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NHL 2009 – 2010: Best season ever!

That statement isn’t intended only for the Blackhawks and their fans who celebrated their first Stanley Cup win since John F. Kennedy was president. Indeed, the NHL recognizes the 2009 – 2010 season as the best ever on the business side.

The NHL boasts highly engaged fans, who are younger, more affluent and more tech-savvy than fans of the other major sports leagues. Effective use of digital media and new technologies accelerated league growth across the 2009-2010 season by delivering content in real time across multiple platforms.

After a hot Stanley Cup playoff series, BizWiseTV wanted to know what was contributing to the success of the NHL and growth of its fan base. We had the pleasure of sitting down with NHL, COO, John Collins at the 2010 Entry draft. John shared his perspective on how technology helps the NHL grow its global brand.

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NHL Fans: The Smartest Fans on the Planet

Despite some bizarre hockey fan habits, hats on ice, rats on ice, and octopi on ice, the NHL considers their fan base the smartest and most tech savvy in the world. BizWiseTV ventured out into the fan fest during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to find out! Watch what hockey fans had to say about following their favorite sport.

Bizarre Hockey Fan Traditions:

Rats on Ice: Florida Panther’s fans started throwing plastic rats on the ice in 1996. During that year, Panthers’ winger, Scott Mellanby, jabbed and killed a rat running through the dressing room with his stick. He scored two goals that game and the tradition began.

Hats on Ice: Hockey fans everywhere celebrate a player scoring three goals in a game, which is called a hat trick, by throwing their hats onto the ice. A “natural hat trick” is when a player scores three goals in a row -- with no goals by the other team in between. By tradition, the hats are donated to charity.

Octopus On Ice: For nearly 50 years, hockey fans in Detroit have been throwing octopi on to the ice after a big win by the Red Wings. In 1996, the largest octopus thrown in Joe Louis Arena was 50 lbs. and rode the hood of the Zamboni in between periods.

Watch NHL, COO, John Collins share how technology enhances the fan experience.

What’s your favorite experience as a hockey fan?

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