The other week, I posted about StampsConnect – a true social media aggregator site developed for the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. Recently, Calgary’s other pro sports team – The Flames – came out with their social media package titled “The C of Red” via KickApps (now adopted by the NHL league wide).
So let’s compare and contrast what Calgary has on the go.
StampsConnect vs. C of Red
First off – “The C of Red” hits a little too close to the “Red” brand/tag used by the Washington Capitals. (POST SCRIPT: Please review the comment by Rowan regarding other NHL teams use of “Red” as a tag or brand. My apologies to the Flames, I was wrong.)
KickApps is more of a “push” strategy, as opposed to a “pull” strategy employed by StampsConnect. In order to be a member of the C of Red, fans must sign up via the NHL in order to participate. With StampsConnect – users can simply view and leverage the social media content already out there on the Internet now. These same social media sites – namely Facebook and Twitter – are available to the C of Red as well, but exist completely outside of it.
StampsConnect succeeds because it is so simple – by leveraging the web tools and content that is already there, fans do not have to sign up for anything new, or “float” between platforms/logins to be part of the community.
Ultimately – these networks build loyalty and fan investment and will drive revenue indirectly as such. There is limited opportunity for sponsorship via KickApps itself as this would result in traditional web advertising possibilities. However, via true social media networks – sponsorship is much more dynamic and open to possibilities – not to mention the viral component of user visibility that provides a greater marketing footprint.
It remains to be seen how NHL teams will be using the KickApps platform – and what kind of engagement their fans provide vs. existing social media networks. I believe the goal is not to build isolated networks that borrow concepts of sharing and connection – but work with sites that are already doing this like Facebook and Twitter. Smart teams will be making the most of these opportunities and layering on sponsorship activation to provide a ROI in addition to fan loyalty and engagement.