Twitter Hockey Buzz Feeds NHL's Heat Map


The National Hockey League created a heat map that monitors discussions of all the league's teams in an effort to follow the buzz and capitalize on the potential for earned advertising media.

The NHL Twitter Visualizer, the first app for the league, taps Twitter data to present a graphical view. Hockey pucks scattered on a field either grow or shrink in size depending on the number of tweets sent from Twitter users on specific teams or players. Clicking on the hockey puck takes the user to the team's Web site. A tab at the top of the page -- Insiders -- provides a list on a page of the top hockey journalists covering the sport in North America.

The goal is to grow Twitter followers through the Facebook Fan, closing the gap between the large amount of Facebook Fans and moderate number of Twitter Followers. Today, fans can only see the app on Facebook, but next week it becomes available on the league's home page.  

The Twitter Visualizer attracts four times the number of visitors compared to the NHL's typical landing page or application, which generally highlights a set of static images that market sweepstakes, promotions and other initiatives. Fans spend about 3 minutes per session in the application.

The NHL will integrate the tool into its broadcast on the NHL Network. The studio analysts will replace Twitter's trending topics with the Visualizer app. It will provide fodder for commentators to strike up a conversation based on real-time buzz during the show, according to Michael DiLorenzo, senior director of social media marketing at the NHL. 

The league also launched the NHL Picture Profile Generator that allows Fans who Like the league's Facebook page to create a custom championship banner. Fans can create a banner by choosing their favorite event, team, or player, as well as customize it with their own name or number. In an expression of "fandom," it also lets Fans replace their Facebook profile photo with the custom banner or copy and paste it onto a blog site.  

Since the Vizualizer application launched Thursday, the first day of the season, it generated 30,000 downloads.

Both apps has helped the NHL to roughly double the rate at which it normally acquires Facebook Likes to its Fan page through the first few days of the league's regular season. Both apps were developed by RocketXL, a digital agency based in Los Angeles.

Next story loading loading..