Over the past few years the competition level in Canada has risen to a point where we are able to compete and even win against top NCAA schools, something I never thought would happen growing up as a kid.
The Growth of Canadian Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) basketball teams are now loaded with talent, it is safe to say that universities up north have been and are still improving.
I understand Canada has long way to go to become anything like the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). YES they are able to provide their students with an unforgettable experience during their sporting events; YES they provide amazing energy, incomparable school pride and as a result create loyal fans. However, this those not mean we should sit back and send all of our elite athletes to the States.
Don’t get me wrong, some of our players are better off developing in the States, but we can create our own culture and provide our students and student and athletes with a similarly great experience during their time in University in hopes to attract them to stay.
Brock’s #WeAreReady Movement
Brock University Athletics has taken the lead in innovating ways and dedicated to provide their students a sense of culture, a sense of pride and a sense of community. This past year 2015-2016 they started the WEAREREADY movement with the goal to go from social fan (fans that have low connection with sports) to loyal fans (the most dedicated a fan can).
This movement represents a part of Brock University. The school is named after Major-General Sir Isaac Brock who defended Upper Canada in the War of 1812 by setting the Army and winning the war. The Brock varsity teams and fans live by his legacy through the #WeAreReady movement. With a combination of marketing and passionate students we were able to create the total package: great education, top athletic performance and a student experience that balances their academic and extracurricular activities. As a result the Ontario University Athletics awarded the Top New Marketing Initiative to the WEAREREADY movement.
On Nov. 28, the #WeAreReady team attracted a grand total of 2,887 fans assisted to a basketball clash between Brock and Lakehead University at the Meridian Centre, home of the Niagara Ice Dogs and the Niagara River Lions, making it the biggest sporting event in Brock University Athletics. On Feb. 24, Brock Athletics repeated the experience and successfully attracted 2,673 fans to cheer on Brock to play McMaster University.
Building Badger Pride
Some might view this as a negative but you do not need a 10,000 seat stadium for that. Something that we had as a vision as turn to be what has brought our university together, were student traveled to Wilfrid Laurier University, Ryerson University and Carleton University to support their Badgers play.
With unprecedented home game atmosphere, the most travelling fans in Canada, the Brock Badgers are ready to be the best, the biggest and the proudest fans in the country. This revolution in the university world is a student initiative supported by Brock University.
The video in this article tells you the story of how far we’ve come. Our goal is to encourage other universities to join the movement and follow our example in hopes of keeping our athletes in Canada. They don’t have to go down south to get that experience, we can create it right here in this nation.
Marketing Director, Brock Athletics