NHL Social Media Leaderboard: April 2014

As the NHL season reaches the final couple of weeks of play, the eventual participants of the 2014 NHL playoffs are securing their postseason spots and battling for seeding. With that in mind, I have decided to track each NHL team’s social media following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from now until the playoffs end. While follower counts are strictly vanity metrics and do not take engagement rates & influence into account, I am interested in what kind of effect a successful playoff run can have on a franchise’s aggregate social media following. On the other side, can a disappointing season result in a fanbase’s total reach stagnate? Lastly, with the Phoenix Coyotes upcoming branding change to the Arizona Coyotes, will there be more hype surrounding the franchise now that there is no threat of relocation?

I charted all 30 franchises onto one table below, illustrating the leaders for each particular platform in bold. At the moment, the leaders are:

  • Facebook: Chicago Blackhawks
  • Twitter: Montreal Canadiens
  • Instagram: Boston Bruins
  • Overall: Chicago Blackhawks

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March Madness TV Advertising Spend Compared to Pro Sports Leagues

March Madness makes such an impact every year on all forms of media due to the nature of college basketball within the United States. While the regular season pales in comparison to the media buzz college football generates, the postseason tournament garners a lot of attention from all types of sports fans. The allure of the tournament is having the opportunity to score a perfect bracket, or something close to it due to the difficulty in accurately predicting every single winner.

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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.

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A Collection of Some of the Worst NHL Alternate Jerseys

A Collection of Some of the Worst NHL Alternate Jerseys in History

After the recent St. Louis-Buffalo trade that saw Miller and Ott travel west, I immediately thought that both players were fortunate to never have to wear the monstrosity that is Buffalo’s third jersey ever again. This got me thinking about some of the worst third jerseys to ever grace the ice in the NHL, so I came up with a collection of some of my favourites (or least favourites?) below.

1. Mighty Ducks of Anaheim – 1995/96

Source: Sports Logos

The 90’s Mighty Ducks were a fun team to watch with Kariya and Selanne up front, but this jersey was scarier than any goon that laced up skates…and not in a good way.

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The Canadian Men’s Hockey Team was Truly Golden [INFOGRAPHIC]

The men’s ice hockey tournament at the 2014 Sochi Olympics was entertaining from start to finish, especially for fans of the Canadian national team. Canada’s performance throughout the tournament was truly dominant from a defensive standpoint as the team only surrendered three goals in six games, two of which were against Norway and Latvia. USA and Sweden, Canada’s semifinal and gold medal game opponents, weren’t able to score on Carey Price, exhibiting the power of Canada’s team defense both on the blue-line and up front.

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NHL Owners vs. Players: no matter who wins, the fans will lose

Most NHL fans can agree that the summer of 2004 was the beginning of the most excruciating year-long period in the history of the league. Coming off an entertaining Tampa Bay Lightning cup victory, fans looked towards the future with slight optimism that the players and owners would reach a deal before the pre-season started. Optimism turned into pessimism as the months passed by and an entire season was wiped out. Unfortunately, history may repeat itself this year.

credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/sjsharktank
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