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Digital marketing specialists to help raise online engagement across all 31 NHL teams.
The National Hockey League (NHL), North America’s professional ice hockey league, has hired athlete marketing platform Opendorse to help raise the profile of the competition’s athletes and increase fan engagement on social media.
The contract will involve collaborations with all of the NHL’s participating teams and will also include the distribution of match highlights and imagery across athlete and franchise platforms.
In 2017, the New Jersey Devils became the first NHL franchise to partner with Opendorse. Throughout the 2017/18 season and the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs, Devils players led the NHL in player social media engagements, player engagement rate, and ranked second in the competition for player follower growth.
The following season, ten more clubs signed up with Opendorse, which now sees its portfolio expand to all 31 clubs as part of the league-wide partnership.
Heidi Browning, the NHL’s chief marketing officer and executive vice president, said: “We owe it to our players and the fans to make their moments more accessible beyond the broadcast and the in-arena experience.
“Our players have some of the most passionate, engaged fans in all of sports, and we believe we can help them continue to build and capitalize on that connection on social media. With Opendorse, we can grow the game and provide value to our players that will last long beyond their time on the ice.”
As part of the activation with Opendorse, the NHL and its clubs can now send individual players specific photos, videos, or GIFs that the athletes can use to tailor and adapt their own messaging, rather than simply handing players a library of assets to wade through.
Blake Lawrence, Opendorse’s chief executive, said: “Our partnerships with the NHL and its clubs have proven to be some of the most rewarding in all of sports.
“Heidi Browning and the NHL social team are fully committed to helping its athletes grow beyond the ice, and has embraced the opportunity of athlete-driven social media.
“Hockey is a sport that’s loaded with moments and we’re excited to help the league deliver more of those moments to its fans through the channels they care about most. We believe this partnership will help not only grow the social footprint for the NHL and its players but also facilitate league wide growth that will ultimately introduce more fans to this great sport and league.”