NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League (NHL®) and opendorse, the leading athlete marketing platform, announced today that they have partnered to help players build their brands and increase fan engagement with social media. The NHL and participating clubs will use opendorse to help players publish their most powerful moments - highlights, in-game images, and other media - to their personal social channels with the tap of a button.
Rather than simply handing players a library of assets to wade through, the NHL and its clubs can now send individual players specific photos, videos, or GIFs, tailored to effectively engage their audiences. The athletes can add or edit their own messaging, then approve the post to publish with a single tap. opendorse then automatically publishes the post to the appropriate channel at the scheduled date and time.
"As players, we create so many moments on the ice, but rarely have access to it after the fact," said Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. "With opendorse, I get back to the dressing room after a win, and boom -- there's a post ready to share with fans. It sounds simple, but this partnership is a big win for us as players and for the game itself."
The NHL enters the partnership with concerted goals for helping players and fans with an expanded presence on social media. NHL players significantly outpace fellow professional athletes in terms of engagement rate in 2019. Simply, when NHL players post, fans engage. With the leaguewide partnership, the NHL will work closely with its member clubs and players to bridge the gap in social audience and overall engagement.
"We owe it to our players and the fans to make their moments more accessible beyond the broadcast and the in-arena experience," said NHL Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President Heidi Browning. "Our players have some of the most passionate, engaged fans in all of sports, and we believe we can help them continue to build and capitalize on that connection on social media. With opendorse, we can grow the game and provide value to our players that will last long beyond their time on the ice."
In 2017, the New Jersey Devils became the first NHL club to help their players with opendorse. Throughout the 2017-18 season and 2018 Stanley Cup® Playoffs, Devils players led the NHL in player social media engagements, player engagement rate, and ranked second in player follower growth. The following season, 10 more clubs signed on as opendorse partners. Now with a league wide partnership, the NHL is providing all 31 clubs with access to use the platform.
"Our partnerships with the NHL and its clubs have proven to be some of the most rewarding in all of sports," opendorse co-founder and CEO Blake Lawrence said. "Heidi Browning and the NHL Social team are fully committed to helping its athletes grow beyond the ice, and has embraced the opportunity of athlete-driven social media. Hockey is a sport that's loaded with moments and we're excited to help the league deliver more of those moments to its fans through the channels they care about most. We believe this partnership will help not only grow the social footprint for the NHL and its players but also facilitate league wide growth that will ultimately introduce more fans to this great sport and league."
opendorse helps athletes share content on social. More than 9,000 athletes around the world use opendorse to receive content from partners and publish to their social channels with one click. Leading sports organizations like the PGA TOUR, NHL, NFLPA, MLBPA, WNBPA, LPGA, over 100 professional and collegiate sports teams, and hundreds of brands use the platform to send video highlights, photos, GIFs, and more to athletes.
The publishing process is lightweight. Once registered, athletes receive a text message when their team, league, or brand partner has content for them to share on social media. The athlete simply reviews the content and hits 'approve' - opendorse does the rest. Founded in 2012 by two former Nebraska football players, opendorse has become the world's leading athlete marketing platform.
About the NHL
The National Hockey League (NHL®), founded in 1917, consists of 31 Member Clubs and proudly welcomes its 32nd franchise, based in Seattle, for the 2021-22 season. Each team roster reflects the League's international makeup with players from more than 20 countries represented, all vying for the most cherished and historic trophy in professional sports - the Stanley Cup®. Gary Bettman has served the NHL as Commissioner since February 1, 1993 and has guided the world's top professional hockey league to more than $5 billion in annual revenues and partnerships with more than 40 blue chip corporate sponsors. Every year, the NHL entertains more than 670 million fans in-arena and through its partners on national television and radio; more than 151 million followers - league, team and player accounts combined - across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube; and more than 100 million fans online at NHL.com. The League broadcasts games in more than 160 countries and territories through its rightsholders including NBC/NBCSN and the NHL Network in the U.S., Sportsnet and TVA in Canada, Viasat in the Nordic Region, Yandex in Russia and CCTV and Tencent in China. The NHL reaches fans worldwide with games available online in every country including via its live and on-demand streaming service NHL.TV™. Having entered the esports world in 2018, the League hosts the NHL Gaming World Championship annually, drawing record digital streaming audiences during the 2019 campaign. Fans are engaged across the League's digital assets on mobile devices via the free NHL® App; across nine social media platforms; on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio; and on NHL.com, available in eight languages and featuring unprecedented access to player and team statistics as well as every regular-season and playoff game box score dating back to the League's inception, powered by SAP. The NHL is committed to building healthy and vibrant communities through the sport of hockey by increasing youth participation and engagement; fostering positive family experiences; promoting inclusion, positive culture and leadership; and supporting sustainable community impact.