With the advancement of technology and changes in social interaction, sports organizations are looking for new ways to attract fans. Over the years, the team organizations in the NHL have developed apps that take fans beyond the box score and recap. They can choose from a variety of articles, highlight videos, scoring and penalty summaries and much more. Players are taking to social media to interact with fans and organizations are tweeting at each other, a routine that has become comedy for hockey fans. However, with players self promoting and interacting with fans there comes risks and league regulations. According to NHL rules and regulations, players are prohibited from using social media 30 minutes before and after games. There is also the risk that players can post inappropriate content during a lapse in judgment and this can reflect poorly on the league and organization in addition to the individual. These risks deter many Boston Bruins players from putting their lives on display on social media.
In an effort to give back to the fans, the Bruins launched The Boston Bruins Digital Entertainment Network, which provides creative content to fans. The Bruins DEN contains easy accessibility for fans to follow the team’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and website content all in one place. The extension to the Bruins’ website also features episodes of the team’s two shows, “Bear and the Gang” and “Behind the B”. The play on a 70s sitcom, “Bear and the Gang” started during the playoffs of the 2012 season and was short lived until it’s revival this past fall. The episodes are very short and show off the players’ goofy side. On the other hand, ”Behind the B” started this past fall as the team’s own version of the show 24/7. Fans get a sneak peek into the daily routines of their favorite players and coaches, which causes fans to become even more invested in the organization and its success.
The Boston Bruins marketing and public relations team understands that digital interaction is very important to fan satisfaction. By launching the Bruins DEN, the organization opens up its audience to reach over 2.5 million unique fans each month and has become a leader of the “fan experience” that other sports organizations should look to follow.