In the calm, eerie silence before the epic battle begins, Vancouver is beginning to stir in a sea of blue, white and green. Today, is Game 1, Round 1 for the Canucks and the army of Canuck fans is gearing up.
Taking a step back, it is amazing how the Canucks, as an organization, have been able to build such a strong online? community. What is it that makes these fans feel such a sense of belonging, such a sense of identity?
Traditionally, people watched an NHL hockey game either live at an arena or through a TV set, passively consuming the entertainment. Nowadays, fans have many more opportunities to participate and interact with the hockey community.
The Vancouver Canucks has an official Twitter account @VanCanucks that tweets about contests, news, and most importantly, speaks directly to its fans.
On April 12, the Canucks held a contest called the Canucks Playoff Race, where 10 contestants competed to win playoff tickets. There were 4 challenges held around the city. The Canucks leveraged Twitter by announcing the competition via @VanCanucks and then used the hashtag #playoffrace to allow Twitter users to follow along with the competition, online. As you can see in the Google Realtime chart below, the number of #playoffrace Twitter mentions picked up during the race.
On April 7, during a TV broadcast of the game. One of the commentators announced, “Tweet @VanCanucks to tell them where you’re watching the game for a chance to win a Canucks shirt”. As the Google Realtime chart below shows, there was a huge spike of Twitter mentions of @VanCanucks during the game. This is a great example of successful offline + online integration.
Building a community is difficult. The Canucks have a 40 year history to achieve what it has today. What these examples show is that there are great synergies between the online and offline worlds. Consider where your audience is gathering and see what synergies can be created to reach your company’s objectives.
(Photo Credit: iwona_kellie)
Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager, Mike Gillis, is joining Twitter to connect with fans.
You might have read my article last May about how Twitter has redefined the Vancouver Canucks fan experience. That post talked about how Twitter connected Canucks fans across the city, country and sometimes even across the world, to build a stronger community.
Mike Gillis’ announcement and plan to communicate directly with fans, I believe, will redefine the Canucks fan’s experience once again. Business executives, celebrities or sport athletes who use Twitter to communicate with their customers, fans or supporters is not new, but is still relatively rare.
In the case of the Canucks, the only confirmed current Canucks player with a Twitter account is @Ryan_Kesler. [Do you know of anyone else?] Former Canucks player, but always a Canuck, @trevor_linden also has a Twitter account.
So what’s the benefit of having high profile people communicating directly with customers or fans?
- It is a sign of authenticity that you care about your customers and fans.
- It humanizes a business or organization by putting a face to the company or organization.
- It creates a sense of transparency – showing that the person, company or organization has nothing to hide.
- It makes customers and fans feel important, which fosters loyalty.
- It can clarify rumors or misinterpretations because the information is coming directly from the source.
The Vancouver Canucks iPhone App reached the top spot in the Canadian App Store. The App features include, exclusive news, photos, video, an interactive schedule, access to message boards, scores and stats. This is a great way for the Canucks and fans to be connected. (Source)