HNIC (NHL – Inside Hockey) – The Effects of Twitter, Facebook and other Social Networking Websites

social-media-wagonWhile researching the latest news surround Social Media in Sports, I came across this video produced by Hockey Night in Canada (Inside Hockey). In the video, Elliotte Friedman (HNIC Reporter) talks about the impact social media is having on sports and the NHL in particular.

Some key points from the video include:

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning become first team in any sport to announce a trade via Twitter (before releasing thru any other media)
  2. Ted Leonsis (Washington Capitals owner) discussed how he predicted that traditional media (TV, newspaper) would be in deep financial trouble.  Also acknowledged that the fan base would become big contributors of content. He is quoted as saying: “It’s not a matter of should you acknowledge bloggers, its imperative that you embrace bloggers and use social networks to your advantage”
  3. NHL players were shown videos warning them of the impact social media can have on their reputation as “high-profile athletes”
  4. Ted Leonsis discusses the fake Twitter account setup under Washington Capitals defenseman – Jeff Schultz.  He says his reaction was not to try to shut it down, but rather, to encourage Jeff Schultz to establish his own official Twitter account.
  5. NHL star, Keith Tkachuk, was the victim of identity fraud
  6. Sports Agent, Allen Walsh, announced via Twitter that his client, Scott Hartnell, would not be suspended for his butt-end on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang.
  7. Ted Leonsis states ” There is a lot more positive that will come out of being authentic, reaching out and being interactive with your fan base than being stand-offish.  This is not going away, it is only going to get more personal, it’s only going to get more interactive. Prices are coming down, technology is getting better…..this is like oxygen…..get used to it!”
  8. NHL is considering implementing rules on when it’s players can and can’t use social media.

Needless to say……the best part about this video is Ted Leonsis’s quote stating that there is way more upside to being authentic and participating in social media….rather than trying to stop it.  I recently wrote an article on the Washington Capitals approach to Twitter after visiting with Nate Ewell (Washington Capitals Director of Media Relations) at the Capitals exhibition game vs the Chicago Blackhawks.  See what Nate had to say about their approach to Twitter: http://sportfanconnect.com/day-3-capitals-vs-blackhawks-nhl-twitter. As you’ll notice, the leadership and vision of Ted Leonsis resonates throughout the whole Washington Capitals organization.