Facebook Apps that Drive Fan Engagement


Here’s a look at 2 Facebook apps for teams I’ve blogged about previously – the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs.

First off – The Vancouver Canucks Fans App by Watercooler.com

A couple of weeks ago, I connected with Kevin Chou, CEO of Watercooler.com (Pat Coyle had referred him to me – thanks Pat!). While watercooler.com does many interesting things, I am only going to focus on the Canucks app in this post.


While Facebook provides a fan connection opportunity (to both the team and other fans), teams can maximize reasons why their fans would want to join Fan Pages and continue to visit them. The Canucks app provides:

  • Contests
  • Networking/interactivity
  • Share-able content
  • Ability to purshace tickets and merchandise

So beyond the value of social media fan engagement, there is a revenue stream opportunity here as well. At the time of writing – the Canucks app has 183K+ fans… a pretty large group to tap into.

Here is a link to the Maple Leafs App on Facebook

The Leafs have built this App internally – it still requires some tweaking, but when fully operational, it will allow fans to build a custom jersey Facebook Leafs Jerseyonline, or create their own hockey card with their own face/name on it.

What I find interesting about the Leafs social media situation is to see how their fan base buys into it. As I wrote about previously, the Maple Leaf brand is very strong and I expect to see their followers and fans soar online – especially as their on-ice rebuild continues.

If you are on Facebook, I suggest that you give these apps a test drive for yourself- when fans use them, the viral nature of Facebook info permits waves of 2nd degree marketing messages, e-commerce opportunities, and can help drive eyeballs back to the team website.


MLSE Social Media Strategy



Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is a local mini sports empire here in Toronto. Repeatedly regarded as the highest earning property in the NHL year after year, the Maple Leafs lead  the pack of other MLSE properties: the NBA’s Raptors, Toronto Marlies of the AHL, and the surprisingly highly successful Toronto FC of the MLS league.

Internal Social Media Sites

MLSE has 2 online communities for the Leafs and Raptors:

These sites are tied into their primary websites (mapleleafs.com and raptors.com) and internal database. These online communities serve to drive fans back to their sites and are further supported by 3rd party social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Here is the ROI… more unique visitors to these sites = sponsorship opportunities.

The Leafs on Facebook

Here is the official Facebook Fan Page for the Leafs. There are several fan created fan pages – a testament to their base and brand. While the page is still evolving, MLSE is focused on providing unique applications for the fans to use – like building a custom jersey or creating your own hockey card. This represents a viable e-commerce stream in addition to fan engagement.

MLSE on Twitter

Monika with a K


Here is where I see an interesting approach – one that is different than other teams – MLSE is focusing on people vs. the brand on Twitter. Rather than follow “the Leafs”, MLSE has positioned an individual – Monika – as the face of the online community. Monika is also the in-game announcer, so she is tied in with fan experience in a live capacity.  Via the Twitter platform, Monika represents the brand. True to social media’s core of people as content – time will tell how the strategy of individual vs. brand will play out.

The Raptors have a similar approach – but the indivual is a further step removed and embodied in Raptors Web Guy. Here, Raptors Web Guy comes across as someone within the organization, but not a named/pictured individual. In this way, Raptors Web Guy is half person and half brand – again, a different approach than what other teams are doing on Twitter and one that is noteworthy.