- Maria Burns Ortiz, ESPN Playbook
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The Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils are vying for the Stanley Cup, but they’re more than just the NHL’s best on the ice. The two teams also among the league leaders in social media. The Devils have won awards for their digital engagement. Meanwhile, @LAKings has become one of sports’ must-follow Twitter accounts.
Here’s a look at how the 2012 title contenders stack up socially:
By the numbers
Kings: 134,295 Twitter followers, 245,956 Facebook likes (380,251 total)
Social media takeoff
Kings: The 2012 postseason has seen the Kings dominate on the ice and explode in the social sphere. The team has nearly doubled its Twitter following since the playoffs began.
Devils: The team generated major buzz with the launch of Mission Control, its social media hub/digital command center, in February 2011.
Taking them viral
Devils: Mission Control. The Devils Army Generals, fans who monitor social media mentions and help run team accounts.
In their own words
Kings: “At the end of the day, our social media is about adding a more informal, human element and engaging hockey fans -- especially Kings fans. There’s no better way to do that than with a little lighthearted humor. In the end, we’re a little like a third-line agitator -- great to have on your team, great for the league, but not so great for the team we’re playing against.” -- Dewayne Hankins, director of digital media and LAKings.com
Devils: “Social media allows us to have fun with our fans, and for some, to actively participate with the team as Devils Army Generals. … What’s more, we are taking some of our Generals on the road for the Stanley Cup to further enhance our social media activation. We want a strong, active social media base. We do not want to be a social media fad.” -- Rich Krezwick, president of Devils Arena Entertainment
Kings: “To everyone in Canada outside of BC, you're welcome.” -- On Twitter, following their first-round Game 1 win over Vancouver.
Devils: “@LAKings there is plenty to do. We have a great aquarium, #AtlanticCity, the Statue of Liberty stands in #NJ & playoff hockey consistently.” -- On Twitter, in response to a Kings tweet asking what else there is to do in Jersey besides fist pump.
The Kings hold a 1-0 series lead, but on social media, consider these Stanley Cup contenders tied.
Logging in, signing off
University of Arkansas football coach John L. Smith and his assistants have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. Meanwhile, Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington announced she will be avoiding Twitter during the Olympics because she doesn’t want to be distracted by social media comments from jerks as she tries to focus on her events.
Elsewhere in the social mediasphere
MLB launched Twitter hub The 140 Club.
A survey revealed Manchester United has 659 million followers globally. However, none of those people follows the club on Twitter. That’s because Manchester United still doesn’t have a Twitter account.
The UFC partnered with Spotify to give fans the chance to choose fighters’ walk-out songs for Friday night’s "The Ultimate Fighter" finale.
Logan Tuley-Tillman is not going to Ohio State.
Got a story we should feature? Have a site we should check out? Who's on your must-follow list? Tweet me at @BurnsOrtiz. If your idea gets mentioned in this column, so will you. Follow Playbook on Twitter at @ESPNPlaybook.