The Penguins have been one of the leading professional sports franchises in the social media world for some time, and that fact was reinforced once again on Tuesday morning.
|Penguins fans flocked to "PensGear" following a social media contest on Tuesday. Watch Video |
In conjunction with the team officially taking ownership of CONSOL Energy Center and Tuesdya’s announcement of the opening of the arena box office and official team store, “PensGear,” the Penguins held a contest through Facebook, Twitter and the Penguins’ Mobile Alert Club.
At roughly 11 a.m. the Penguins sent out a message that stated that the first fan who arrived at the team store would win an autographed Jordan Staal
It didn’t take long to find a winner as Heather Martz, who was on a lunch break at Southwest Pennsylvania Commission, which is located just minutes from CONSOL Energy Center on Sixth Avenue, raced through the doors to take home the top prize.
“I saw the message through Twitter first, and then via text two minutes after that,” said a smiling Martz. “I was just running and looking as I came up the street.”
Not only did Martz come out on top in the contest, she won quite a battle to do so.
As Penguins officials waited at the Trib Total Media Gate for a winner to arrive, a tall male emerged in a brisk walk as he came up Centre Avenue. It looked like he was going to be the winner when Martz popped up out of nowhere and began sprinting towards the door.
Martz’s presence sent the other guy into a panicked jog as they each hit the front door at the same time. Fortunately for Martz her door opened, while his was locked. Within seconds she was standing in the main corridor with her hands in the air yelling the winning message.
“I saw that he had his phone in his hand as I came up the road, so I just started running,” Martz described. “He started running too, but his door was locked, so I sneaked in and yelled the password.”
Martz unofficially crossed the finish line 8:30 minutes after the contest was announced, a time which even impressed her.
“That was an awesome time,” Martz said. “It was lunchtime at work because we get to take early lunches, so I just came running up. I did a good job.”
Martz was the lucky one to take home the top prize on Tuesday, but everyone who is signed up for one of the Penguins’ social media networks was a winner.
Every fan who arrived at “PensGear” after Martz and gave the winning code word was given a 20-percent discount to the store – a deal which lasts through Friday.
Ryan Kerr, who was working his job on the Duquesne University campus when he received the text message describing the contest, was among the first people through the doors. While he was disappointed to not win the jersey, he did make sure to put his discount to good use.
“I came down here as fast as I could but (Heather) got here a little faster,” Kerr said. “I received a 20-percent discount for coming in second. I saw that Cookie (Matt Cooke
) signed a new deal, so I picked up his t-shirt.”
Kerr and Martz are both members of the Penguins’ highly successful Student Rush program, and each one recommended all fans signing up for the Penguins’ social media services.
“I would recommend everyone sign up for one of the Penguins’ social media networks,” said Kerr, who also participated in the Penguins’ Student Flush back in June through the Mobile Alert Club. “Their fan outreach to college students is phenomenal.”
“I think every Penguins fan should follow the Penguins on Twitter and sign up to get mobile updates,” Martz said.
Martz and Kerr were hardly alone in coming to “PensGear” as dozens of Penguins fans quickly marched through the doors within minutes of the message being sent.
Among the fans who came to CONSOL Energy Center was Scott Scariot of Shaler, his wife Amy, and the couple’s three small children, Ben, Samantha and Victoria. Scott Scariot received a text message alerting him to the contest, and Amy knew they had to make the 15-minute drive to the arena right away.
“I got the text message and my wife said, ‘Get the kids in the car and let’s go!’” Scott Scariot said. “It took us about eight minutes to get the kids in the car – which is fast for us!”
The Scariots made their trip worth the while as they picked up a pair of hats, a couple of key chains for the kids and a 2011 Bridgestone Winter Classic t-shirt.
Fans can follow the Pittsburgh Penguins on Twitter or Facebook, or receive free text alerts to their mobile devices through the Mobile Alert Club.
To follow the Pittsburgh Penguins on Twitter, visit http://www.twitter.com/pghpenguins
or click here
for more information about Twitter.
and click the Like button to become a fan of the Official Pittsburgh Penguins page on Facebook.Click here
for more information about joining the Pens Mobile Club!