posted March 26, 2012 09:07 PM
In what’s believed to be a pro sports first, the NHL’s Boston Bruins announced on Monday the launch of a media property uniting all of the team’s social, digital and mobile efforts under one umbrella.
The Boston Bruins Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) essentially functions as a portal to the team’s social presence on sites from Facebook to Pinterest, a gateway to its mobile app, and a home for video and other digital content offerings.
Amy Latimer, the Bruins’ senior vice president of marketing and sales, says the network will help the team provide accessible content for fans as well as create better opportunities for sponsors.
“Our fans are on the receiving end of great content that is accessible through all of the digital channels that they use and is distributed in a streamlined, organized fashion,” Latimer told Mashable in an email. “Our corporate partners now have the ability to reach more than 2.5 million unique Bruins fans per month while aligning their brand with compelling content in a manner that is fan friendly.”
The DEN page, an extension of the team’s home site, currently hosts a motherlode of team-related digital content. There’s an embedded Twitter feed. There are links to the Bruins’ Facebook and Tumblr, as well as a Pinterest profile run by the franchise’s mascot bear. Another link goes to the dance squad’s Facebook page, another to a fantasy challenge. Another leads to a homepage for a promotion where players take turns manning the team’s official Instagram account.
There’s also a video of a play of the week sponsored by the food company Heluva Good, just one example of how the DEN will be used to leverage the team’s business and sponsorship opportunities. A partnership with the digital research and analytics company Umbel will provide insight for content distribution and strategic partnerships.
Latimer said the team will use Umbel to track tweets from its @NHLBruins account to help guide planning and impact, as well as identify how many of its social media supporters are fans of different brands and products.
“This will help strengthen our existing partnerships but also help forge new partnerships with other brands that are taking a tactical approach to their marketing campaigns,” Latimer wrote. “We will be able to show them that many of the fans who utilize our social channels are also fans of theirs, so a partnership makes sense.”
The combination of value for fans, the team and its sponsors is something Latimer believes will make the Bruins DEN the first of many such networks in the pro sports industry.
“We believe that this initiative is an innovative new way of doing business in the digital world,” she wrote. “While just about every pro sports team has official accounts/pages on these social networks, we feel we are looking at them more strategically and rolling out initiatives that haven’t been done before. We feel it will ultimately be successful and would not be surprised to see other teams institute similar campaigns in the near future.”
Do you think it would be smart for more sports teams to adopt this approach? Let us know in the comments.