Internet data suggests Blue Jays are Canada’s team over Jets, Leafs, Raptors

Are Canadian sports fans uniting behind the Toronto Raptors for their second round NBA post-season series against the Cleveland Cavaliers? Are they putting aside NHL rivalries to support the Winnipeg Jets, the only Canadian team remaining in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

According to data from Google and Twitter, the answer on both counts is no. Instead, it’s the Toronto Blue Jays that have piqued the curiosity of most Canadian sports fans.

In the past 30 days the Raptors have had the most searches on Google, the internet’s most popular search engine. But the Toronto-based team had the majority of those searches coming from Ontario. Similarly, fans searching for information on the Jets have been predominantly based in Manitoba and Nunavut.

The Blue Jays, who started their season on March 29 and got off to a hot start in the American League East, have had fewer searches in total than the Raptors but draw on a broader geographic base. The Jays — currently third in the division with a 18-14 record — are the most-searched team in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.

Stats from Twitter back that up. Although the Raptors were the most tweeted about sports team in Canada between April 1 and May 2, 86 per cent were from users in Ontario. Alberta accounted for four per cent, British Columbia three per cent and the rest of the country accounted for seven per cent.

The Jets garnered broader interest across Canada than the Raptors on Twitter, with 57 per cent of tweets emanating from Manitoba, 22 per cent from Ontario, 11 per cent from Alberta and five per cent from B.C. But in terms of cumulative numbers, the Maple Leafs and Blue Jays had more people tweeting than Winnipeg’s NHL team.

It’s also worth noting that just because someone tweets about a team or searches for them online, it doesn’t mean they’re supporting them.

Despite a disappointing first-round exit from the NHL playoffs at the hands of the Boston Bruins, the Maple Leafs still had Canadians talking in the past month. Between the Raptors, the Jets, and the Blue Jays, the Maple Leafs were still the most Googled team in New Brunswick as well as Newfoundland and Labrador since April 1.

They were also the most tweeted about team in Canada during that span, although 83 per cent of those tweets came from users in Ontario, four per cent from Alberta, three per cent from B.C. and 10 per cent from the other provinces and territories.

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