Every year, the Stanley Cup Finals are overshadowed by a much more popular sporting event, the NBA Finals. Because of this, ratings for the Stanley Cup Finals are usually low. The Rangers elimination means that the Tampa Bay Lightning is taking on the Chicago Blackhawks, denying the NHL and its fans a “dream series” of the two biggest sports markets. However, something interesting has happened, excellent hockey games have been played and the ratings, despite the projections, have been very strong. To an average fan this may be a surprise, but die-hard hockey fans saw this coming. The NHL has done an excellent job in promoting this series, and here are some reasons why this year’s Stanley Cup Finals has been the most successful of the last decade.
Social Media Engagement
If there is one generation that businesses are trying to reach, it’s the millennials or generation Y and all the major sports leagues are trying to reach and engage them as well. This year for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the NHL has done this by introducing a promotion they call “#MyPlayoffsMoment”. This promotion consists of fans posting pictures and videos of them watching and reacting to games wherever they are, and then posting them using the hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Throughout the course of the playoffs, the NHL takes the best submissions and makes a video compilation which is then posted on the NHL’s website. In the first round alone, these videos received over 6.5 million views, and the hashtag was mentioned over 361 million times on social media.
Advertisements are aired every year to promote the Stanley Cup Finals, but this year the NHL has stepped it up a notch. They have done so with a new ad campaign focused on players making their mark on history. In addition, these ads also feature players from all different generations, making it interesting for fans of all generations.
A Dream Match-up For Hockey Fans
While the matchup of Tampa Bay and Chicago may not seem like a “dream matchup” to casual sports fans, to avid hockey fans this could not be a better matchup. Both Tampa (Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson) and Chicago (Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane) have their respective superstars that can make game changing plays at anytime. Although they both are loaded with stars the teams have very contrasting styles.
If Chicago were to win the Cup tonight, it would be its 3rd championship in 6 years and would cement themselves as a dynasty to many fans. Tampa on the other hand has not won the Cup since 2004, but has dynasty potential themselves. Tampa is the youngest team in the NHL and yet they are competing for hockey’s top prize, the Lightning could be playing at this high level for many years to come.
Richards, once a Stanley Cup champion and franchise centerpiece with Tampa, now plays for Chicago. He has been a hated figure in Tampa ever since leaving the team, and now he has the chance to play bad guy and spoil his former team’s chance at another Stanley Cup.
This blog post was written by Samford University student Alex Mimnaugh.
Burns, Mark J. "NHL Lights The Lamp With #MyPlayoffsMoment Social Campaign For 2015 Playoffs." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 4 May 2015. Web. 04 June 2015.
"NBC Draws Its Second-Best Overnight Rating Yet For A Stanley Cup Final Opener." SportsBusiness Daily. N.p., 4 June 2015. Web. 04 June 2015.
NHL. "Name." Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 29 May 2015. Web. 4 June. 2015.