The Minnesota Wild’s thrilling run through the Second Round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and its promising future has sparked a huge resurgence in fan excitement and support, helping to set new benchmarks in many areas of the team’s business operations.
“We’re so grateful for the support of the fans and the entire community,” Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka said. “This playoff run, and the passion once again shown by fans in the State of Hockey, really is inspiring for our organization.”
New season ticket holders have joined the team, with nearly 1,000 new season tickets added since the start of the calendar year. The growing fan interest is expected to keep ticket sales strong through the summer. Some 2014-2015 partial season plans are already selling out.
Attendance at all six home playoff games exceeded 19,000, and includes a new Wild record of 19,416. Three of those crowds were among the top 5 all-time in team history. The Wild also finished the regular season with 25 straight sellouts.
Fans have been gobbling up merchandise, too, placing the Wild in the top 5 among all NHL clubs during a six-week stretch that started April 1. Wild retail sales at the three Hockey Lodge locations as well as online at stateofhockeystore.com were boosted by exclusive Stanley Cup Playoff merchandise, as well as sales of the new white road jersey introduced at the start of the season. Overall, online sales increased more than 200 percent compared to the 2013 playoffs.
The Wild drew record television and radio ratings in each round. FOX Sports North recorded a 16.4 household rating in the Minneapolis – St. Paul DMA for the Wild’s First Round, Game 7 match-up versus Colorado. That marked the highest-ever rated broadcast on FOX Sports North, regardless of sport. On CNBC, the Game 6 broadcast versus the Blackhawks drew a 15.6 rating in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the highest-rated game on any NBC network ever in the Twin Cities. In addition, Wild radio broadcasts on KFAN FM 100.3 set new records during the playoffs.
The team experienced record interest in the Wild Digital Network as well, especially via Wild.com, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Wild.com had more than 700,000 unique visitors in April, an all-time high. More than 300,000 fans viewed the Wild’s Game 7 inside-the-locker-room celebration video on Wild.com. Another 35,000 visitors per week on average utilized the Official Wild App for iOS and Android mobile devices. Since the end of March, the Wild added more than 27,000 new Twitter followers, leading all NHL teams in percentage growth (12%) of audience over that period. The Wild now has more than 229,000 Twitter followers. The Wild’s Facebook page gained 22% more traction during the playoffs, surpassing the 400,000 likes mark and its Instagram account grew by nearly 20% in the postseason by giving fans access to exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos.
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