Published in the April 9, 2013 issue of The Edmonton Sun.
Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.
Edmonton Rush turn to social media for support
The Edmonton Rush is trying to ‘Rise up.’
That’s the professional lacrosse team’s slogan and it also applies to how they’re trying to capture the same kind of fan support that the Edmonton Oilers and the Edmonton Oil Kings have.
It hasn’t been easy. The team has struggled to find success and this year boasts the second lowest attendance in the league.
“Edmonton is a city that expects winners and demands winners and I think the fact that we haven’t been a winning team largely during our history has affected the level of support,” says team president Dave Jamieson.
But they’re working on gaining more support.
The team held their inaugural Edmonton Rush Social Media Experience over the weekend, inviting a few bloggers to take in a game and learn more about the sport.
Geoff, an incredibly passionate Edmonton Rush Ambassador who volunteers his time to help promote the team and the sport, led our group on a behind-the-scenes tour which included a fun lacrosse lesson with some Rush players.
The unique experience for social media users is one way the Rush is trying to connect with potential fans.
The team has just over 6,000 followers on Twitter (@TheEdmontonRush) and more than 10,000 Facebook fans.
They post live game updates, behind-the-scenes photos and videos, information on upcoming Rush player appearances and more.
“We’re obviously living in a different time in the way we the club communicates with our fans and people who haven’t experienced us before,” Jamieson says.
Rush games — and all NLL games — are actually livestreamed on YouTube as well.
It’s a great option but experiencing it in person is even better.
Excuse the pun but, what a rush!
The game I saw was thrilling. You’re on your feet when players score, you wince when they get hit (which is often — players can get aggressive), and you’re constantly excited because music is blaring during the game.
“It’s not like an Oiler game, it’s not like an Oil Kings game. There’s a different kind of energy and excitement,” Jamieson says.
It’s also family-friendly and tickets are very affordable.
Smart move by the team to host a social media night, they easily won me over and the bloggers who attended had only great things to say (and tweet and Instagram) throughout the evening.
Companies engaging with social media ‘influencers’ and trying to tap into their following can go a long way in helping expose the brand to a new audience.
There are two more regular season home games this month.
If you haven’t seen a game or it’s been awhile, now’s the time to go.
The team is trying to make history with the chance of hosting a home playoff game if they win these last two regular season games.
Let’s show some support and help the Rush rise up.