Q: What was it like to be at the Rogers Social Media Insider?
A: Being able to sit in the press box with other media and scouts was amazing. Getting behind the scenes access was outstanding. I got to watch the Leafs walk out of their dressing room and make their way to the ice at the beginning of the game. We went into the “truck” to see what it is like to see the producers work during a televised game. That experience cannot be put into words. They work very hard and deserve a ton of credit.
Jon Sinden and Matt Laboni from the Maple Leafs social media team showed me the ropes on how they use their social media platforms during a game and get their content to the fans at a very fast pace. It was great being shown on Leafs TV as Jon and I were discussing how many “Likes” a particular photo that was uploaded from their Facebook account would get by the end of the night. They got me to pick a filter for one of their Instagram photos and picking a fan’s tweet for an update after a period. Under the official Maple Leafs Twitter account, they retweeted some of my goal updates, uploaded a video of the players walking to the ice and asked me to explain how I became the social media insider for the game.
Q: How long have you been a Leafs fan?
A: I have been a Leafs fan for as long as I can remember. My dad and I watched Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday. I remember trips to Maple Leaf Gardens to watch Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark and how bright the ice looked when you came out of the tunnel to the stands.
Q: How does technology help you follow the team?
A: I use a laptop and phone during the games. On non-game days, I log onto MapleLeafs.com for post-game interviews and read game recaps.
I use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to follow the team. It is the easiest way to get instant information if I happen to be away from a TV to watch the game and is a great way to interact with other fans. Because of these platforms, I have interacted and met with Leaf fans from across the pond Ian White, from Scotland, and Mark Rackham, from England. These two stay up late at night with the five-hour time difference and watch their favourite team until the final horn. Leafs Nation is truly global.
Q: What’s the best part about connecting with the team and other fans online?
I think it is great (to see) teams connecting with their fans. The fans are the reason for the success of merchandise and ticket sales. When I first started using Twitter I started following my favourite team. When I got an e-mail saying that the Toronto Maple Leafs were following me (that) was pretty cool. And then when they first re-tweeted one of my goal updates to over 200,000 of their followers, that was the ultimate thrill and I still get that feeling when it happens.
I think all teams in every sport should do everything they can to connect with their fans and build relationships with them. The Maple Leafs I feel are leaders in not just the NHL, but all of professional sports in engaging with their fans.
There’s still one more chance for Rogers customers to become our Rogers Social Media Insider with Maple Leafs Game on April 18. Click here to learn more.
How do you keep up with your favourite team?
Jennifer is a regular RedBoard contributor.
UPDATE, May 8, 4:45 p.m.: What does exclusive media access to the ACC look like? Only Rogers Social Media Insiders Chase, Andrea and Mark know for sure! See their photos on our Pinterest board.