Tags: Demographics, NHL, Twitter
You might consider this an unofficial “Guest Post”…
Thanks to Pat Coyle of ColyeMedia
[Via Coyle Media]
Tags: Jets, NHL, Winnipeg
As you likely know, the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg’s True North S&E is still pending a vote from the NHL Board of Governors at the end of June. I was curious to see if the official announcement contained any branding, or digital resource and it did. It was clearly stated that a solid financial launch was required to cement this transaction in the form of a season ticket base of 13,000. In order to accomplish that, True North launched:
@Driveto13 on Twitter
Drive to 13,000 on Facebook
I got on-board early, around the 75th follower and 50th FB “Like”. I will be interested to see how these numbers grow over the course of this drive and how these assets are tied into the strategy overall. At first blush, there’s not a lot of content there – only 2 tweets on day 1, and the only posts on FB are from fans. With a rather stark black and white logo and digital design consistency, I’m going to assume this as an attempt to not tip the hat on official team name, logo or colors. Makes sense from that perspective…
This approach is very different from the “Make it Seven” campaign a few years back regarding the Phoenix Coyotes and potential relocation to Canada. The social campaign behind that movement (pun intended) was to form a grass-roots kind of approach. Driveto13 is really about driving dollars as this sale is about as rubber stamped as it gets. With a pre sale to current Manitoba Moose season ticket holders, and a launch to the general public to follow, I’m ready to see how these digital assets will coordinate to drive towards the 13,000 target and just how fast that happens.
Thoughts on Branding
For many fans, the obvious choice is a return to the “Jets” brand – but I don’t see it playing it out like this. I have zero insight into this issue, but for what its worth, here is my 2 cents…
I would go with a new name. In fact, the name “Jets” may not even be legally available for all I know as it may in fact reside with the Coyotes franchise (a good point made to me via @kc_douglas). Going with a new name/brand makes the most solid business sense from a merchandise perspective in my opinion. Consider the potential in revenue vs. fans busting out all their old Jets gear. While many (even myself) are nostalgic for the Jets brand, there is simply too much to be gained here. In addition, if the rights are available – they can always be tweaked/updated and added to the mix. For example, you can still purchase North Stars merch from the Wild.
At the end of the day, the dollar always wins. It’s why the team left Winnipeg in the first place. But it’s also why a team came back. This is not a bad thing – it’s just the way it is.
Tags: Facebook, NHL, Twitter
There was a ton of info and images pushed out from teams at the draft – at least on the first round. I believe that all in all there was a great deal of good content that gave followers a sense of what was happening on the floor and around the arena.
Highlight of the event: Sponsored tweets from @NHL and Enterprise Rent-a-Car for each of the 30 draft announcements. An innovative activation in this space, and a few promo codes were provided for followers as well.
2. Facebook and Twitter Integration
You have always been able to coordinate your Facebook status update with your Twitter feed – which in my opinion is not a good idea. They are two separate platforms with different capabilities and benefits. Making them redundant is not a good idea – why would someone follow your team on Twitter if the Facebook status update was the same? But that’s not the point here…
The point is – Facebook now lets you see which of your Friends have a Twitter profile as well. This is a big step and should help to increase team Twitter populations and the overall Twittersphere in general. Unfortunately, we have seen more of the FailWhale as well.
This integration deserves a longer separate post – stay tuned for ideas on that.
Tags: Facebook, NHL, Social Media, Twitter
I recently asked Mike some questions and will share those along with his answers below:
1. What’s in your social media tool kit (desktop clients or Bberry/iPhone apps)?
2. How did you get here/how did this job come about from the NHL?
This is my third season at the NHL, and I started as director of corporate communications. Our senior VP of digital media, Perry Cooper, appointed me to lead a newly formed social media department at the start of the 2009-10 season. I had been running point on social media stuff prior to that, so it was a natural transition to doing it full time.
3. Most rewarding moment you had over the past season from your perspective?
I was interviewed on behalf of the NHL by Josh Bernoff, who is writing a sequel to Groundswell. I may wallpaper my bathroom with the pages from the new book that mention the NHL.
4. Where is the NHL going with social media? What are your/the NHL’s long term goals/ideas?
We are building windows into the NHL on 3rd-party sites, so we can expose fans to the game and capture a share of their minds when their not necessarily on NHL.com or watching a game. Our long term goal is to become more pervasive in the hearts and minds of fans in North America and beyond, and to give them many more reasons to spend time, energy and emotion with us.
5. Your blog, “From the blue seats“… where is this for you now?
I need to water it and put it in the sun before it shrivels up and dies! I am hopeful that I will have more time to dedicate to it this summer and all of next season. What I’d like to focus on is social trends in sports, and occasionally some opinion pieces on the game itself. I am all ears if people have ideas.
6. Are you currently incorporating any league sponsors into your social media spaces, if so – how?
We promote all of our partner activations on our social media. It’s an area that we’re becoming smarter and more sophisticated with, and are developing business models around. Currently, we’re really excited about the Bud Light Canada Facebook app that’s out there right now.
7. The NHL has more followers on Twitter than Facebook fans – why is this?
When we were named to the “recommended user” list by Twitter, we were seeing very strong weekly growth rates. Once Twitter changed the mechanics of the recommended list, our growth rate slowed. Now, with the integration of the Like button on NHL.com, we’re seeing hypergrowth on our Facebook page. I don’t think it’s a referendum on the technographics of our fans, or our success/failures on one platform or another. To me, it’s circumstantial.
8. How do you stay current on new tools and trends? What are you reading (online or otherwise) or who do you listen to?
I love to read Fast Company, and Lauren Goode’s stuff in the Wall Street Journal. She is a terrific reporter. Of course, MediaPost, Mashable and TechCrunch are must-reads, and I also try to stay current on industry analyst reports. I also learn a fair amount from Gary Vaynerchuk, who has been an adviser to the NHL this season. My favorite bloggers are Shannon Paul and Guy Kawasaki. Truly, I wish I had more time to dedicate to reading up on Trends.
Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Facebook, Fan Page, NHL, Social Plugins, Sponsorship, Sports Marketing
You may have heard/seen that recently Facebook changed the term “Fans” from its Pages to simply, “Like”. So now, your Page doesn’t have fans, but people who like it (too bad – “Fans” was a perfect fit for sports teams). Now, the idea of “Like”ing something gets a whole lot more engaged.
If you are familiar with Facebook, the ability to “Like” something is not new. But through the use of social plugins - check them out here – the “Like” button can show up anywhere, on any website – even your own.
Here’s an example from NHL.com with Alex Ovechkin.
What this means is that now, Facebook can be pretty much anywhere. The web is increasingly semantic and social. Furthermore, “Like”s can dynamically alter a Facebook users profile, and the act of “Like”ing something can create a long-term communication between the user and NHL.com. Whenever there is an update on Ovechkin from NHL.com, the “Like” will update the user on the Facebook platform. Pretty neat stuff.
Ok – Now What?
So now that you have an idea of what technology is in place – here’s what to start doing with it.
- Every team site has a roster page – get some Like buttons up there for the players (like the NHL.com model) and tell your fans to get clicking
- The viral nature of all this “Like”ing should help grow your Page population as well, be ready to track this
- NHL.com integration increased the NHL Facebook Page by 3.2% (>9000 Fans) overnight after this launch
- Consider partner/sponsor brand synergy – what kinds of sponsors would be a good fit for social plugins?
I will be thinking/blogging more about the last bullet – in the meantime, more to come on Facebook’s new tools and how to best put them to use.
If you have some ideas or some other great examples/models to look at, please leave a comment and let us all know…
Tags: Facebook, NHL
Last October, I profiled the 30 NHL teams and ranked them according to population size on Facebook. As the 2009/2010 regular season has ended, here is a look at where these teams currently sit…
The Century Club
1. Pittsburgh: 187,985 (+58%)
2. Chicago: 168,441 (+122%)
3. Detroit: 157,510 (+77%)
4. Vancouver: 140,443 (+50%)
5. Philadelphia: 129,291 (+76%)
6. Boston: 127, 592 (+92%)
7. Washington: 122,750 (+156%)
Note strong increases across the board – the Pens still lead the pack… the Canucks lead all Canadian teams by a sizable margin (see below)… with relative on-ice success, both the Boston and Philly are strong hockey markets in large cities.
50K – 100K Club
8. Buffalo: 78,356 (+74%)
9. Colorado: 74,992 (+249%)
10. Toronto: 69,116 (+273%)
11. Carolina: 59,507 (+211%)
12. NYR: 54,942 (+147%)
13. Minnesota: 51,906 (+60%)
14. San Jose: 50,461 (+164%)
Note the steep drop from #7 to #8 position… very strong % increases from the Leafs, Avalanche and Hurricanes here. Still huge potential for NYR and the Leafs considering their market size and fan base.
30K – 50K Club
15. St. Louis: 47,311 (+136%)
16. Edmonton: 40,966 (+153%)
17. New Jersey: 39,674 (+205%)
18. Calgary: 33,385 (+102%)
19. Ottawa: 31,827 (+72%)
20. Dallas: 30,523 (+46%)
21. Anaheim: 30,105 (+57%)
These teams see strong % increases as well – Note Edmonton’s #16 position proving that a winning product isn’t everything (but it certainly doesn’t hurt).
Under 20K Club
22. Nashville: 16,911 (+86%)
23. Tampa Bay: 15,877 (+230%)
24. New York Islanders: 14,796 (+61%)
25. Phoenix: 12,641 (+164%)
26. Florida: 12,551 (+110%)
27. Columbus: 10,786 (+1056%)
28. Los Angeles: 7,293 (+55%)
29. Atlanta: 5,825 (+145%)
Despite some significant % increases across this group (note Columbus up from 933 fans at the beginning of the season), Phoenix, Nashville and LA provide similarly to Edmonton that winning isn’t everything…
* Montreal: Official Facebook Community is a Watercooler App and not a Facebook Fan Page – current fan total: 498,673
Tags: Branding, Facebook, Sponsorship, Sports Marketing
My two cents – in a word, “No”.
Let’s say you have a Pro Sports Team Facebook Fan Page – and a brand – one that is not currently a sponsor of yours – shows up and engages your brand on Facebook. The viral nature of Facebook makes this action visible to many, possibly thousands of other people. Is this kind of brand interaction “fair” to your other (paying) sponsors who are not actively engaging your brand on Facebook?
Perhaps fair is the wrong word, but you get the idea. Social media is a platform – and yes – it is a free one, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that brand interaction in this space does not have a price. In fact, I would counter that it does.
As teams and leagues begin to negotiate the social media space (check out the NHL’s new Fan Page that launched recently) these kinds of questions need to be asked and addressed. These are the kinds of answers and strategies that I build. More on just how to do that in a later post…
What do you think? Can brands be Friends?
Tags: Facebook, Pittsburgh Penguins, Positioning
A new video hit the Pittsburgh Penguins Facebook FanPage… click here to have a look (runs 2:22). It positions the marketing focus for the team’s 2009/2010 season.
This is not exactly what I expected to see, but it is always nice to be surprised. True to social media good form, the feedback from the fans has mixed reviews. Take a moment to review the comments and you’ll see some of the additional value that spaces like this provide organizations that are interested to gauage their market’s opinions and discussions.
What do you think of this alternative positioning – Does the organization or product defy the ordinary?
Tags: Facebook, FanPage, NHL, Ranking, Social Medi, Social Media
Here’s a list of the NHL club’s “official” (i.e. owned and operated by the club) Facebook FanPages ranked by total population – with some analysis to follow…
St. Louis: 20,066
San Jose: 19,129
New Jersey: 13,014
Los Angeles: 4,707
*Montreal leverages a 3rd party app for their Facebook Fanpage.
Montreal’s “official” page uses a WaterCooler app – I blogged about this in an earlier post. It works in a much different way… Pittsburgh’s 2nd place rank seems quite obvious as they possess some of the games’ brightest talents and stars and are the current Stanley Cup Champions.
Vancouver stands out here at #3. Without a Stanley Cup in its history, the primary reason that the Canucks rank so high is their positioning and focus on social media.
I am most surprised by Toronto – an original 6 team in a huge market with loads of history and success; Toronto’s numbers are not strong compared to their brand, profile, status in the league and widespread fan base.
What are your thoughts on this list?
Digital wing man and social media consultant.
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