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Custom Content– How NHL teams responded to schedule announcement from a content creation point of view

In case studies, NHL, Social media on July 19, 2013 at 6:16 pm

News, Sports and even life today all come with breaking news and immediate releases. It’s so common, in fact, that anyone who manages a social account or works for a media company has more than likely internalized immediacy as a standard. I remember attending the 2012 SPJ Regional Conference at Michigan State University, where the M-Live group discussed their structural shift of designing print front pages from digital content instead of building websites in the reverse direction. I think by now, especially for sports organizations, this change is no longer seen as radical but as a well-accepted starting point for content creation.

Today happens to be a huge news day in the NHL. The announcement of the realignment groups and the new schedule. The NHL now has two 7-team western divisions: Pacific & Central, and two 8-team eastern ones: Metropolitan & Atlantic. It’s also a big year for special events with more outdoor games than ever at Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Solider field and more.

Anyone interested in the NHL sphere will soon be hearing this information from hundreds of locations such as local news stations, favorite reporters, sports publications and the teams themselves. If you are in the team’s shoes you now must be immediate, clear and relevant in your introduction of this information.

Here’s a quick look at how different NHL teams instantly shared the content: 

  1. The Team Tone: The LA Kings are known for the tone of voice and different approach of their tweets and social content. They kept consistent with this posting capturing their snarky attitude and edgy consistency:

    Short, sweet and to the tone: The LA Kings stay consistent with their voice releasing the schedule with "It's a beautiful thing," a statement view would disagree with.

    Short, sweet and to the tone: The LA Kings stay consistent with their voice releasing the schedule with “It’s a beautiful thing,” a statement few would disagree with.

2. The Conversation Starter: The Pittsburgh Penguins released the schedule with a question, placing an emphasis and focus on the fans and driving interaction and engagement:

The Pittsburgh Penguins Facebook post asked for user interaction.

The Pittsburgh Penguins Facebook post asked for user interaction.

3. The Graphic Visualization: The Buffalo Sabres page released a calendar with October’s opponents. This gives a quick reference of what’s going on for the team in that month without even clicking the link. Creating graphics on the fly and as a quick response to content and news releases is an important tool to be able to utilize whether you have a morning to think about large trajectory content or whether you have five minutes.

Quick response graphics can aid in visually communicating information.

Quick response graphics can aid in visually communicating information.

4. The Straight Scoop: This post taken from the New Jersey Devils Instagram page shows the actual schedule and details, it conveys the first couple of games and the home opener without needing to spell it out in text form.

Quick shares of information can effectively communicate news in a breaking-news socialsphere.

Quick shares of information can effectively communicate news in a breaking-news socialsphere.

All of the above screen shots were taken from the respective teams Facebook Pages or Official Instagram Feeds. While these are just quick examples of the many ways the same information can be communicated socially, it also makes me think about how important it is to have a strategy in place. If social is just one channel that teams or organizations can chose to utilize in sharing their communications and message, then it should be consistent with the tone and goal of the larger company. For example, if the focus is on players, history, fans, facts or a combination therof and how that focus translates to day-to-day content creation.

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