In the online survey of a representative sample of adult British Columbians, 44% of residents say they are planning to follow the game “very closely” or “moderately closely”, including 62% of men and 53% of those aged 35-54.
In addition, 43% of British Columbians claim to be “very excited” or “somewhat excited” about this year’s Super Bowl. This level of excitement for a sporting event is similar to what was observed last year before the Sochi Winter Olympics and the World Cup in Brazil.
Only one-in-twenty British Columbians (5%) will be cheering for the AFC Champion New England Patriots during the Super Bowl, with a large majority of residents (63%) saying they will root for the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks.
Across British Columbia, 21% of residents claim to be either “hardcore” (5%) or “regular” fans (16%) of the Seattle Seahawks, with a further 20% describing themselves as “occasional followers” and 13% saying they are “playoff” followers.
The Vancouver Canucks remain the most popular sports team in the province, with 40% of residents describing themselves either as “hardcore fans” (16%) or “regular fans” (24%) of the NHL franchise. Three-in-ten British Columbians (30%) are “hardcore” or “regular fans” of the CFL’s BC Lions, and 15% are “hardcore” or “regular” fans of the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS.
The Canucks are also the undisputed leaders on gear, with half of British Columbians (49%) saying they own merchandise or apparel from the NHL franchises, compared to 28% for the BC Lions, 13% for the Seattle Seahawks and 12% for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
“The NFL appears to be particularly attractive to middle-aged British Columbians, who are more likely to say they are excited about the Super Bowl and also more likely to express allegiance to the Seahawks,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Still, the popularity of the Seahawks has not dented support for the two most established sports franchises in the province.”