SBD/May 3, 2011/Franchises

Devils Set New Standard In Social Media With "Mission Control" Hub

Devils have added about 70,000 Facebook fans since launching Mission Control
No NHL team "has taken up social media" like the Devils, according to Maria Burns Ortiz of ESPN.com. Inspired by Dell and Gatorade, "two corporations with social media centers, the Devils took the concept a step further and put many of their social media efforts directly into the hands of fans." In February, the Devils launched "Mission Control," a "social media hub manned by the team's most passionate and social media-savvy fans." The Devils Army Generals, as the 25 social media liaisons are known, "monitored social media mentions and activity on more than a dozen screens -- from desktops to TVs to iPads." The various fans, donating their time on a volunteer basis, worked at the "Mission Control" center "up to 12 hours a day on game days and were a constant fixture in the Devils' executive offices on days off." The team saw a "direct return, as its number of Facebook likes surged to now 170,000, up from hitting the 100,000 mark a little over a month before Mission Control launched." The Devils' official Twitter account "added 600 to 700 new followers a week and is approaching 25,000 followers." The team has "managed to keep the momentum from stalling" even after the regular season ended, from a "continued presence on Twitter and regularly updating the Devils Army blog to organizing playoff viewing tweetups." "Mission Control" has "piqued interest from other NHL teams, with the Islanders, Sabres and Lightning calling the Devils for more information and insight." Devils Owner Jeff Vanderbeek said, "We're still in our early stages of (Mission Control) and learning ourselves every day, but it's exceeded our expectations" (ESPN.com, 5/2).
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