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Volume 21 No. 22
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Kings keep true to personality on Twitter

When the Los Angeles Kings launched their marketing campaign “We Are All Kings” in 2013, efforts ranged from a video series where players were paired with notable fans like Colin Hanks and Jerry Bruckheimer, to billboards across the 10 counties that make up the region.

While that campaign, which aimed to celebrate the diversity of Kings fans across Southern California, has continued, one place you won’t find much #WeAreAllKings branded content or a hashtag is on the team’s Twitter account.

In fact, you won’t find any broader social media campaigns anchored by a hashtag on its account at all, and that’s by design.

“I think sometimes as a brand, some of that marketing can come across as too produced and not authentic. People know when they’re being sold something through marketing lingo,” said Pat Donahue, the Kings’ senior director of marketing and digital media. “For us, social is just so much more about the tone and personality.”

That’s not to say the Kings don’t use their feed to promote tickets for an upcoming game, the work of their foundation, a Papa John’s win-based offer or the latest video for its behind-the-scenes series titled “Black & White.”

However, Donahue and his team focus on keeping that same tone in all of their tweets, whether they’re sharing one of those bits of information or providing a gentle ribbing to another team.

“We approach each of those things in a certain way — how we share the work that our foundation does has a certain look and tone, while ticket sales has its own thing too — but overall, social campaigns are not something that we think is worth our time,” he said. “We prefer the subtlety. … We have our underlying base of our approach to Twitter, and we try to fill in the content on top of that.”

That personality often manifests itself in memes tailored around Kings players or the mascot, Bailey, or videos that Donahue’s team creates, such as one that highlighted the best dances of a fan who is often featured on the Staples Center scoreboard during songs. The team account is also not shy to share some friendly banter with other sports teams, even outside of the NHL.

Donahue said the more free-spirited approach has led to a few tweets that he thinks were a bit over the top, but nothing that was purposely hurtful. He also noted that the league and his superiors at the Kings — President Luc Robitaille and COO Kelly Cheeseman — support and encourage this unique voice.

“Everything on social is so quick moving and gets old so fast,” he said. “Sometimes our best stuff on Twitter is in response to someone else’s response; it’s not something you can plan for, so you just have to embrace it.”