Digital Media’s Marketing Significance

Throughout the past three and a half months, I’ve learned a lot about digital media and its influence on both business marketing and consumer entertainment.  As smart phone technology continues to develop, new social platforms will continue to be introduced to consumers through their handheld devices. Social media has given people the ability to communicate at a level unseen and marketing managers should look to incorporate these free tools into their online marketing plan to listen, observe, and ultimately engage their consumers.

bloggericon                     facebookicon                     appleicon

The marketing implications for any business are endless when it comes to social media. Social platforms allow you to:

  • maintain a channel of public relations
  •  involve yourself in community activities
  • offer quick and timely support to consumers
  • promote your products and upcoming events
  • address a crisis that could otherwise damage your reputation and brand
  • drive demand and generate sales

Let me remind you that all of this is possible by the click of a button.  This is how digital media is transforming marketing.  The management opportunities are extraordinary.

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Digital platforms provide the opportunity to maintain ongoing feedback and gain insight from users. It allows you to participate in meaningful conversations that are occurring in real time.

The variety of digital media available to us is remarkable.  There are platforms established specifically for pictures, blogging, events, music, livecasting, locational, interest-based, and even business networking.  The ability to communicate is at an all time high.

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Now, consumers are everywhere online expressing their thoughts and feelings.  These thoughts and feelings are free of charge and provide marketing managers with the ability to listen and understand what the consumers are thinking and doing.  The value in digital media is such that all businesses need to realize the opportunity and initiate to capitalize.

How the Movie Industry Has Adapted to Digital Media

When I was younger the only way to watch a movie was at the theatre or at home on the VCR.  Now you can watch a movie almost anywhere on a variety of devices; from your PS3 to your laptop, from your Blue Ray player to your tablet.  Consumer viewing capacity is at an all-time high due to new technologies.  But how has the movie industry and production companies been able to use digital media to their advantage in getting consumers to view their upcoming productions and generate interest?

Digital platforms created for sharing files have undoubtedly had a financial impact on the movie industry and the top earning production companies in Hollywood.  Based on these financial implications, production companies need to counter piracy with new social networks to communicate about their work.

Everyone can share their opinions now on social platforms.  Digital media has changed consumer consumption through increased communication and online ratings that are heavily trusted and regarded.

Digital media however has offered consumers the ability to access movie trailers and rate new releases like never before.  Everyone has an opinion about every movie they’ve seen and social media has allowed these people to voice their opinions and rate movies based on their perceptions.  This source of consumer information has become extremely useful and valued by users.  I myself use rotten tomatoes to view trailers of movies and their ratings on my iPhone all the time.  This kind of instant access has provided production companies with the ability to have their upcoming releases talked about through word-of-mouth.

Netflix is a digital provider of shows that offers users files accessible at the click of a button.  This platform has had an effect on industry stakeholders, forcing these companies to reconsider their business model after substantial financial losses.

A perfect example of this transformation due to Netflix was the demise of the at-one-time powerful movie rental franchise Blockbuster.  I grew up renting movies and video games from Blockbuster, but with the introduction of digital media, demand for rentals disappeared and the franchise has gone bankrupt.

It will be interesting to see how new technologies change the way we purchase and view trailers on our mobile devices.  Will we loose the physical ticket and go to digital scanners through our smart phones?  Will new devices be developed around providing consumers with 3D or projection capabilities when viewing trailers?

Movie theatres such as Famous Players have also adapted to digital media by incorporating such tools as e-commerce and seat-selectors to provide their consumers with a sense of value when making plans to see a highly anticipated movie such as the Hobbit or any of the Batman movies.

Production companies such as Paramount, Warner Brothers, and Sony, should begin to grow their online brand through social media integration.  Providing consumers with value is the only way to engage and draw attention.  These companies should look to incentivize while heavily promoting upcoming movies through their social platforms to build demand for their products.  Digital media is also allowing production companies to listen to consumer’s opinions about what they liked and what they didn’t like.  In regards to marketing implications, digital platforms are acting as incredible sources of market research for billion dollar production companies to sit back and see what people who are actually paying to see their movies think.

The Influence of Digital Media on the Music Industry

Everybody loves to listen to music.  Music is a part of popular culture and a major form of entertainment.  Over the past decades however, the music industry has been experiencing dramatic change.  The internet has played a major role in this transformation.  The music industry has obviously been affected by the piracy and illegal downloading on file sharing sites like Napster, which financial debilitated the music industry and its stakeholders.  This post will highlight some key players that have had an influence on the music industry.

Apple_logo_black_svgApple iTunes

The largest player in the music industry now is Apple.  iTunes is a “free app that lets you organize and play digital music and video on your computer. It’s also a store that has everything you need to be entertained. That makes it the perfect place to listen, watch, read, play, explore, and shop.  The iTunes player keeps all your music, movies, and TV shows all in one place. Instead of going through stacks and stacks of CDs, you can import them into iTunes and quickly browse your whole collection. Organize it any way you want. Move it onto any of your devices. Play it whenever — and wherever — the mood strikes.” (Apple – iTunes)

iTunes claims that “the world’s #1 music store is about much more than just music. You can shop for movies, TV shows, apps, games, books and podcasts” (Apple – iTunes).  Moving forward iTunes will continue to play the leading role in generating revenue for the music industry as a whole.  It has made access to files incredibly easy and has integrated their brand across the industry.

myspace Myspace

Myspace was a profound platform for independent music artists a decade ago.  Myspace was “founded in 2003 and was acquired by News Corporation in July 2005 for $580 million.  From 2005 until early 2008, Myspace was the most visited social networking site in the world, and in June 2006 surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States.  In April 2008, Myspace was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors.  In June 2011, Specific Media Group and Justin Timberlake jointly purchased the company for approximately $35 million.” (Myspace)  That means in six years their net worth decreased by $545 million dollars, an astronomical amount.

Myspace is an example of a platform that experienced unheard of growth and success only to lose a substantial user base to other competing social platforms. You can visit Myspace’s new and updated page by going to


Napster was a ground-breaking site that had arguably the most significant impact on the music industry to-date.  Napster “was originally founded as a pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing Internet service that emphasized sharing audio files, typically music, encoded in MP3 format. The original company was established in June 1999 and ran into legal difficulties over copyright infringement, ceased operations in July 2001 and was eventually acquired by Roxio. In its second incarnation Napster became an online music store until it merged with Rhapsody on 1 December 2011.” (Napster)

Napster has transformed its business model from free file sharing to a subscription site where users pay a fee to download content.  You can visit Napster by going to

piratebay The Pirate Bay

The Pirate Bay is well-known file sharing platform currently on the internet.  The Pirate Bay is a “Swedish file-sharing website founded in 2003 and, as of May 2012, has over five million registered users and hosts over four million torrents.  According to the Los Angeles Times, the Pirate Bay is “one of the world’s largest facilitators of illegal downloading” and “the most visible member of a burgeoning international anti-copyright or pro-piracy movement”. The site’s torrents allow a variety of content to be downloaded via peer-to-peer.” (The Pirate Bay).

The Pirate Bay is a powerhouse when it comes to file sharing and piracy on the internet.  You can visit The Pirate Bay by going to


IsoHunt is another major file sharing platform available on the internet. IsoHunt is a “BitTorrent index with over 1.7 million torrents in its database and 20 million peers from indexed torrents.  Thousands of torrents are added to and deleted from it every day. Users of isoHunt perform over 40 million unique searches per month. According to isoHunt, the total amount of shared content was more than 14.11 petabytes as of June 13, 2012 (2012 -06-13)[update].” (isoHunt)

IsoHunt is another strong player when it comes to file sharing and piracy.  You can visit IsoHunt by going to


A platform that has actually benefited the genre of hip hop and rap by providing registered consumers with new music from a variety of well-known artists is DatPiff.   DatPiff is an “online mixtape distribution platform owned by Idle Media Inc. It was launched in 2005 and specialises in Hip-hop and Rap music.  A large number of popular Rap and Hip-hop music artists have released mixtapes on the site, and the total downloads of their most popular mixtapes exceeds 19.7 million. They have also received major sponsorship deals from companies such as Nike and VH1.” (DatPiff)

You can visit DatPiff by going to


I have to ask the question.  Can piracy realistically be stopped?  In an age of technology, the ability to share files with anybody around the world is extremely easy.  iTunes has seemingly developed an effective business model that generates revenue through sharing files at a small cost to the user, but will this model last into the future as piracy continues to exist on sites such as The Pirate Bay and IsoHunt.  How can social media platforms help artists and record companies in the future?

Social media has provided independent artists with free channels to display their works and develop their brand or reputation in the market.  The opportunity for newcomers to the music scene has never been so high as new communication networks are established.  But can digital media provide the same opportunity for high earning record companies as it does independent artists?  Can new social media platforms resurrect the music industry to its former strength?

Record companies should look to incorporate new social media into their marketing strategies to engage with end users in a direct channel of communication.  These companies should incentivize communications to create loyalty amongst consumers.  Topics on these platforms can revolve around artists, promotions, contests, upcoming shows, advertising, new releases, or exclusive launches.  Record companies require substantial financial investments to generate profits; however, digital media provides these companies an opportunity to connect with users at an extremely low cost.

Social platforms have enormous marketing implications for artists and record companies.  They provide an opportunity to promote, engage, and brand at very little to no cost.  It will be interesting to see how the music industry counter-acts illegal piracy moving forward, and if social media will play a significant role.

When I think about the marketing potential social media provides artists, I think what it would be like if historical musicians like Jimmy Hendrix, John Lennon, or Mozart had digital media at their fingertips to share their voice with the world.


Apple – iTunes. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2012, from Apple – iTunes:

DatPiff. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2012, from Wikipedia:

isoHunt. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2012, from   Wikipedia:

Myspace. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2012, from   Wikipedia:

Napster. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2012, from   Wikipedia:

The Pirate Bay. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2012, from   Wikipedia:

What Nichework Platforms Are Making An Influence

This post will describe what social nicheworking is and how it is changing the digital media world.  The goal of this assignment is to expand my online digital media “toolkit” by examining nicheworks and how they can be used for both business as well as personal uses.

What is Nicheworking

Nicheworking is a form of online networking that integrates specific individuals into a particular group.  “A niche social network is one that targets a select segment of the general population. Sites like MySpace and Facebook have grown so large that some users feel a bit lost in the shuffle. That’s where niche social networks step in. These networks allow users to connect with fewer people who have the same interests, hobbies or professional associations” (Ronca).  Nicheworks provide users with the ability to maintain private conversation with a few specific individuals within their network of contacts.

How Nicheworks Operate

In order to explain how nicheworks operate, I’ll use the popular Facebook Groups as an example to illustrate the purpose of such networks.  Facebook groups came into being because of a real problem.  To explain, well use Debbie to illustrate the problem.

“Debbie is still connected to a group of friends she made when she lived in Los Angeles. She now also maintains a network of new friends in San Diego, where she currently lives, in the same social graph. Of course, she is still in contact with her family. Debbie is also an active swimmer and trains ten year old kids in competitive swimming. She has friended other trainers and some of the kids in her class” (Ronca).  Figure 1: Groups demonstrates Debbie’s social graph.

“In L.A., some of Debbie’s friends work in a gay bar. They share photos on Facebook of wild and memorable nights in the bar. Debbie loves the pictures and often comments on them” (Solis, 2010).  Figure 2 illustrates the connection Debbie’s LA friends have with her social graph.  “By nature of design, the 10 year old kids that have friended Debbie can also see her activity as well as the pictures she’s commented on” (Solis, 2010).

“Debbie realized, for the first time, that the kids could see this activity and she was upset at herself for not realizing this earlier. She blamed the system for letting it happen. The problem is that one social network does not represent how we “network” in real life and exposes discreet groups to one another intentionally or unintentionally” (Solis, 2010).

In order to solve this problem, Facebook introduced Facebook Groups so that users can control the privacy of their communication within their social graph.  Groups allow individuals to add friends or contacts into a specific group, usually with a specific purpose or topic, in order to prevent all of their contacts from being involved in the conversation.

For instance, on my Facebook, I have four specific groups that I`m involved in; family, shreds (which is my group of snowboarding friends), late night puck (which is my group of friends who buy ice and play drop in hockey), and Osoyoos crew (which is my group of friends who frequent Osoyoos in the summer time).  This is the kind of control Facebook Groups provides its users when communicating with specific individuals about particular topics.

Nicheworking in Digital Media

The nichework model has been used for business and marketing since the digital media revolution in the early 2000’s.  These nicheworks provide perfect opportunities for businesses to target specific consumers with tailored advertising messages.  Online advertising has changed the game when it comes to organizations allocating a marketing budget to capitalize on this growing marketplace.

Facebook Groups is a leader in the industry when it comes to social nicheworking. Debra Ronca explains that “Zuckerberg was clear to put the power of group creation and member curation in the hands of the individual” (Ronca). “Without doing so, Groups would not realize its full potential.  If you have a group for your family, your roommates, your classmates, that’s actually useful. The product is designed so that the groups you actually use go to the top of the home page. The other ones will just fall away” (Solis, 2010).  “In many cases, we are chosen for groups and similarly, we choose certain individuals for the groups we create. As in anything, this must be done with discretion” (Solis, 2010).

“Facebook Groups represents something much more meaningful than groups for idle chatter; they are platform for improving relationships, communication, and productivity in controlled environments” (Solis, 2010).

This model of group communication has been exploited by various companies in order to target consumers with specific advertising messages.  This form of advertising is growing at an explosive rate that is difficult to anticipate in the future.

Services & Products in the Industry

In regards to various services and products that make up social niche works on digital platforms, I decided to look at 5 different sites that focus on particular industries and provide their users with particular value. The following platforms include; Kaboodle, Ravelry, imeem,, and Flixster.


“Kaboodle is a free social network geared toward people who like to shop. Founded in 2005, its mission is to help people recommend, share and discover products. It’s different from a regular shopping site because it’s not just a list of products. It offers users tools to better organize their shopping as well as find the best prices. Kaboodle boasts more than 12 million monthly visitors with more than 800,000 registered users. The site doesn’t sell anything — it merely exists to help people to share information and bond over their shared interest in shopping” (Ronca).

Visit Kaboodle’s by going to


“Ravelry is a free community site for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners and dyers — pretty much anyone who works with yarn and patterns. The site aims to help users “organize, share and discover” within the yarn artisan community. The founders created Ravelry to fill a niche they themselves were looking for — a centralized, easy place to find and share information about patterns, yarn and the like. They built their own community, inviting users to join and share their knowledge about knitting, crocheting and more.  Founded in 2005, currently has 350,565 registered users” (Ronca).

Visit Ravelry’s by going to


“Imeem is a free social network built around music. Users interact to post and discover new artists, share playlists and watch videos. By building personalized playlists (something imeem calls “social mixtapes”), users can share their favorite music and artists with the community. Other members are welcome to browse and comment on everyone else’s playlists. Imeem offers streaming songs from just about every major and indie label, so it’s easy to locate your favorite songs. Even though the music on imeem is free streaming, users can purchase from iTunes or download ringtones if they find something they really like” (Ronca).

Visit imeem by going to

classmates is a Web site that connects current and former classmates. It was one of the first social networking sites, launched in 1995. Basic usage of the site is free, allowing users to search for and view alumni from their high schools or colleges. However, users must upgrade to a paid “gold” membership in order to view people’s details or send them a message.  The alumni network currently has 4.6 million paid users and 40 million registered accounts. The site is popular with people trying to set up class reunions or find out contact information for classmates they’ve lost touch with” (Ronca).

Visit by going to


Flixster is a free community site for movie fans. The site provides information on movies currently or soon to be in theaters, actor profiles, fan clubs, celebrity gossip, movie news, video clips and interactive features like forums and user quizzes.  Founded in 2006, Flixster has more than 15 million unique monthly visitors who’ve provided almost two billion movie ratings.  Private investors and advertising dollars keep the site in business” (Ronca).

Visit Flixter by going to

The Future of Nicheworking

I see nicheworking in the near future evolving to become an essential component for social media platforms.  It provides individuals with the ability to keep conversations private, such as in real life where you wouldn’t share everything with everyone, rather you would share certain information with certain individuals.  As all demographics continue to move towards social media, the demand for privacy amongst groups of friends will continue to grow.

“Groups represent the future of social networking. We can design groups where we communicate, collaborate, and co-create with purpose, whether it’s personally or professionally. But, for the time being, we can do so in a network we can learn, in real-time, how to take control of our online presence and the social graphs we choose to cultivate” (Solis, 2010).

“It’s also worth noting that most social networks make their money through paid advertising, and a niche network is an advertiser’s dream because it’s a readymade target audience. For example, a social network for pet lovers would provide a logical ad slot for pet food. In 2006, advertisers spent $280 million on social networks. By 2010, that number should rise to $1.9 billion” (Ronca).

With that said, I see nicheworking becoming a huge application in regards to social media for both personal and business use.  Individuals can use nicheworks to communicate in privacy with specific friends, while businesses will be able to place tailored advertising messages in specific websites and pages.  This dynamic relationship between personal communication and business advertising will continue to develop and evolve in the near future as social platforms and digital media continues to expand across the globe.


Ronca, D. (n.d.). How Stuff Works. Retrieved   November 11, 2012, from Top 5 Niche Social Networks:

Solis, B. (2010,   October 11). Brain Solis: Defining the Impact of Technology, Culture, and   Business. Retrieved November 11, 2012, from Facebook Groups Gives Rise to   Social Nicheworking:

5 Facebook Marketing Tips for Junior Sports Franchises

Facebook is a tool that any company can use to their benefit.  Facebook is allowing companies to communicate directly with their consumers at an extremely low cost. This post is targeted towards junior sports teams in their online marketing to fans on Facebook.  The 5 recommended tips that these junior teams can use are:

  1. Invite everyone to the game
  2. Initiate a round-the-clock, full-court press
  3. Offer exclusive content
  4. Get players involved
  5. Have a game plan and play to win

Invite Everyone to the Game

The first tip is to invite everyone to the games.  “Not every fan can make it to every game, or even one. As the Facebook marketer, you need to be sure that those who are left at home still feellike they’re in the crowd.  Engaging the crowd at home doesn’t have to be that resource-intensive. A few photos of the crowd, that day’s ticket, the field pre-game and the Game Day program could elicit thousands of Likes and hundreds of shares, helping fans — and their friends — feel like they’re in the stadium” (Drell, 2011)

Initiate a Round-The-Clock, Full-Court Press

The second tip is to initiate a round-the-clock, full-court press for fans.  “Fans are fans 24/7.  In-season, the Jets post “engaging and interactive content” three or five times per day, seven days a week, including images, Jets questions and trivia, fill-in-the-blanks and polls” (Drell, 2011).

“Fans want to see and know everything about the team, so off days are actually a great time to capitalize on behind-the-scenes updates and photos — shots of practice, the players’ volunteer work in the community, the team loading the buses for a road trip. You also can ask about their favorite plays from the last game, do trivia, and solicit pictures of super-fans decked out in team gear and even host contests or giveaways if you have prizes available” (Drell, 2011).

Offer Exclusive Content

The third tip is to offer fans exclusive content only accessible through Facebook.  “Keep content special and be sure to interact with fans and answer questions.  The content on each platform needs to be disparate in order to encourage people to follow the team on all platforms.

An effective Facebook Page features “exclusive content so long as it’s perceived as a value add for the fan, such as a discount.  If players are shooting interviews for the website, the social media team will ask one question that will go live onlyon Facebook, so there’s nowhere else for fans to hear that response but on Facebook” (Drell, 2011).

Get Players Involved

The fourth tip is to get players involve because every sports fan has a favorite player, and it’s a dream come true for them to be able to interact with that player.

“The players are a great asset to social media efforts” because “they are the people that fans have the greatest affinity for, and their personalities help humanize the brand” (Drell, 2011).  Making players available to fans and helping players build relationships with them is an excellent way of differentiating your brand.

Another trend is that “players are getting more involved with social media efforts” and that “savvy clients are recognizing the value as they enter into endorsement or sponsorship agreements.” If an athlete has a following on Facebook or Twitter, “a post to the fans can have a lot of value to the brand” (Drell, 2011).

Have a Game Plan and Play to Win

The fifth and final tip is to have a game plan and play to win.  You must ensure that “posts are timely, relevant and have a purpose. Don’t over post, post with a specific call to action in mind” (Drell, 2011).  Weekly features are a great way to develop a consistent content schedule and will keep fans coming back for more.

“Fans want to feel like they are a part of the team and anything you can do to lock in those fans and tap into their passion and energy will translate to a successful and growing fan community on Facebook” (Drell, 2011).

Finally, “remember to have fun because you’re promoting a game! Sports are a fun business with an engaged, passionate fan base.  As new technologies continue to emerge, it’s important to take chances and try new things.  If social media and technology can help you facilitate engagement and deeper relationships, it’s a win-win” (Drell, 2011).


Ultimately I believe that these tips can help any junior sports franchise in British Columbia. Teams that operate in leagues such as; the Western Lacrosse Association, Pacific International Junior ‘B’ Hockey League, Kootney International Junior ‘B’ Hockey League, Vancouver Island Junior ‘B’ Hockey League, British Columbia Junior ‘A’ Hockey League, and Canadian Junior Football League could all benefit from implementing these simple Facebook marketing tips.  These tips allow teams to engage in meaningful communication that creates value for fans.  These 5 tips have direct marketing implications that could benefit any junior sports franchise that is willing to evolve their Facebook presence.

     wla   pijhl   kijhl   vijhl   bchl    cjfl


Drell, L. (2011, November 28). 5 Tips for   Marketing to Sports Fans on Facebook. Retrieved December 10, 2012, from   Mashable:

How the MLB is Setting the Bar in Digital Viewing Capabilities


Major League Baseball is a multi-billion dollar generating sports league that has a rich history in the United States.  The MLB has one of the strongest sports brands in the world with exhibition games being played around the world, with merchandise revenues that continue to grow year after year.  Since the introduction of digital media and new viewing capabilities, MLB has been able to adapt to a changing environment to provide their fans with industry leading access.

Social media allows fans to consume events when they want, how they want and with whom they want.  “Over the past 10 seasons, MLB has continued to innovate in the digital space, and is a market leader when it comes to online media. From the successful launch of an impressive suite of mobile apps to the continued improvement of its market-leading service to the continued expansion of the property, the league has shown a strong commitment to using digital technology to give fans increased access.  Selig and the league realized early on that digital media could add tremendous value for the teams, but that it only worked if content was original and compelling to fans” (Catone, 2011).


A key to MLB success has been embracing new technologies as they’ve appeared on the market.  “By embracing new technologies, such as the iPhone in 2008, Android, BlackBerry and the iPad in 2010, and Windows Phone 7 and WebOS this year, MLB has showed a commitment to delivering content to fans where the fans want to consume it” (Catone, 2011).  This ability to adapt to the external environment and integrate new technology has provided MLB with a competitive advantage over other professional sports leagues in viewing capabilities and fan access.

MLB believes they “must be flexible and ready to capitalize and build on emerging tech developments, ensuring our fans are at the forefront of these interactive media experiences.  We continue to envision a trend towards personal, powerful and portable experiences. We just saw the shift where mobile has become the majority of our web traffic, which happened for the first time this July, and mobile’s share only will become more pronounced moving forward” (Catone, 2011).

One of MLB’s most important objectives is to “expand the experiences through interactive media so a fan that has a few minutes to watch a live game on-the-go, at work or wherever easily can do so. We have to get it there, get it right and have it ready for them to consume”.  And consume they have. “ now averages 10 million visitors and 120 million page views per day.  MLB currently serves up 9 million video streams each day, including 1 million live streams. Additionally, they have 2 million paid subscribers to and their At Bat mobile apps” (Catone, 2011).

MLB has been an innovator when it comes to digital media.  The ability to integrate new technologies for fans to access their favorite teams has made an impact on the value they provide their fans.  As consumers continue to use their mobile devices to access the internet, there will be demand to provide fans with instant viewing access.  MLB has been successful in setting a benchmark in digital viewing capabilities that the other 3 major sports leagues in North America; the NFL, NBA, and NHL, should strive to provide their fans.


Catone, J. (2011, August 26). Baseball   Everywhere: How MLB Is Innovating With Digital Media. Retrieved December   8, 2012, from Mashable:

Can Digital Media Bring NHL Fans Back After Another Lockout?

I love hockey like most Canadians, it’s almost like the game runs in our blood.  It gathers friends and family together and entertains us through the dark winter months.  That’s why this most recent NHL lockout is eating away at my sole.  The NHL will have to do some serious relationship building after the damage a second lockout in six years has created.

But how can the NHL and their franchises go about mending these relationships?

Digital media is presenting professional sports leagues with a valuable communication channel to engage their fans.  As platforms continue to develop, professional franchises must integrate these digital tools to expand their networks and grow their brands.  Fans are now using their mobile devices to access popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for entertainment and communication purposes.  This post focuses on the National Hockey League’s two most recent Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins; both of whom operate in major American markets for the league and generate significant revenues.


Los Angeles Kings

The NHL’s 2012 Stanley Cup Champions, Los Angeles Kings, have developed an online communication strategy that differentiates their brand and has expanded their social presence.  The Los Angeles Kings approach to social media “deviates from the traditional pro sports strategy.  The Kings’ Twitter account and social media team have an unabashedly biased voice, regularly poke fun at opposing teams’ fans and hometowns and pull comedic stunts other pro sports teams would likely deem too lively” (Laird, How the L.A. Kings Are Redefining Sports Social Media, 2012).  Although this doesn’t seem like a major competing factor, the account is able to differentiate their tweets and capture their audience.

As an example of this deviation from traditional ‘safer’ strategy, the official Twitter account for the Kings posted a tweet one night following a playoff game win over the Vancouver Canucks reading, “To everyone outside of BC you’re welcome” (Laird, How the L.A. Kings Are Redefining Sports Social Media, 2012).  Although this is seemingly harmless, a lot of organizations may find the nature of the tweet inappropriate or as Laird describes as “lively”.

To illustrate the LA Kings twitter success, from the beginning of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs in early April, to the first game of the Stanley Cup finals on May 30, the “@LAKings Twitter account has added about 60,000 followers” while their opponent, the New Jersey Devils, gained about 20,000 new Twitter followers over the same time span” (Laird, How the L.A. Kings Are Redefining Sports Social Media, 2012).  As the NHL reached its peak during the playoffs, the LA Kings philosophy to “deviate from the traditional” was able to capitalize on consumer interest and engage users with unorthodox but effective posts, which ultimately increased their followership three-fold compared to their Stanley Cup Finals opponent, the New Jersey Devils.


Boston Bruins

The 2011 Stanley Cup Champions, Boston Bruins, have launched “a media property uniting all of the team’s social, digital and mobile efforts under one umbrella.  The Boston Bruins Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) essentially functions as a portal to the team’s social presence.  The DEN page currently hosts a mother lode of team-related digital content. There’s an embedded Twitter feed, links to the Bruins’ Facebook and Tumblr, a Pinterest profile run by the franchise’s mascot bear; a link to the dance squad’s Facebook page, another to a fantasy challenge, and another to a homepage for a promotion where players take turns manning the team’s official Instagram account” (Laird, NHL’s Boston Bruins Launch One Digital Network to Rule Them All, 2012).

Bruins executives “believe that this initiative is an innovative new way of doing business in the digital world, while just about every pro sports team has official accounts/pages on these social networks, we feel we are looking at them more strategically and rolling out initiatives that haven’t been done before. We feel it will ultimately be successful and would not be surprised to see other teams institute similar campaigns in the near future” (Laird, NHL’s Boston Bruins Launch One Digital Network to Rule Them All, 2012)

This form of integrated marketing communication is going to be a benchmark moving forward for other NHL and professional sports franchises.

Bruins executives believe “this will help strengthen our existing partnerships but also help forge new partnerships with other brands that are taking a tactical approach to their marketing campaigns” (Laird, NHL’s Boston Bruins Launch One Digital Network to Rule Them All, 2012)

Check out the Bruins Den at


After a lockout, the NHL and their franchises brands have taken a hit.  Social media can provide these franchises with an opportunity to regain fan interest and get fans, particularly in American markets, to start coming back to the rink once the labour disagreement is over.

NHL franchises located in the Southern states, which year-after-year rank the lowest in attendance and generated revenue, should capitalize on this digital opportunity to develop their brand.  These states are typically football and baseball states, where hockey is off the radar.  By promoting and communicating directly with fans on social platforms, franchises can develop a competitive advantage over other local sport franchises in regards to fan-access and engaging interaction.  This digital advantage moving forward could be the difference for consumers when deciding what sporting events to attend.

If NHL franchises use the Boston Bruins social media presence as a benchmark for their league, they should be able to effectively compete for the professional sports dollar in their city or region.  The vision of continuing to innovate and integrate online platforms to strengthen brand power is an opportunity that franchises need to capitalize on.

As traditional marketing begins to move farther from its previous stranglehold, digital media will continue to evolve with technology, introducing new communication platforms for consumers to engage with.  NHL franchises should add new platforms to their digital presence as their introduced, and integrate with other social platforms to create value for their fans.


(n.d.). Retrieved from

Laird, S. (2012, May   30). How the L.A. Kings Are Redefining Sports Social Media. Retrieved   October 29, 2012, from Mashable Business:

Laird, S. (2012,   March 26). NHL’s Boston Bruins Launch One Digital Network to Rule Them All.   Retrieved October 29, 2012, from Mashable Business: