NHL 2013-14 Digital Media Findings, Part 2

Vancouver Canucks v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Six

This is the second of a five-part series from Aaron Westendorf

Part 2: Breaking Down The Numbers

In Part 1 of this series I discussed the results of digital fan base growth for all 30 NHL teams. Many people commented about how these results were expected: non-traditional hockey markets expanding after successful seasons. For some of the commentary view the r/hockey post here.

Publishing information that is expected is not a bad thing. What this means is that the hockey markets are reacting to a good product. If there was not a positive return then there would be a market deficiency, or a complete market failure. In other terms, the team would be failing.

This expected result from the data published also points to the fact that Digital Media is an accurate measure of marketing success. Although, I will quickly point out that it is just one way to measure. It is important for team officials to have many tools in their toolbox.

For part two of this series I have broken down the results by conference and division. This can help us analyze regional success throughout the league, and may give hints as to other ways to measure digital marketing success. The league’s divisions aren’t a perfect geological measure, but they are general enough to use as reference. A divisional map can be seen here. Each graph published is sorted by Total Growth (percent change from Facebook 1 + Twitter 1 to Facebook 2 + Twitter 2) and calculates the division averages. The Divisions themselves are sorted by Total Growth. For example: The Central Division (West) had an average Total Growth of 35% and is published first, The Pacific (West) 27% is second, Metropolitan (East) 21.6% is third, and Atlantic (East) 21.3% will be listed last.

Divisional Total Growth:

Besides the statistics ranked by NHL Division, I have taken the liberty in highlighting high and low performance throughout each division. Though each chart is sorted by Total Growth, I have made each category (Twitter Growth, Facebook Growth and Fans Gained Per Win) color-coded according to the Divisional Average. Any number in green indicates a team performing above their Division Average, any in red is performing below. There are some major outliers that have exaggerated certain Division Averages, so it is not necessarily a poor reflection for a team highlighted in red.

An important stat to remember is the league-wide average Total Growth is 25%

1st: Central Division – Western Conference


2nd: Pacific Division – Western Conference

Div 2

3rd: Metropolitan Division – Eastern Conference

Div 3

4th: Atlantic Division – Eastern Conference

Div 4


Keeping the NHL league-wide average of 25% Total Growth in mind, this is how the divisions performed: The Central Division had 5/7 teams perform above league average, the Pacific Division had 4/7 teams perform above average, the Metropolitan Division had 2/8 teams perform above average, and the Atlantic Division had 1/8 perform above average.

Final Thoughts:

The Eastern Conference contains more traditional market teams in settled cities. The majority of east coast cities are already densely populated and are considered by people as being “established.” The western cities are typically expanding markets and somewhat new to professional hockey. It is encouraging that the league and its western teams are not only healthy, but growing wildly.

Another interesting data trend has emerged by breaking down the divisions: the average number of Wins coincides with the the average Total Growth. If you take another look at the data charts above, the divisions are not only ranked by Total Growth but also are ranked by average number of Wins per Division.

The relationship between winning and Digital Media success will be explored in part three of the series. Make sure to stay tuned.

Further Reading: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

I will be posting this five-part series through my Twitter handle: