Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/02/14 at 11:12 AM ET
Since speaking with the Shnarped Hockey guys last October – right before they very successfully pitched to the Dragons’ Den - their fan engagement platform has really taken off. Shnarped connects fans to their favorite hockey teams and players, and has 100 NHL players plus 1000 NHL prospects using the platform. And now this hockey season, more fans have received messages from NHL players on Shnarped than on Twitter – pretty impressive.
As founders of a charity called Hockey Players for Kids, Dustin Sproat and Kyle Hagel (who currently plays for the AHL’s Portland Pirates) recognized a problem with how fans were trying to communicate with players. They saw lots of positive messages being directed towards players on Facebook, and lots of negative messages directed at players on Twitter. Obviously players appreciate the positive notes, but Facebook isn’t designed for interaction with strangers and so most of these messages would go unanswered.
Shnarped solves this problem by providing a positive, youth-friendly community for fan interaction. A top-notch news and stats database provides up to the minute information about any and all players (making it great for the fantasy hockey guru), and the players that are ‘verified’ on the platform can very easily respond to their loyal fans via their core interactive feature, the pound.
Since the Dragons’ Den aired, Shnarped has added Canadian major junior hockey and NCAA college hockey players to the platform. Sproat says the younger prospects add a very interactive element because they’ve grown up using social networking. There are definitely a wide range of interesting players using Shnarped like Jonathan Toews, Brendan Gallagher, Torey Krug, Max Pacioretty, Curtis Lazar, Riley Barber, Leon Draisaitl, Brendan Perlini and so many more.
With some of the hostility faced by players and people close to them on Twitter, I can see why a number of players have turned to a different social media platform like Shnarped to communicate with their fans. Elliotte Friedman recently wrote about how a small percentage of the hockey fan-base is ruining Twitter for players and it won’t be long before players stop using Twitter to interact with fans.
If you’re the type of fan that’s not as interested in the interaction component, the addition of minor pro, junior and college hockey to Shnarped really creates value for a lot of us diehard hockey fans. I definitely recommend Shnarped to anyone who has an interest in hockey beyond just the NHL. With a lot of teams out of playoff contention, it’s a good time to turn your attention to the guys who can help your team in the future.
To find out more about Shnarped, visit their website. You can download the app directly from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more updates.
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About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org