Argyle’s Public Relationships Index™ shows Toronto Raptors and Canada’s pro soccer teams are better at relationships
While two-thirds of Canadians still list an NHL franchise as their favourite sports team, Argyle’s new Public Relationships Index™ — which examines the quality of a brand’s relationships with its publics — suggests the Toronto Raptors and Canada’s Major League Soccer teams have been more successful in building stronger relationships with their fans.
Daniel Tisch discusses survey results with 680 News:
The Argyle Public Relationships Index™, conducted by Leger Research, shows that fans of the NBA’s Raptors and the three MLS teams rate their teams more highly than fans of NHL teams do on six key metrics of relationships between brands and their publics: trust, satisfaction, commitment, caring for customers, concern for people, and the perceived influence of the public.
This is not just about satisfaction, which is heavily influenced by success. Argyle’s research — conducted in the first week of May, before the Raptors bandwagon had really started to roll — shows the NBA’s Raptors and Canada’s pro soccer teams are perceived as better at showing caring and commitment to both paying customers and their broader communities.
What teams have the strongest — and weakest — public relationships?
An average of only 42 percent of respondents agreed that their favourite NHL team was delivering on these six critical metrics, with 14 percent agreeing with all metrics. The Raptors do much better with their fans, with an average agreement of 52 per cent, and 26 per cent agreeing with all metrics. Canada’s MLS teams were statistically tied with the Raptors with an average agreement of 50%, and 25% agreeing with every metric.
Among other Canadian sports teams, the Toronto Blue Jays were a close second to the Raptors with an average relationship score of 46%. The Toronto Maple Leafs came closest to the Raptors with 19% agreement on all metrics. Among the teams with the largest fan bases, the Vancouver Canucks lagged their major competitors, with only an average agreement of 35%, and only 12% agreeing with every metric.
Argyle’s Public Relationships Index™, conducted by Leger Research, looks at how well brands perform on six ‘public relationships’ metrics established by academic research: trust; satisfaction; perceived commitment; caring for customers (“exchange relationship”); and concern for people like me (“communal relationship”).
The sports industry study asked respondents to identify their preferred brand (a team, in sports) and then rank it on these criteria. Here are the results for Canada’s sports industry:
Here are the results for the five teams cited as the favourites of the most Canadians:
*Average public relationships score measures fans of this team’s average level of agreement with the six relationship metrics.
So, what are the big takeaways?
First, while Canadians’ attachment to hockey remains powerful, there’s a sense that our relationships with NHL teams have been weakened, and that other sports are doing better.
Second, every brand needs to think about its public relationships — which correlate strongly with the strength of its reputation, and its business success.
About the Study
The Argyle Public Relationships Index™ of Canada’s sports industry is based on a survey of 1528 Canadians completed online between May 2nd to May 5th 2016 using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Leger’s online panel has approximately 475,000 members nationally – with between 10,000 and 20,000 new members added each month, and has a retention rate of 90%.
Argyle expresses its appreciation to Dr. Alex Sevigny of McMaster University for his counsel in the development of this survey.