The Saskatchewan Roughriders rank third among Canadian Sports brands.

In a cross Canada survey conducted by Insightrix the Riders, as a brand, rank just behind the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are viewed by Canadian sports fans as the second most respected franchise in Canadian sports and were perceived only a fraction behind the Montreal Canadiens as having the most loyal fans. Seeing a Rider game at Mosaic Stadium is considered the second best atmosphere and experience of all Canadian sports.

The game day experience is perhaps the key to what separates the top three sport brands. Is there a better atmosphere for fans than the Bell Centre or Mosaic Stadium during a great game?

It is certainly a key to how the Saskatchewan Roughriders have nurtured their brand.

In 2001 research conducted by the CFL revealed that the fan experience was the best part of Canadian football. For the Roughriders, that research launched a renewed focus on the fan. Which was great news for the marketing department, after all, they couldn’t influence the game’s outcome but they could impact the experience for the fans.

Football games became an event.

The advertising also shifted to the fans—sharing their stories and highlighting their passion. One early radio spot praised fans for wearing melons on their heads, “because melons are heavy, and a game is three hours long.”

The story grew to one of pride—pride in a team and in Saskatchewan. Today, on game day, the province is painted green. People not watching the game joke that it’s their favourite time to go shopping because the streets are empty.

Moments like that showed everyone involved what Rider pride was.

Pride is the foundation for the brand. Perhaps sports fans across Canada see that and want to be part of it. It builds on itself. That collective spirit builds on itself. Click through to Insightrix to read the brand survey details.

For fun, here is a look at our earliest and most recent Rider ads:

2013 Where Memories Are Made

2004 Paint The Town Green

2014 Passion Looks Good On you