Major Papers


Political Science, Sport, Ice Hockey, Foreign Relations, Alliance Building, Athlete Advantage


The topic of sports and politics is extremely relevant in today's world. This paper looks at how sports branding within Canadian politics provides a tangible advantage to former athletes turned politicians, while these branding efforts also provide politicians who associate themselves with the phenomenon of sport a strategic advantage, termed the “Athlete Advantage.” These advantages are in a multitude of areas such as name recognition, higher approval ratings, and further political aspirations. This “athlete advantage” of sports branding is then expanded on in the form of sport diplomacy. With sport diplomacy and branding the concept of the “Athlete Advantage” is then examined on the international level to see how this phenomenon helps shape the Canadian-American relationship. With consideration of both parts it is determined that the “Athlete Advantage” alters the Canadian political reality and helps further cement friendship and cooperation in the Canadian-American relationship.

Primary Advisor

Stephen Brooks

Program Reader

Tom Najem

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year