The 2014 NHL Fan Engagement Rankings [INFOGRAPHIC]

The 2014 NHL Fan Engagement Rankings [INFOGRAPHIC]

Hockey is awesome. I just wanted to start this post off with that exclamation because I am currently watching highlights of the Bruins downing the Panthers 4-1 from earlier tonight.

There is no doubt that hockey is immensely popular in Canada, and while not on par with the baseball or football in the United States, the sport does have a strong foothold in major metropolitan areas. The most recent Winter Olympics, as exhibited in a previous post, illustrated the popularity of the sport when it was discovered that hockey dominated social media chatter on both Facebook and Twitter. That said, when it comes to the NHL, there always seems to be a competition between cities on which franchise has the best fans.

A recent infographic prepared by Ticket City ranked all 30 franchises according to the following criteria to determine the most engaged fan bases:

  • Facebook Fans
  • Twitter Followers
  • Home Attendance
  • Average Ticket Price

Off the bat, one issue in terms of “fan engagement” is the metric of home attendance. While an important aspect of determining how engaged a fan base is with a franchise, it appears as if the only data analyzed is the total number of fans that have attended games, and not a percentage of the seats purchased. This hurts franchises such as Boston and Winnipeg in the rankings, as they are cities that actively sell out (100% capacity) but only have 17,565 and 15,004 seats in their arenas respectively.

Interestingly enough, while this scorecard ranks fan bases  on engagement with a franchise, it seems as if only aggregate number of followers of Facebook and Twitter accounts are compared between teams, but not the engagement levels of those followers with the respective franchise social accounts. For example, the Columbus Blue Jackets have a highly entertaining Twitter account that gets a lot of love from pundits and sports fans alike (and the LA Kings Twitter account oddly enough), but ranks pretty low on the social media scale. Additionally, franchises that have effectively used Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms are not given enough credit according to this scorecard.

For the full rankings and to see how your team performed, I have included the infographic from Ticket City below. Do you believe this to be an accurate representation of fan bases in the NHL, or does there need to be more digging into actual engagement levels between brands and fans on social media platforms?

The 2014 NHL Fan Engagement Rankings [INFOGRAPHIC]

Infographic Source: Ticket City

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