As Toronto Maple Leafs fans, we’re known around the NHL as being incredibly loud, loyal and maybe even a little misguided. At any rate, a new study from TicketCity.com also suggests Leafs fans are the NHL’s most engaged for the second straight year.
The study from the secondary ticket agency measures each team’s league ranking in home attendance, average ticket price on the secondary market, Facebook likes, Facebook conversations (how many users are “talking about” the team), Twitter following and Google searches.
Here’s TicketCity’s Communications Director, Meredith Owen:
Despite a 46-year championship drought, the Maple Leafs hold the first or second spot in the league for the most Twitter followers, highest average attendance, and most expensive ticket on the secondary market (average ticket price is $191). The Leafs nearly doubled their fan community on Twitter last year, topping half a million fans and climbing from fifth in the league in 2012-13 to second for the most Twitter followers. Facebook fans for the Leafs also increased by 30 per cent, but in addition to growing in size, the community is more actively engaged with the Leafs, hovering around 100,000 “talking about” each week (up 150 per cent from last year). Finally, average attendance increased by five per cent.
The Leafs have taken a more concerted effort, along with many other NHL teams, to reach fans using their team-sanctioned social media accounts. The Leafs’ Twitter account has interacted more with fans during games, poked fun at other team accounts once in a while (following the lead taken by the Los Angeles Kings), and has posted more video and photos to give their fans more content to chew on.
The Leafs are also able to generate a lot of discussion on Twitter using their #TMLtalk hash tag. They received a lot of criticism for recent social media failures (R.I.P. #SEAofBLUE), but there’s no doubting the Leafs’ efforts to get fans engaged using social media are paying big dividends.
Another big reason for the Leafs’ ability to engage their fan base was their return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring. The appearance was the Leafs’ first in nine years, and although they ended up losing to the Boston Bruins in seven games, the massive crowds of fans who showed up to watch the games in Maple Leafs Square just outside the Air Canada Centre showed the city was behind the team 100 per cent.
You can see a graphical representation of how all 30 teams stacked up in the respective categories here.