When the NHL returned to Winnipeg in 2011 a lot had changed since the team left the city in 1997. Jets 2.0 was a new franchise with its own unique brand, playing in a new venue with more capabilities to entertain attending fans. In the 2017/18 season, the Jets recognized that along with lights, PA, power rings and venue video screens, fans’ mobile devices were now emerging as a production channel to engage live audiences during downtimes and stoppages in play.
The Jets partnered with Fannex to create interactive fan games through the NHL / Winnipeg Jets app. One of these mobile activations is Check-In To Win, where fans are prompted to “Check-In” with their seat location for a chance to win a prize later in the event. This is a great way for teams to enhance traditional “lucky row” or “section of the game” giveaways with interactive participation that also drives mobile activity.
Once fans “Check-In” they can access a suite of interactive games configured by the Jets’ Digital and Game Presentation teams in advance of each event. Interactive games are launched to live audiences during select media timeouts and intermissions with one-click from production. Throughout the 2018/19 season, the Jets were smart in taking a disciplined approach with the timing, frequency, and prizing of their interactive fan games at live events. As a result, fans became conditioned to participate on mobile as the season went on. The team’s consistent execution has successfully doubled in-game engagement year-over-year.
These real-time numbers on active participation are metrics sponsors want to be a part of. The Jets’ Partnership Sales team was able to leverage Fannex analytics to increase the value of existing inventory and create new partnerships opportunities as well.
In addition to strong participation numbers on in-venue activations, the Jets have also experienced a 30% increase in the NHL / Winnipeg Jets App userbase from February 2018 to February 2019. This jump from 180,829 to 235,617 active users over that same timeframe has resulted in the Jets rising from 16th to 8th in the NHL for mobile activity on the league-wide platform. This can be contributed to a few factors, including on-ice performance and team exposure, but the Jets’ Director, Digital, Andrew Wilkinson notes Fannex has definitely contributed to the increase. Call-to-action games offer fans another compelling reason to download and use the team app, which boosts activity on other digital offerings.