SBD/Issue 154/Sports Media

NHL Utilizing Facebook Tools To Make Fans Advocates For League

NHL.com Visitors Can Now Sign
Into Site With Facebook Logins

The NHL "has launched the next phase" of its long-term social-media strategy, as it has "begun using new Facebook tools that it hopes will make NHL fans advocates and promulgators of league content and opinions," according to Karl Greenberg of MARKETING DAILY. As part of the league's "Hockey Marketplace" syndication strategy, visitors to NHL.com now can sign into the site with their Facebook login and "access a number of plug-ins that carry NHL content to the people friended by the social site's members who express their opinion, share or comment on NHL." NHL Senior Dir of Digital Business Development Alex Simon said tools on team pages and player profiles, as well as the home page, allow users to "voice their affinities, and how they feel about the NHL." Simon added that Facebook members "who click on, say, the 'like' or 'share' button on NHL, or on NHL's Facebook site, or anywhere else the League has integrated the tools disseminate that content and their opinion about it across their network of Facebook friends" (MARKETING DAILY, 4/23 issue). NHL Senior VP/Direct & Digital Marketing & Fan Analytics Perry Cooper: "We are excited about the potential of Facebook as an audience development tool because of its unparalleled reach and its unique word-of-mouth capabilities." Meanwhile, BROADCASTING & CABLE's Alex Weprin reported ESPN has started integrating Facebook features on ESPN.com, kicking off during Thursday's primetime coverage of the NFL Draft. Facebook users visiting the "NFL DraftCast" on ESPN.com were "able to 'like' players and teams, and send that information to their friends" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 4/21).

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