Engaging with Fans in Uncertain Times

It’s been less than a month since hockey, along with all other major sports, came to a screeching halt. And yet, it feels like it’s been a year. Yes, sports fans are used to having an offseason, but with some sense of closure and other sports seasons around the corner. The challenge for teams in these uncertain times is how to reach fans engagingly during a time when literal engagement is not an option. 

Teams are finding a way, however. Let’s take a look at how 3 major NHL teams are maintaining communication and involvement with their fans through the medium of Twitter. 

Toronto Maple Leafs

As the team that might be considered the quintessential hockey club in the NHL, the Leafs have a long and storied history of dedicated fans. Not willing to risk losing their engagement during this unprecedented time, they are asking trivia questions, posting exciting highlights for traditional fans, and tweeting out TikTok content for their younger fans.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Having won two cups in the last five years, the Penguins are another team with loyal, dedicated fans. How is this team reaching out to their fans during this time? They are tweeting out team-themed kid-friendly content to help parents keep them entertained. They also partnered with a minority hockey organization, Black Girl Hockey, to host a virtual meetup. Not only is this commendable, it is good PR, as is their tweet showing that team players purchased pizza for community centers, for which “the goal was to help feed children and their families who normally rely on schools and community pantries for some of their meals.”

Vegas Golden Knights

The newest NHL team, the Vegas Golden Knights have nonetheless had great success, both on the ice and with creating an involved fan community. The way they are maintaining it during the current situation exemplifies how they’ve had this success. Community outreach, players being personable and approachable on social media, and the use of humor have been staples since the beginning, and are currently preserving engagement.

It’s no secret that sports teams are among the many organizations that have found themselves in sticky situations because of COVID-19. But good social media marketing is crucial to maintaining fan engagement during this forced offseason and will be paramount to resuming strongly once the crisis has passed. The way that these three teams have maintained their presence in fans’ minds in the last few days demonstrates their dedication to future success. 

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