Hockey may not be as popular in the United States as it is in our neighbor to the north, but that may begin to change now that NBC Sports is using Snapchat to drum up interest for its “Winter Classic,” which airs New Year’s Day. The new account will give sports fans a brand new inside look at how the legendary Gillette Stadium is transformed from the home of the New England Patriots to an outdoor hockey rink. By giving subscribers a behind-the-scenes look at everything from NBC’s production trucks all the way down to rink-side, this may be the closest some of us get to the event.
By allowing NHL analyst and former player in his own right Jeremy Roenick to take over the account on Thursday, the media outlet hoped to give hockey fans a more intimate look at the makings of a great game. This isn’t the first athlete NBC Sports’ has allowed to manage its account — in fact, it has an ongoing program that features different takeovers of various social media accounts. Yesterday, that Snapchat account also featured footage from the yearly “Fan Fest” in addition to the alumni game between ex-Boston Bruins and ex-Montreal Canadiens. And today, as the game gets underway, you can get up-to-the-minute updates with videos and photos from the match up.
“Oftentimes, the angle that we take on the social media side is: What do viewers want from us that they may not be able to get from our league partners, or teams or the athletes themselves?” said Lyndsay Signor, director of social media marketing at NBC Sports, in an interview with Digiday. The outlet is going to have to get creative to compete with main rival ESPN, which also maintains a popular Snapchat account of its own.
“We’re tapping everybody who can help fans get access to these areas they otherwise couldn’t,” said Signor, so if you’re a hockey fan, you may want to download (or stay on) Snapchat today.