (FSL) at Toronto Metropolitan University.
- Stacey Allaster C.C., Chief Executive, Professional Tennis and US Open Tournament Director, United States Tennis Association
- Kia Nurse, Professional Basketball Player and Broadcaster
- Teresa Resch, Vice-President Basketball Operations, Toronto Raptors
- Karina Leblanc, C.M., OLY, HCapt RCN, President and General Manager, Portland Thorns and former head of Women’s football for CONCACAF
- Ashley Curran, Associate Vice President, Sport Partnerships & Community Impact, Canadian Tire Corporation
- Tanya Mruck, Vice President Community Engagement & Social Impact, MLSE & Chair, Canadian Women & Sport Board of Directors
- Alyson Walker, Chief Commercial Officer, OverActive Media
- Camille Wallace, North American Sports Partnerships, TikTok
To learn more visit www.womenandsport.ca/pro-sports
For More Information
Connect with Canadian Women & Sport
Facebook and Twitter: @WomenandSportCA
LinkedIn: Canadian Women & Sport
About the Commercial Women’s Sport Initiative
In 2022, Canadian Women & Sport launched its Commercial Women’s Sports Initiative, supported by Premier National Partner Canadian Tire Corporation and in partnership with Boston Consulting Group.
Canadian Women & Sport believes in the power of women’s sport. We’re committed to supporting the growth and development of a thriving women’s professional sport market in Canada by providing a Canadian perspective with research, data, insights, and partnerships to engage on the full pathway from grassroots to professional. This whitepaper is the first in a series of research and insights. Our attention turns next to addressing the gap in Canadian-specific data related to fandom and women’s professional sport. Learn more at womenandsport.ca/pro-sports.
About Canadian Women & Sport
Canadian Women & Sport is a national nonprofit with a 42-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 more than 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 Boston Consulting Group
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with offices in more than 90 cities in 50 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.
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