SBD/Issue 145/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NHL's Playoff Tweetup Draws Fans At 23 Different Locations

Bettman Sends Tweets From Pittsburgh
As Part Of NHL's Debut Tweetup
The NHL last night held its debut Tweetup, a gathering of fans who actively follow the league via the microblogging utility Twitter. The N.Y. event at the NHL Store, one of 23 Tweetups being held worldwide in conjunction with the start of the league playoffs, drew about 150 people. As part of the event, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman began sending tweets from Pittsburgh, where he was attending Game 1 of the Flyers-Penguins series. As of 9:45pm ET last night, Bettman had 343 followers to his Twitter feed. “I am so pleased to welcome you all to the first ever NHL Tweetup,” Bettman wrote in one of his tweets. “Enjoy the games!” Bettman in another tweet linked to an open letter he posted on NHL.com. Meanwhile, the Capitals became the second pro team to be formally aligned with Twackle, the Twitter sports aggregation engine developed by Octagon Digital. The Suns were the first club to partner with Twackle (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). WPXI-NBC reported around 70 Penguins fans gathered at a TGI Friday's in Robinson Township, Pennslvania, as part of the Tweetup, the "second largest crowd" among the various events. One fans said of the Tweetup, "A lot of us talk to each other online during the day but never get a chance to meet each other face to face and watch Pens' hockey" (WPXI.com, 4/15). Bettman was not the only league employee to take part in the event. NHL Manager of Communications Schuyler Baehman, under the username schuylerb, tweeted from the N.Y. gathering, "Having a great NHLtweetup so far. Great on-ice action.” He later acknowledged one of the sponsors of the event by writing, “Thanks to McDonald's for the great food.” NHL Dir of Corporate Communications Michael DiLorenzo, with the username umassdilo, tweeted, “Buckle up folks #nhltweetup” (THE DAILY).

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