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RBC Poll Finds Hockey Fans Will Get Their Fix, At The Local Rink

Supporting local hockey across North America with 20 new RBC Play Hockey grants

TORONTO, October 10, 2012 - Despite an NHL lockout, the majority of Canadian hockey fans (56 per cent) say hockey will still be a part of their life, with many heading out to major junior games (61 per cent) or watching hockey at their local community rink (45 per cent). In fact, most Canadians (86 per cent) felt that local grassroots hockey would not be negatively impacted by the lockout.

According to a recent RBC survey conducted by Ipsos Reid, in addition to going out to watch local hockey, many Canadian hockey fans said they would get their hockey fix by either actually playing hockey themselves (17 per cent), playing hockey video games (17 per cent) or watching hockey movies/highlight footage (15 per cent). Interestingly, Atlantic Canadians (70 per cent) are the most likely to say hockey will still be a part of their lives, while Albertans are the least likely (45 per cent).

For many, hockey is part of our national identity and ‘what makes us Canadian’, yet only three per cent of those surveyed would consider themselves ‘a die-hard hockey fan’. When asked what best describes their hockey personality, most Canadians are split fairly evenly calling themselves ‘hockey-enthusiasts’ (24 per cent), ‘band-wagon fans’ (23 per cent) and ‘social-watchers’ (29 per cent).

Without hockey to occupy them on Saturday nights, many Canadians will have to find other ways to entertain themselves. According to survey respondents, a third of Canadians (35 per cent) will spend more time with family and friends, while some will watch other sports (30 per cent), exercise/play other sports (17 per cent), go to the movies (14 per cent) or get more sleep (13 per cent).

“For most fans, hockey revolves around activities at their local rinks and that doesn’t change when we aren’t able to watch professional players,” said Andy Shibata, head of Brand Marketing, RBC. “From pick-up road hockey to shinny, from community hockey to major junior games, the sport is still very much a part of our lives. Through the RBC Play Hockey program, we support the people and organizations that keep local hockey alive and vibrant in communities across the country.”

These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between September 17 and 20, 2012, which measured the impressions of 1,016 Canadians through Ipsos' Canadian online panel. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled.

2012 RBC Play Hockey grant recipients
Proud to support the hard work and dedication of those who make hockey happen, RBC announced today twenty RBC Play Hockey Grant recipients. RBC Play Hockey is a wide-ranging, multi-year commitment aimed at supporting hockey at the grassroots level in communities across North America. Slave Lake Minor Hockey Association and Ice Hockey in Harlem were among those chosen to each receive a grant of $25,000 and free financial advice as part of the RBC Play Hockey initiative.

After a fire tore through the Town of Slave Lake, Alberta, many were left with nothing – no home, no school, no possessions. While the town did not lose their hockey arena, many hockey families were affected by the fire. The Slave Lake Minor Hockey Association wants to ensure that each child will be able to play hockey by providing coaching clinics, goalie camps and help with registration costs. Another program receiving funding is Ice Hockey in Harlem of New York, New York. Having successfully promoted the sport for nearly three decades within a non-traditional hockey community, Ice Hockey in Harlem enables children to take advantage of educational and athletic opportunities that come from participation in sport. Last year, the organization helped 193 youth and offered children the opportunity to take to the ice for a safe and rewarding experience.

To date, RBC has provided more than $1,000,000 in grants to hockey programs across North America – ranging from learn-to-skate, ball hockey and equipment-sharing programs to reduced registration, access to ice and hockey clinic initiatives. Below is the complete list of 2012 RBC Play Hockey grant recipients:

RBC is committed to helping hockey happen in communities across North America. As a premier partner of Hockey Canada and USA Hockey, RBC is an official sponsor of each country's men's and women's national teams, the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, and Canada's National Junior A Championship - RBC Cup. RBC sponsors amateur sport in communities across North America, from grassroots programs to national sport associations and elite-level athletes. For more information, visit rbcplayhockey.com.

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For more information, please contact:
Jackie Braden, RBC Brand Communications,
416-974-1724