Inside NHL’s content strategy ahead of the Stanley Cup Finals

by Anna Munhin May 26, 2023 News
Inside NHL’s content strategy ahead of the Stanley Cup Finals

As the NHL Stanley Cup Finals are just around the corner, the league is encouraging viewers to use its second screen experience to catch the attention of hockey fans as much as possible.

Live and on demand content is available on the NHL's website and on various social media platforms.

The NHL is using new features on its platforms, like event reminders and Super Likes, ahead of the Stanley Cup Final. Fans will be able to know where and when to watch the games on the NHL social channels.

The NHL cares for and nurtures each and every platform during the entire season and playoffs.

In addition to publishing content from the feed of the game, the NHL will also capture content of fans during the game and its media day event. Browning stated that instead of publishing the same content on all of its social media channels, each post will be different. The company is trying to reach as many different people as possible.

Browning wouldn't give details of the overall budget. The data from Sensor Tower shows that the NHL has increased its spending by 140%. The majority of the budget was spent on Meta platforms.

The NHL has been testing a bingo game within its Fan Access app for a year in which the bingo cards automatically generate team and player statistics. As the game progresses, players will get notifications and the card will flip over as they watch.

26% of Browning's players used the bingo card at in-person events were Gen Z, 32% were Gen X, and 15% were Boomer. The youth advisory board of the league decided to create a second screen experience during the Stanley Cup finals. NHL is using a similar method to drive consumers to physical stores through first-party data.

To encourage people to use bingo as a companion to the broadcast, the QR codes will be shown on the broadcasts of the games. The NHL bingo cards will award prizes like branded merchandise and $500 gift cards as a measure for the league to gamify the experience, just as other brands did during the NHL playoffs. According to Browning, the NHL wanted to increase fan engagement and also allow them to be socially active on the second screen.

Daniel Kirschner, CEO and president of the cloud-based short-form media, said that the NHL's strategy is aligned with current trends in content consumption and fan engagement. The league's appeal to fans who aren't interested in the post-game highlights is helped by this type of content.

The NHL is investing in short films on the internet. The NHL is trying to get Gen Z hockey fans by using shorts. The NHL hopes that by producing Shorts it can build up its audience and attract more eyeballs to its YouTube channel to watch some of the more produced pieces around NHL playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals.

NHL's vice president of digital content production Paul Vinciguerra said that they strive to put out good content and are always adapting the content strategy based on fan feedback

"We want people to come back to our side, we want to grow the channel support, and we want to put content out there that's appealing to everyone."

During the NHL playoffs, Steve Mayer, the NHL's chief content officer, said that if there is a short video on the internet that has highlights of the game, they need to build more long form content around that. It is a strategy that is gaining more views. The Short of the overtime score that Matthew Tkachuk made on May 30th has over 60,000 views and 2000 likes. Within an hour of the short, a full video of the scoring moment was published.

"All we are trying to do is improve the level of what we are putting out there and making sure that the people that watch us come back for more."