Social Analysis of the First Week of the NHL SeasonOctober 10, 2019
We’re already through the first week of the 2019-20 NHL season, and it’s been a whirlwind. Seven teams remain undefeated: the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, and the New York Rangers. Among those teams, the Hurricanes, Oilers, Avalanche, and Rangers made it to our “Top Teams on Twitter: Week 1 List.” We have gathered some essential data and analytical insights through Twitter for the first week of games.
Since the start of the NHL season last week (10/2), we have seen 326,366 people engaged and 5,166,380 engagements amongst them. The most activity was generated opening night, Oct. 2, which featured a match-up between the Washington Capitals and the St. Louis Blues. The two most recent Stanley Cup Champs were, of course, going to generate some buzz, 205,259 posts, and comments to be exact. (See tables below)
Among the top hashtags, we saw #LeafsForever, #NHL, #GoHabsGo, #STLBlues, and #NHLFaceOff. The hashtag/hashflag usage here it what drove the Maple Leafs, Canadians, and Blues into our top 10 teams list. Additionally, it makes sense to see #NHLFaceoff, as it is a phrase heavily used with EA Sports, who was the most talked about brand on Twitter since Oct. 2.
Here are the top tweets from the last week of hockey. Of course, with it being the kick-off of the season, there was plenty of NHL branded content surfaced at the top of the charts. Tweets from NHL on NBC and the NHL official Twitter account claimed the top spots, simply by welcoming back hockey; clearly, the fans were just excited for hockey to be back. the last top tweet came from, you guessed it, a dog. The Washington Capitals announced their new “official pup”, Captain, through Twitter on Saturday. Captain made his fresh appearance Saturday at the Capitals Red Carpet event, and he was much loved both on the Red Carpet and on social.
The Vegas Golden Knights Twitter account has been the topic of discussion since day one of its inaugural seasons in 2017-2018. The Golden Knights joined the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues as the only expansion teams since 1960 in the NHL, NBA, MLB, and the NFL, to get a spot in a championship round during their inaugural seasons. No one in their right mind would have ever bet on the first-year Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Finals. But, the Golden Knights’ social team ran with that idea and has owned the under-dog mentality ever since. The comedic tone, witty banter with other NHL teams, and the pop culture references make the Golden Knights’ Twitter account stand out among the rest. That is why they are a “Top Influencer” and also number two on the “Top Teams on Twitter” chart, as seen below.
Top NHL Teams and Brands on Twitter
After Week 1 of play, the top team on Twitter was the Toronto Maple Leafs. The top brand on Twitter was EA Sports. What is the common denominator between the two? The answer is Maples Leafs’ Center, Auston Matthews. Matthews is the cover athlete feature on NHL 20, produced by EA Sports. But, even more so, Matthews started to trend on Twitter, in part to two goals on opening night, followed by three more over the weekend. NHL x EA Sports sponsored content of all overtime goals nightly also helped lead this push for EA Sports, as everyone loves a sudden victory OT goal replay!