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AJ Hewish, November 22 2021

The Athletes Strikes Back

What’s Next for Canadian Professional Soccer Players

WikiMedia / Sven Mandel

Every great movie has an amazing plot that’s composed of five key sequences: the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. I’m going to focus on the middle three when discussing how Canadian soccer players will be impacted going forward with the rise of CanMNT.

Rising action. This is the part where the main character faces a series of conflicts. In our case, it would be the CanMNT not qualifying for competitions, athletes consistently making the decision to represent other countries, and last but not least, being overlooked for marketing opportunities. This sequence has taken place for an extended period of time, where events related to the men’s national team would go unnoticed. Think about it, until Alphonso Davies, who was the last men’s Canadian soccer player that actually had branding opportunities. I’ll wait.

Climax. This is where things get interesting and where we're presently located within Canada Soccer’s plotline. The national team is finally making some noise on the international stage, players are opting to represent Canada over other nations, and most importantly for The Sport Marketeer we have household names that are attached to the team. So what does this lead to? Considering the climax is where we learn the outcome of the story we expect to see investment in Canadian soccer. The dollars spent at the highest level will create a trickle-down effect for those in the sport. Brands that cannot afford to partner at the highest level begin looking at options where they can still target the Canadian soccer audience. This will become more and more prevalent in the CPL and their players. Take it from us, white whale mktg, when we have meetings with brands regarding our athletes who play in the CPL we discuss the opportunity that is currently available regarding soccer. It’s on the rise. The train can only remain in the station for so long. Before you know it, that locomotive will be chugging down the tracks and you’ll be left behind. And, yes. Brands share that sentiment with us. Therefore, if you’re a soccer player and you’re seeing the top echelon guys getting the bucks, smile. Wave. Because you’ll see what’s coming next.

Falling Action. This is the part of the story where we’re closing the loose ends. Main events have taken place and now you get to reap the rewards of the events that have just taken place. The appetite for soccer increases, fans will want to know more about Canadian soccer players at all levels, especially within their local markets and brands will acknowledge the influence that professional soccer players have within this country. As Vogue said: “forget actors, footballers are the new fashion icons”.

Published: November 19, 2021 - Issue 14 of The Sport Marketeer

Written by

AJ Hewish

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