Maple Leafs and Raptors Turn to Mobile to Engage Fans with Playoff Tailgating

June 25, 2019

It cannot be understated how focused Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) teams are on the fan experience. From engaging digital campaigns to their continued focus on technology and innovation, each team cares about creating the best experiences for their fans.

Recent examples of this can be seen through their digital leadership innovation around the Toronto Maple Maple Leafs’ and Toronto Raptors’ playoff tailgating parties. Through a focus on enhancing the fan experience beyond the walls of Scotiabank Arena, MLSE has created a community for all fans who share a passion and enthusiasm for their teams. Celebrating a buzzer beater or an incredible power play goal is so much more fun while in the company of like-minded fans!

MLSE hosted playoff tailgate parties for both home and away games, with a focus given to the home team. Each party featured the ever-important food trucks, sports apparel retailers, and hot dog vendors, but also included a multitude of fun activations from giveaways, special guests, a live DJ and more. While MLSE has demonstrated a commitment to delivering a best-in-class service experience for all fans attending their events, this commitment is not limited just to fans inside the venue — and their tailgating parties have been incredible.

Victoria, an avid Toronto sports fan known on Twitter as @biaginger, had a blast attending a recent Leafs watch party outside Scotiabank Arena. “The atmosphere is indescribable,” she said. “It’s completely electric the moment that we score. It’s an incredible experience to be able to take it all in with other like-minded fans.”

“It was really awesome to enjoy both the pre-game and game with other like-minded fans. On top of that, all of the ladies in my area were all grouped together, and we all had each other’s backs!”

The success with the tailgates aren’t only found in the events themselves, but also in the way in which they were promoted. While both teams turned to their social media networks to promote the atmosphere outside the Arena, they also created engaging content in their mobile apps as well.

Recently, Humza Teherany, MLSE’s Chief Technology and Digital Officer indicated that their near term goal for their app is to learn more about their audience, and to use the app to help fans find more ways to interact and transact. “For us, everything is about our fans,” he says.

And that’s exactly what they did.

Both the Leafs and the Raptors put the engaging and relevant fan content in their app. The content provided relevant details, including start time, an area map, and important highlights including DJs, entertainment, ticket contests, and special events.

They included the piece of content in the fan section of the app, the primary section where there fans regularly checked for up-to-date information. “Now when you’re interacting with the Raptors or the Leafs or TFC, you go to the app first,” he says. “You don’t have to go to 12 places to figure it out. Our mission is to give you that single place at the centre of the whole experience,” added Teherany.

Another strong addition to these mobile experiences is the way in which the teams highlight their sponsors who are activating at the events. With Scotiabank as a presenting sponsor, MLSE also chose to highlight the activity areas, from the Coors Light Mountain Bar to the Ford Fan Zone, to not only promote the fun activations, but their sponsors too.

With a continued focus on the fan experience in and out of the stadium, it’s no wonder that MLSE’s digital teams and platforms rank amongst the top in their respective sports. As the playoffs ring on, we look forward to seeing more contextual mobile experiences from MLSE and other teams throughout the NHL and NBA playoffs.

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