The league is leveraging digital media in many ways to produce benefits for fans, sponsors and the NHL. One such program was #NHLTweetup, which saw the league sponsor fan tweetups in locations such as Chicago, Nashville and New Zealand. The program was run at minimal cost to the league; the investment included 250 man hours, 13 pieces of autographed merchandise and gift bags with a total value of just $1,000.
The power of combining Twitter and real-world events is pretty easy to recognize, but the NHL took the time to quantify it. This program created results for the NHL in at least three ways:
Reach and impressions: Out of 150 people who attended one NHL tweetup in New York City, 100 of them had Twitter personas that could be analyzed. The NHL found out each fan had an average of 213 followers per person. Extrapolating this across all of those who attended the international events, the league estimates that the program created impressions on more than 230,000 people via Twitter. Of course, the social impressions didn’t stop there — the tweetups resulted in the most blog posts the sport had seen since the NHL Winter Classic.