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No Social Media Penalty Box for NHL

May 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

Every year, from April to June I lose my husband to the NHL playoffs. (For the record, I do like hockey—I just can’t take more than one game a night.) And, as of three weeks ago, said husband now owns a smartphone, which means I’m subject to playoff-related updates and news far more frequently. Why? It appears the NHL has latched onto social media in a big way.

Here are some tactics they’ve used for fan engagement:

  • During the 2011 All Star Game , the NHL used Twitter to ask game questions. Followers who answered correctly had a chance to win an NHL-related prize.
  • The increasingly popular Winter Classic featured a Watch and Win Facebook promo. Pre-registered fans were selected to answer game questions. Correct answers yielded a chance to win big-time prizes, like a new car or All Star Game tickets.
  • The New Jersey Devils launched a digital command center, called Mission Control, to act as the team’s social media hub for Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Twitter feed from the last few days included player updates, birthday wishes, and links to articles and interviews.

Jake Duhaime, the Detroit Red Wings’ Social Networking Manager, recently blogged about why social media is becoming an integral part of fan engagement:

“Growing the sport on a grass roots level doesn’t necessarily mean getting kids on a pair of ice skates, it does mean getting the most casual of sports fans engaged in the team and the brand, even if that person can’t afford the price of a seat…It means engaging our audience from the start of training camp, through Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, the NHL Draft and free agency.”

So even though both of our household teams, the Flyers and the Caps, were miserably swept in this year’s playoffs, my husband and other fans can stay connected to the brands through social media.

Have you run across sports teams effectively using social media for fan engagement?

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