The National Hockey League (NHL) Thursday will unveil a Foursquare social media campaign it plans to run through the season to connect with fans.
The launch of NHL Face-Off celebrates the opening day for the 2010 hockey season with an entertainment festival at Dundas Square in downtown Toronto. It features performances by Hedley, Down With Webster and Hey Rosetta!
NHL fans attending NHL Face-Off will use their mobile device to check-in on Foursquare. Tips and clues on the Foursquare mobile application will provide insider information to fans, and point them to secret locations in Dundas Square where NHL representatives will give away prizes such as free subscriptions to NHL GameCenter LIVE, a $159 value. The NHL also will give away jerseys, t-shifts and more.
Grassroots marketing campaigns like this one on Foursquare allow companies to attract fans on a limited budget.
Mike DiLorenzo, social media marketing and strategy guru at the National Hockey League, says campaigns like this one has intrinsic value to advertisers anytime the league can demonstrate the ability to support, entertain and mobilize large audiences. "It adds value to the experience of fans," he says. "The spirit of our 'syndication strategy' takes the NHL to the fans in person and on social sites, rather than asking the fans to come to the NHL."
Encouraging Toronto fans via Facebook and Twitter to earn badges at the NHL Face-Off, fans will become eligible to earn a Swarm badge after 50 check-ins and SuperSwarm badge after 250 check-ins.
RocketXL, a Los Angeles-based digital ad agency, created the Foursquare campaign. It supports a longer-term strategy for the NHL to develop a dedicated audience, create a great experience for fans, and nurture opportunities to drive revenue through a variety of social media channels.
When fans check-in while in a city with an NHL team, they receive historical and statistical information about the members and the team by identifying points around the city that have relevance to hockey fans, explains Craig Howe, chief executive and founder of RocketXL. "We want to educate new fans and entertain seasoned fans," he says. "It's about shortening the distance between the fans and the league, providing value whenever possible."