The World Cup of Hockey returns this weekend for the first time in 12 years. There’s two new teams (North America and Europe), new technologies (to put it in perspective, Twitter launched in 2006) and the NHL is using the tournament as an opportunity to test drive new ideas and initiatives. Despite not existing in 2004, Twitter plans to be the home of the best content both on and off the ice this time around. Earlier this week, we had a chance to chat with Christopher Doyle, Twitter Canada’s Head of Partnerships, about what fans can expect on Twitter for what promises to be an exciting next two weeks. Below are some of the questions we asked Christopher and the highlights from our conversation.
Q: Tell us about Twitter’s partnership with the NHL
“We work closely with the NHL essentially year round. The role of our media partnerships team is to help our partners – especially premium content partners such as broadcasters, celebrities, athletes, or in this case the NHL – get the most out of Twitter.”
- Twitter works with the NHL year-round.
- The World Cup of Hockey is an extension of Twitter’s ongoing partnership with the NHL.
- Twitter and the NHL launched an emoji at the beginning of the NHL season last year, the NHL All-Star Game, and for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
- The NHL has really taken to Twitter and just recently passed 5 million followers.
- Bonus: Twitter Canada’s Head of Communications, Cam Gordon, told us that as soon as a player gets drafted into the NHL, their Twitter account gets verified.
— #WCH2016 (@NHL) September 15, 2016
Q: Give us an overview of the initiatives Twitter has planned for the World Cup of Hockey.
“Leading into the hockey season, I think there’s a lot of interest in this – especially with the formation of two new teams with North America and Europe. Twitter’s role is really to connect fans to the players, to the teams, to the action. And this is all happening in real-time.”
- Twitter’s role is to connect fans to the players, to the teams, and to the action in real-time.
- Twitter and the NHL have launched a special World Cup of Hockey emoji when fans tweet using #WCH2016.
- Throughout the World Cup of Hockey, there will be a series of Twitter Q&As giving fans an opportunity to ask questions to some of their favourite former players and hockey analysts. The list includes Jeff Marek, Colby Armstrong, and Steve Kouleas.
- Twitter is introducing custom hockey-themed stickers that can be used with any photo on the platform.
- The NHL will be tweeting 30-second recap videos after each period during the tournament.
- The NHL is launching the #WCHPuckContest where fans can tweet pictures of themselves next to one of 30 pucks scattered around downtown Toronto for a chance to win tickets to the tournament.
- Sidney Crosby is the most mentioned player on Twitter surrounding the World Cup of Hockey conversation. Connor McDavid is #2.
- Bonus: Cam mentioned that there’s been new Twitter handles launched for Team North America and Team Europe.
Get full details on all of Twitter’s World Cup of Hockey initiatives here.
Q: Are there comparable events to the World Cup of Hockey that Twitter can use as a benchmark for measuring success?
“The one that kept coming back to me was the World Junior Hockey Championships. I just thought in terms of volume it might be interesting to compare it because you got the Team Canada component and then you got the best young stars in the game.”
- The World Cup of Hockey is a unique event.
- There wasn’t a World Cup of Hockey four years ago, for example, to compare results to.
- The World Junior Hockey Championships, in terms of volume, may be a good comparison.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we release news on live sports streaming on Twitter in Canada and follow-up with Christopher to discuss results from the World Cup of Hockey.