Why is Martin Brodeur on the cover of NHL14?
Why is Martin Bordeur on the cover of NHL14? The better question is, how?
Martin Bordeur won the EA Sports cover vote competition to be on the cover of the NHL 14 video game. Over 484,000 copies of NHL 13 were sold in the first week, and that was during a locked out year when no NHL hockey was being played. Fans were boycotting the NHL and its merchandise as a form of protest, most likely dropping potential sales from the covenant EA Sports NHL video game series. Needless to say, Brodeur’s face will be everywhere in September. Being featured on the cover of a popular video game does wonders for a player’s marketability.
But the story in all of this is Brodeur winning as an underdog. He is 41, not tech-savvy, and had to win in an internet voting competition. The victory wasn’t because of a superior NHL 2012-13 season. Brodeur had his worst save percentage since playing for the AHL Utica Comets in 1992, and 2012-13 was the worst NHL season in his 18 year career. So what allowed Brodeur to win?
This article will look at the competition Brodeur faced on his way to win the NHL 14 Cover Vote. In a bracket-formatted competition, Brodeur faced-off against one NHL player each week. Votes were counted on the EA Sports website where fans could vote an unlimited amount of times for their favorite players. On Thursdays, EA Sports allowed fans to vote through Twitter by tweeting #NHL14Brodeur. In an online-only voting contest, the digital market numbers should explain how Martin Bordeur won the NHL 14 Cover Vote.
The Competition: Players
Throughout the NHL14 bracket Martin Brodeur faced-off against Anze Kopitar, James Van Riemsdyk and then Sergei Bobrovsky in the Finals. Here are the following players’ Twitter accounts and online influence according to Klout.
|James Van Riemsdyk||149,729||81|
|*Bobrovsky currently does not have a social media presence|
The Competition: Teams
There were also NHL Team Accounts promoting their player’s NHL Cover Vote campaign. These are the corresponding team accounts for each player.
Something Doesn’t Add Up: How did Brodeur win?
According to follower numbers and online influence, Brodeur should have been defeated twice. Not to mention Bobrovsky should not have been in the finals with a lack of online presence. The New Jersey Devils appear to have the most engaged following of all the teams, but possess a smaller following than the Kings and Maple Leafs. The Devils account definitely played a role in Brodeur’s victory, but what about the man himself?
Brodeur’s Twitter account had not been set up prior to the NHL14 Cover Vote. Hence, the lack of following and the lack of online influence. Those 26,000 followers paired with online and digital influence measurements are solely from the cover vote. All other players had some sort of influence prior to the cover vote and following had developed from previous seasons.
Another factor leading to Brodeur’s victory was that the Devils were out of the playoffs. A particularly late Stanley Cup Finals due to the lockout forced many teams to play later in the calendar year than usual. EA Sports typically releases its NHL game in early September, making the vote overlap with Playoffs. The Maple Leafs and Kings Digital Media offices were busy promoting playoff games, players and stories rather than promoting cover votes.
It was a perfect storm for Bordeur to win in what may be his last season as a NHL goaltender.
Brodeur’s Twitter account moving forward
Tom Gullitti, Devils beat reporter for The Record, reported that Brodeur’s brother and kids did most of the Twitter campaigning for the EA Sports cover and that he had a PR assistant working during the campaign. Before the cover vote even began, Bordeur asked permission from the Devils’ president, GM and CEO Lou Lamoriello to do the Twitter campaign and to have his own Twitter handle.
Brodeur admitted, “I can barely use my phone.” It seems that all the Cover Vote responsibility rested on Brodeur’s family and PR Assistant.
As for the account, Brodeur said @MartinBrodeur will be shut down during the season. He doesn’t want to be caught Tweeting during the season. Although, @MartinBrodeur was active on draft day when the New Jersey Devils selected Martin’s son Anthony in the 7th round. Maybe now that Schneider is in town, Brodeur will have some free time on his hands and will Tweet more than he anticipated. After all, he has quite the committed following already.