NHL targets the mobile gaming market
The National Hockey League (NHL) is to target the mobile gaming market as a way of increasing the growth of the North American ice hockey competition, according to the NHL’s vice-president of mobile marketing and strategy, Chris Golier.
The Insidemobileapps.com website said that Golier and the NHL had identified mobile as a key platform on which to target fans.
Golier said the NHL has utilised its strategic partnership with online video technology firm NeuLion to create a number of new apps and experiences for both current and potential fans.
“This season we’ve launched a few mobile games that are new as part of our portfolio, the thinking being that we want to expand the fan base,” he said.
“There’s a younger demographic that is playing games, so we’re looking at the casual fans and wondering how we can bring those casual fans into the game.
“If it starts out with video games or casual mobile games, then so be it, let’s get you hooked, then we’ll get you to start watching the real games once you start to grow with the NHL.”
As part of the strategy, the NHL has opted to add to its GameCenter hub app by launching an additional 14 official club apps – in order to offer greater coverage and publicity for the league’s teams.
“This is really a first step in a more concerted effort to talk to the fans when they’re inside the arena or when they’re on their couch in a local market,” Golier added. “I think it’s a league and a club initiative that will continue to grow as time goes on, but it was a big effort.”
Golier also said that the NHL had created a programming strategy based around the second screen, with most fans downloading and using mobile content during games.
“We have near real-time highlights that you can get access to while the game is happening, so if something of importance happens, we’re trying to get that information to our fans, so even if you’re not in front of a big screen watching the game, you can experience what’s happening and follow along,” he said.
The NHL has also launched NHL PrePlay, a predictive game targeting fans who want to be active during the games.
Golier added that the NHL has a number of fantasy-light games ready to launch, and is currently working with its partners to consider potential new app ventures.