My family just recently became weekend NJ Devils season ticket holders. We've also been long time NY Giants season ticket holders (I split the tickets with my Uncle). We are also Yankees fans and hit the occasional Somerset Patriots games. Plus, my son attends Red Bulls games with his friends and we watch the occasional Manchester United game on TV (yeah we like sports). One of the marketing strategies I've noticed is which teams and sports get social media and which ones don't. The Devils and the Giants get social media.
FIRST THE GIANTS
The Giants have a mobile app where they load up behind the scenes videos and articles which I enjoy reading and watching. They also really push using Twitter at the stadium and make regular in game updates on their Facebook page with pictures. One little known social outreach was before the Giants season finale versus the Cowboys, star quarterback Eli Manning made 500 calls to season ticket holders. How do I know this? My Uncle got one of those calls, picked up the phone, and found Eli Manning on the other end. Talk about luck. Eli was calling 500 fans to make sure everyone was loud at the stadium that weekend (my Uncle gave the tickets to a friend). They have one main problem which I'll talk about below.
THE NJ DEVILS
While the Giants are good at social media, the Devils are better. They still hand out iPads at the game to "get Social"and regular push Facebook at all of their games. They also encourage people to post pictures and tweet. The Devils have done a great job pushing their Facebook page. I havent found a mobile app (I dont think there is one) which I wish there was one to make it easier to read and share stories, but I know that takes some money to build one or an agreement with a provider. They have the same problem as the Giants, but one thing I did find annoying is that when you search for their FB page you have to make sure you type in "New Jersey Devils" and not "NJ Devils" to get the official page and to make it just a little more confusing the official page is listed as "Ticket Sales". I think a call into Facebook should help them fix it.
THE MAIN PROBLEM FOR GIANTS AND DEVILS
I think that both teams struggle to decide where their main information hub is. For the Giants it seems to be Twitter but that's not the best place; it should be Facebook. The Devils seem to be torn between their website where a lot of articles, videos, stories, schedule, and stats are stored and Facebook where people "get social". I find myself going between the two and I think that's suboptimal. Also, it would be awesome if there was a way for people to check into their seats similar to what's available in Ticketmaster for their games.
If I was advising the Devils, I'd make the leap into social even more. I bet other local team are taking notice, so they need to keep pushing the envelope. I don't think beefing up their Facebook page would be revolutionary enough. I'd recommend (and yes it costs money) a Facebook App similar to the infamous Washington Post app where it would post stories, post updates to the reader's FB page, and even let people check into game events. The Devils social team should also spend a lot of time understanding Facebook's newly released Open Graph to understand the actions they could be publishing.
With that bigger push and a new designed App, the Devils could keep pushing the social media sports envelope open even more and finally make the leap into minimizing the over reliance of their website as the main information hub.
P.S. A little more advice is to take a look at FB ads especially the Sponsored Stories, Page Post Like and Page Like ad formats to help spread their messaging.