The NHL is leveraging digital media in many ways to produce benefits for fans, sponsors a the league itself. One such program was #NHLTweetup, which saw the league sponsor fan tweetups in locations such as Chicago, Nashville and New Zealand. The program was run at minimal cost to the league; the investment included 250 man hours, 13 pieces of autographed merchandise and gift bags with a total value of just $1,000.
The power of combining Twitter and real-world events is pretty easy to recognize, but the NHL took the time to quantify it. This program created results for the NHL in at least three ways:
The NHL continues to integrate social media into its marketing and relationships. On April 21st, the league integrated Facebook's Open Graph on NHL.com, resulting in an 167% increase in Facebook "likes" within a few months. Facebook, which once was NHL.com's 19th best referrer now ranks as the sixth top referrer to the site, and Facebook visitors average considerably more time, greater numbers of video views and total number of articles read per visitor than the site average.
While the NHL.com is doing a great job of measuring the digital impact of its social media marketing programs, I'm curious about the financial and brand impacts. How is social media helping to drive more fans in seats or purchases of NHL merchandise? And how have their efforts on Twitter and Facebook helped to drive strong affinity? Next week, Perry Cooper, Senior Vice President of Digital Media, NHL, is speaking at the Forrester Consumer Forum in Chicago. I hope to ask these questions while enjoying Perry's presentation, "The Empowered NHL: Inspiring Hockey Fans to Act Like Hockey Fans Through Digital Media and Big Events."