The Toronto Maple Leafs might not be the best team on the ice right now, but they are among the top in the league with their social media interactions with their fans. With a team playing as poorly as the Leafs have been this season, it would have been easy for the team’s Twitter to cut down interactions with unhappy fans. Instead, the Leafs have taken it a step forward and are keeping the fans interested in the team.
With the Leafs classy treatment of Garrett “G-Man” Gamble on March 28, it really got me thinking at what the Leafs have been doing off the ice this season. We’ve seen lots of teams grant wishes for fans who don’t have much longer to live, but the Maple Leafs seemed to take it up a notch on Saturday night, giving Gamble a night he will never forget.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 28, 2015
However, the Leafs have taken their fan interaction even further this year, setting the bar even higher for other NHL teams. Of course the Florida Panthers went above and beyond with their excellent goalie for a day contest. It drew thousands of people and lots of attention to the club. Their goaltending contest was something genuine and fun that engaged hundreds of people.
With Leafs tickets among the highest priced tickets in the entire NHL, it’s nearly impossible for families and students to afford home games. To combat this, the Leafs partnered with Ford and launched the “Ford Fan Deck” which offerd up to 200 free tickets to every Leafs home game this season. To make it fun, they created a @FordFanatic Twitter account with a woman who supervises the fan deck at every home game.
The Ford Fanatic, AKA. Sarah D, runs the Twitter account which engages with tons of Leafs fans everyday. With the 200 free tickets come weekly challenges in which fans participate in through Twitter for a chance at two tickets to an upcoming home game. In addition to the weekly challenges, she also tweets out game-day challenges where fans can win a chance to attend the Leafs game that night for free.
With the implication of the “fan deck” the Leafs will have handed out roughly 8,200 free tickets for fans to attend Leafs games. For some it was the perfect date night. For others, it was the perfect way to attend a first hockey game and for others it made lasting memories with their young children. If you were lucky enough to snag one of the 8,200+ free tickets from the FordFanatic, then you were in for a treat of a night.
The 200+ free tickets were a great way for the Leafs to reach out to all of their fans, especially the ones who can’t afford 300 level tickets at about $80 a seat. Part of the fun of course was getting fans to engage on social media in their Leafs gear. In order to win tickets to a game, fans had to show their blue and white spirit on Twitter. That created a great atmosphere as fans showed their true colors for a chance at sought after tickets and a chance to meet the Ford Fanatic. Not to mention the free popcorn is pretty good as well.
In addition to the new fan ford deck, the Leafs have started a new concept where they reward people who interact with the teams official Twitter page with tickets to the Leafs last home game of the season and other cool prizes. Whether it’s a way to reward people for putting up with a brutal season or just another way to give back to the fans, it’s a great concept to reward real fans of the team.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 27, 2015
In addition to their new tactics on Twitter the Leafs also continued their popular tweet of the night contest which awards fans for following along with the team on Twitter on game nights. This season the Leafs have Twitter on lockdown and are engaging with their fans on a tremendous level. Most remarkably is the fact it’s been weekly contests, instead of just a couple times a season with only a handful of fans. Having 200+ fans at every home game is something remarkable.
A lot of NHL teams ignore their fans and do little interaction with anyone other than fellow NHL teams. The Leafs however, have been very active with their fans on Twitter night in and night out. It’s really good to see an NHL interacting with their fans on a regular basis and rewarding them with tickets.