NHL New-Media Properties Named Star of the Game

As the National Hockey League season reached its approximate midway point and drew closer to its All-Star Weekend, the league took the time to skate a victory lap while boasting about its online accomplishments.

Unique visitors to NHL.com are up 25 percent versus the same point last season, while video starts are up a whopping 128 percent. And average monthly unique visitors to NHL.com and all 30 team Web sites reached a record 21.2 million.

Subscriptions to the broadband version of NHL GameCenter LIVE were up 24 percent compared with last season. And e-commerce was strong, as well, with gross sales on Shop.NHL.com up 12 percent versus the previous season and the site posting its second-highest gross-sales day ever on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, with Black Friday sales up 153 percent compared with last year.

As far as social media, Likes on the NHL Facebook page were up 633 percent compared with last season, reaching nearly 1.3 million, and the league’s Twitter followers totaled 483,000, up 133 percent. The NHL said Facebook is the No. 1 source of referrals to NHL.com (excluding search engines), and Twitter referrals were up 271 percent. The NHL Winter Classic annual New Year’s Day outdoor game reached No. 6 in global trending on Twitter Jan. 1.

On the mobile front, the league has seen more than 1 million global mobile downloads this season, and NHL GameCenter is the No. 1-ranked sports app in the United States and Canada.