According to research from statisticbrian.com there are over 645 million people using Twitter in the world. Every Bruins fan among those 645 million knows exactly what #NHL15Bergeron signifies.
From May 5, 2014, until June 1, 2014 at midnight, NHL fans placed votes for their “favorite” player to advance through three rounds of competition in order to claim the prestigious recognition of becoming the next cover star of the popular video game created by EA Sports: NHL 2015.
This isn’t the first time EA Sports has engaged its customers in a cover vote. It has been done in the past with another famous EA Sports game known to football fans as Madden. This concept of cover voting started back in 2012 for the Madden game and now occurs every year.
This is a great way to market to that young audience. Let’s face facts, did you remember that EA Sports’ first ever NHL video game came out in 1991? That seems so long ago – freshman year at Curry College for me.
The video game company has to come up with ways to engage their customers and keep its product on the minds of the fans that buy the games, who have the attention span of a snapchat posting. I have a son who is 11 and the first thing he did after the voting closed was complain to me that he can’t see the winner until the NHL awards are announced later this summer. EA Sports grabbed his attention with both hands.
EA Sports also encouraged fans to vote everyday on the its website and across social media by using hash tag, NHL 15 along with their favorite players name. EA Sports even ran a “Twitter Thursday” promotion in which votes counted double on Thursdays, I can pictur the media in Boston flooding the votes every Thursday last month to get Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron more votes.
This is a brilliant way to get fans excited for the release of a video game. It has become so big that some of the mainstream sports sites, like ESPN.com and SI.com, both even posted the bracket updates, think March Madness brackets, on their sites as the results changed weekly.
EA Sports will announce the final results of the cover votes on June 24, at the NHL awards. There are two finalists from rival cities this year, and judging by who they are, Boston Bruins’ center Patrice Bergeron and Montreal Canadiens’ defenseman P.K Subban. I get the feeling there will be two different covers one in the U.S. and a different one north of the border.
Either way it’s a phenomenal campaign in which to engage fans. At the very least, EA Sports has come up with a campaign that other brand managers may want to take note of.