Louis Blues

The Chicago Blackhawks: Mobilizing 2M People Via Social Media

This celebration of the Chicago ecosystem is brought to you by @properties, the leading Chicago real estate brokerage serving both the city of Chicago and North Shore through dynamic marketing and innovation. Read more here!
It’s round three of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs right now, and I honestly thought the St. Louis Blues would make it out of the first round but we lost to the Minnesota Wild. I was a bit torn up, but my mind was put to ease when the Chicago Blackhawks swept the Wild in round two, four games to none.
Chicago’s second round victory brought them to face the Anaheim Ducks, and as it stands the series is currently tied one to one. It’s one of the first serious runs Anaheim has put up since 2007 when they won the Stanley Cup and brought it back home.
Now, typical in these homecoming ceremonies is a massive parade for all the fans to celebrate with their team. When the Ducks brought the Cup home about 15,000 fans showed up to join them.
Sounds like a lot of people, right? Well it’s not. When the Blackhawks brought the Stanley Cup home to Chicago in 2010 and then again in 2013 they eclipsed 2 million people at their celebratory parades.
Granted, Anaheim is a smaller city, but the Blackhawks outperformed the Ducks when it came to mobilizing a large force of fans. Their plan was to leverage social media to drum up as much team hype as they could, and since their last cup victory that mindset has only grown more resolved.
The Blackhawks have kept up their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds with a constant stream of engaging and relevant content for their fans:
An epic triple OT game deserves an epic Sights and Sounds recap. Watch this and get all of the feels: http://t.co/giUz5eIVxA
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) May 20, 2015

Sure, any team can engage fans with social media. What separates the Blackhawks from the herd is how they go above and beyond just tweeting and posting for their fans. Case in point: this year they struck a collaborative partnership with the bike-sharing platform Divvy that will last until they play their last game in the 2015 playoffs.
They released five special Blackhawk themed bicycles into the Divvy fleet, and wherever fans see them around town they’re supposed to snap a quick photo. If they upload it to social media with the #BlackhawksBike hashtag they’ll be entered for a chance to win playoff tickets, exclusive fan experiences, and signed memorabilia.
Image Credit: http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=100409
Each of the five bikes represents one of the team’s previous Stanley Cup victories in 1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, and 2013. Both the Blackhawks and Divvy get the benefit of a symbiotic business partnership, but it’s also a great way to spread mutual pride in both the real world and the digital world simultaneously. In short, it’s kind of a brilliant plan.
It’s brilliant because Chicago Blackhawk fans have a lot to be proud of. On top of everything, they have a team that gives back to the community and recognizes that they’re a part of something much bigger than one locker room. This celebration of the Chicago ecosystem is brought to you by @properties, the leading Chicago real estate brokerage serving both the city of Chicago and North Shore through dynamic marketing and innovation.
Courtney's goal was to have a Blackhawk bring dinner to her husband and fellow firefighters.

@88PKane delivered.
https://t.co/o1ew01t66G
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) April 15, 2015

When you have 2 million people that look up to and are actively engaging with you it’s going to inherently hire the bar. By default you’ll play to your ultimate limit – not for you, not for the team, but for the fans. No matter how you spin it, the fans are what drive any professional sports team towards success and the Blackhawks are a great example of how to show appreciation for that.
Keep doing work, Blackhawks:

Image Credit: Flickr / Ron Cogswell’s page / cropped, resized