VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 31, 2013) -
Editors Note: There is a video associated with this press release.
All across the NHL teams are making desperate attempts to win back rabid hockey fans that were angered into ambivalence during the 119-day lockout. The players themselves are looking to connect with fans in a more personal way, and have been rapidly turning to a new social media platform to engage their fans and earn back their trust.
Shnarped Hockey - a Vancouver-based tech startup founded by two pro hockey players and advised by literally hundreds of others - takes fans behind the scenes by connecting them with their favorite professional hockey players.
"There is a massive, senseless disconnect between the players and the fans that has been exacerbated by the recent lockout," said Dustin Sproat, CEO of Shnarped Hockey. "Shnarped bridges this gap with our interactive 'pound' feature, creating a social environment that is fan, youth, and player-friendly. We are passionate about the values and people that embody the sport of hockey, and hope that our platform can help grow and unite hockey communities around the world."
Being connected is about the details. Shnarped grabbed the attention of the pros by creating dynamic player profiles that combine bio and contract information, current and career statistics, and twitter feeds into one place through an iPhone app (an Android version is intended soon). Fans can interact with pros by sending them a 'pound' (like a fist-bump) with a message, and pros that are verified as regular users can see these messages and show their appreciation by sending a pound-back to the fan.
Here's what the pros are saying:
Erik Condra of the Ottawa Senators
"Receiving 'pounds' is like extending home-ice advantage and bringing our fans on the road… it feels great to be recognized for your efforts."
Jonathan Quick of the LA Kings
"The 'pound-back' feature is great. It lets us return all the support we get, sort of like raising your stick to the fans one-by-one."
Over 150 pro players are verified as regular users of the app, including 30 NHL players across 14 different markets. Shnarped has verified pros in: Toronto (Matt Frattin), Philadelphia (Eric Wellwood), Edmonton (Sam Gagner), Montreal (Brendan Gallagher), Vancouver (Jim Vandermeer), and Chicago (Brandon Bollig), as well as Tampa Bay, St. Louis, San Jose, Dallas, Carolina, Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Ottawa.
Kevin Westgarth - notable CBA participant and recent Stanley Cup champion with the LA Kings - had this to say about Shnarped: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNk1_Lvh_VU.
Hockey fans can download Shnarped Hockey for free in the iTunes App store. (http://ow.ly/hhWDo)