Similar to their post for NBA Playoffs, theScore asks what do the NHL Playoffs look like through the eyes of social and factored in social media presences? It reveals that the LA Kings not only won the Stanley Cup this week, they also crushed the opposition in the social media battle on Twitter.
As the infographic produced by theScore shows, the Kings’ much-publicized edgy approach to social media paid-off, with 1.4 million tweets mentioning the Kings throughout the play-offs. The second highest came from the Boston Bruins, with approximately 830,000.
The Kings were also responsible for the most re-tweeted tweet. Their now infamous “To everyone in Canada outside of BC, you’re welcome” tweet sent after their victory over the Vancouver Canucks was re-tweeted more than 19,300 times (the official Twitter counter doesn’t count “old school” retweets).
Other key findings to come out of theScore’s research included:
More than 3.3 Million tweets were made around the NHL and the NHL Playoffs (including their official hashtags – “#Becauseitsthecup” and “#StanleyCup”).
The total reach of these tweets was 10 billion impressions.
Boston goalie Tim Thomas was the most mentioned player that exited in the first round – mostly due to his announcement of “taking a year off”.
Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo (108,370) was mentioned almost twice as often as the Sedin twins (59,199) – mostly due to his replacement by Schneider and trade rumors.
The Eastern Conference teams were more social than the West.
Claude Giroux was the most mentioned player throughout the playoffs even though his team the Philadelphia Flyers didn’t make the finals. He emerged as one of the games’ best players. He also was a finalist in the EA NHL 13 Cover vote contest which likely helped him as well. He also has a strong personal presence on Twitter (@28CGiroux) with more than 169,000 followers – fifth overall in total followers just behind: Alexander Ovechkin, Paul Bissonnete, Evgeni Malkin and Taylor Hall.
The Florida Panthers had the lowest amount of tweets about them, which was not surprising considering they had the lowest amount of followers (@FlaPanthers) of any NHL Playoff team, second lowest in the league. The only team worse? The New York Islanders.
This post is a series of blogs contributed by SMW NYC media partner Differences Magazine. To learn more about Differences Magazine and to see the original post by Vivian Nunez, please click here.
Watching any kind of sports game has always been considered a very social experience, but in the last few years that social experience has transitioned more and more into a social media experience. Many of the questions that were addressed in the first half of the panel had to do with social media and whether its involvement in sports would take away from the integrity of the sporting event. The overall verdict was that a balance needed to be reached between physical “in the moment” interaction and virtual interaction with sporting events.
Sports networks have begun to use mass relevance as the perfect gateway to incorporate social media into the sports experience. They have also been using mass relevance as the perfect way to bridge the gap between those experiencing the event live and those tuning in through other platforms. The advantage to this particular kind of interaction is the conversation that emerges as a result. Many young adults are as plugged in to the TV set as they are to their smart phones while watching sports; the use of mass relevance really allows their voice to be heard regardless of where they are watching the event from.
Social media has also been incorporated into the everyday life of sports through its athletes. MLS, NBA, NFL, MLB, and the NHL all have athletes that connect to their audience through Twitter and although that interaction really helps leverage the brand as a whole, its most important contribution is the relationship it establishes. The use of social media cuts out the middleman that tends to exist between a fan and his favorite athlete. For the young adult demographic it is monumental to be able to speak or share thoughts with your favorite athlete or sports personality through Twitter, Google+, or any other social media platform.
The integration of social media into the sporting event really assists each sporting channel because as stated in the panel “fans are the insider perspective of games”, a lens you can get no where else. As a result, the Millennial generation can relate more to a game if they are also able to capture the moment and update their friends about it. The best aspect of being able to use social media through the season is that it is also as easy to get information during off-season, a win-win for both the sports brands and the sports aficionados.
The same theory of social media interaction in sports events is found in the gaming world. The gaming world might even be using it to a greater extent because it is their only base to be able to compare how good they are versus how good everyone else. Nonetheless the idea is the same, if social media was incorporated correctly and information was not only stated but used to start conversations the sports industry and it’s audience would benefit endlessly from it.
Matt Wurst is Manager of Digital Communities at 360i. You can follow him on Twitter @mwurst.
The sports world has always been defined by lines.
Some lines are visible for all to see. Games are played within the lines. Scoring in football or soccer means getting the ball across the goal line. Basketball shooters are rewarded with more points for hitting a shot from behind a three-point line. In tennis, the line is in. In volleyball, the line is out. Lines keep runners in their lanes. Batting orders are written on a lineup card.
Then there are the lines that exist outside the field of play. The rules of the game are defined by lines in a rule book. Even off-the-field/court conduct is restricted by rules to prevent athletes from going “over the line.” Bettors make wagers based on lines. Athletes even feed lines to the media that later show up as quotes in lines of print articles. Fans and media watch the games from the sidelines.
Unleashing Social Media on the Sports World, today’s panel discussion hosted by the New York Times, featured the perspectives of league official, blogger, beat writer and fan to discuss how the non-linear rise of social media is blurring some lines while hardening others.
In the hour-long Q&A session, die-hard New York Jets fan and “wine guy” Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) and the panelists shared examples of how social media has blurred the line between spectator sports and participation sports yet strengthened the lines of communication from athlete to fan.
Michael DiLorenzo (@NHLdilo), the Director of Social Media and Business Communications for the National Hockey League, discussed how the league and teams use Twitter to “satisfy the emotional craving fans have to be directly connected” to their favorite teams.”
“Social media is the sunshine and water that helps grow the passion of fans,” DiLorenzo said. “It also provides the shortest distance between, in our case, league and fans.”
Of course, whereas sports used to be a world where athletes played and fans watched, the access that some athletes grant has its pros and cons. If done right, the benefits far outweigh the risks. However to do it right, athletes need to really invest in it and be authentic.
“If they aren’t authentic, this new era of transparency will run right over you,” said Jim Bankoff (@bankoff), the Chairman and CEO of SB Nation, a sports fan blog network.
With so many parties – the athletes, teams, leagues, agents and representatives – all having a vested interest in the message, the issue of control remains. But it is an issue that is being worked out across different sports and with varying degrees of success. Remember, access to athletes has been carefully managed for decades. There are pre-determined times before and after games when athletes can and cannot talk to the media. The NBA has implemented a similar rule about tweeting before and after games.
For Matthew Cerrone (@matthewcerrone), the founder of metsblog.com, social media has blurred the line between journalist and fan. The site started in 2003 as a hobby, but he now covers the team on a daily basis and serves as a conduit between players and Mets fans.
Sports journalism is changing as reporters adopt a more digital mindset. Writers and broadcasters are breaking news on Twitter. Game recaps are secondary projects after in-game live blogging or tweeting wraps up. But where is the line between journalist and fan now that anyone with an opinion and enough money to pay web hosting fees can become a blogger.
According to the Focus “State of the Blogosphere 2009,” 41% of bloggers describe their style as ”journalistic.“ But do they conduct interviews, research a topic or fact-check like journalists of yesteryear?
Vaynerchuk believes that the best, no matter the medium they use, will stand out for being capable storytellers. For New York Times baseball writer Tyler Kepner (@tylerkepner), journalists present multiple angles and perspectives, painting a fuller picture of how and why.
“As a journalist, you have to stand behind what you write or say,“ Kepner said. “When breaking news, you can tweet it out first, then get to work on the rest of the article or blog.”
But perhaps the greatest impact that social media has had in sports is how it strengthens the lines of communication between fans.
The immediacy of information is staggering and the volume of conversation is overwhelming. Social tools make it easier to connect fans of the same team and find communities to join. And we’ve really just scratched the surface, too. Geo-targeting will facilitate fan connections between friends and strangers on living room couches and inside stadiums. Enhanced filters will reduce the clutter and noise of extraneous conversations and better mobile devices will guarantee that we can always have a voice.
Except for the bicyclist sitting directly in front of me, there were no athletes to speak of in the room. NBA and MLB league execs? Sure. More sports bloggers than I could read in a lifetime? You bet. But despite what our business cards said, we were just a small community of sports and social media fans tweeting to each other from across the room, re-tweeting handles, sharing quotes and direct messaging.
And I know I’m not the only one who took part in today’s dialogue that is looking forward to the NFL’s own foray into social… the first ever official Super Bowl hashtag on Twitter, #SB44, kicking off this weekend!
“Sports exists for conversation,” Bankoff said. “And there has never been a better time to be a sports fan than right now.”