Around the Rink – March 5th Edition

There are times when Jake Duhaime, the Social Networking Manager for the Detroit Red Wings, will use this space to discuss Social Media and the National Hockey League. His views are meant to enlighten, provoke thought, and do not represent the organization, management, or the team itself. You can also find his musings/ramblings on Twitter under the handle @jakeduhaime.

There still are times where I am dumbfounded by the power of Facebook, and then there are times when I think Facebook will take over the world.

The revelation to this came at last summer’s VISA Gymnastics Championships, where I worked as a volunteer. After the athletes, mostly 14-22 year-old women, finished their portion of the competition, they went immediately to their phones. One look and many texts and tweets later, I had the same revelation that Nastia Liukin’s agent, Evan Morgenstein had when he sold his client to AT&T.

This wasn’t just a fad, but a way of life. The way we communicate as a society is rapidly evolving.

If you look at the demographics of the Detroit Red Wings on Facebook, you’ll notice that men outnumber women 65 percent to 35 percent. While those numbers shouldn’t surprise many, they are an oddity in the world of social networking, which trends towards women more than men.

Last week’s Oscars saw nearly as many Tweets as last month’s Super Bowl, despite the Super Bowl having a massive edge in viewers. And according to an Oxygen study, 34 percent of young women admit to checking Facebook as soon as they wake up, before brushing their teeth or even going to the bathroom.

With further growth in mobile and digital technology, those numbers are going to increase, especially as iPads become the new favorite toy of choice for toddlers.

How does this impact teams, like your Detroit Red Wings? Let’s use the following Tweet, which came before Saturday’s Red Wings-Coyotes game, as an example.

@DetroitRedWings The #Wings and #Coyotes get underway in 90. We’re all over the #tigerblood, but will it yield some #winning?

Obviously #tigerblood and #winning are in reference to Charlie Sheen, who has torn up the pop culture world with enough quotes to give all of the Will Ferrell movies in the world a run for their money.

The response was a mixed bag. We received many positive responses from people happy that we were doing something different, while others expressed discontent that the team’s Twitter feed stepped into the realm of pop culture.

One of the things sports franchises are faced with on a daily basis is finding balance on a growing medium like social media. Our radio broadcasts are on a station aimed specifically for sports. In print, sports news can be found in its own section. On television, our games are on FOX Sports Detroit, an all sports station. On Social Media, we’re competing with not only other sports entities, but the latest in news, pop culture, and even your best friend, fraternity brothers, book club and more.

It is almost impossible to please everybody, especially when our social media reach is 500,000 strong. (THANK YOU!) So our goal is to mix the news in with the fun, the giveaways with locker room quotes, to best represent our fans on the medium itself.

We understand that there are many fans who follow the team as a means of improving their in-game experience, while others follow us because they take pride in where they’re from, or because they enjoy the Winged Wheel as a brand.

No matter why you follow, we truly appreciate it. We toast our glasses to your spirit, dedication, and playoff runs that last long into May and June.

We’re here to serve you!

  • The Production Line notes that fans have pledged more than $7,000 to Children’s Hospital for H2H2
  • Taylor Hall’s first NHL season ended with a Gordie Howe hat trick and an injury.
  • The CCHA Championship is coming to Joe Louis Arena on March 18-19. Check out great hockey at a tremendous price, with $44 family four packs.

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About Jake Duhaime

Social Networking Manager for the Detroit Red Wings
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One Response to Around the Rink – March 5th Edition

  1. Lisa Heinichen says:

    The above article didn’t mention how much easier it is for displaced fans to connect with each other AND also keep track of their team via Red Wings Social Media. I made a comment on a Red Wings tv commercial post on Facebook. Through the comment I made, I met a fellow Wings fan in southern California, & he connected me with another Wings fan in SoCal. We met in LA to see the Wings beat the Kings. If not for Facebook…it wouldn’t have happened! Glad to have Red Wings Social Media! & Thanks for useing my pic from the game as your Fan Photo of the Day!!

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