Nashville Predators: Tracking The Buzz Ahead Of The 2013/2014 Season

With the 2013/2014 NHL season quickly approaching, here is an analysis of all the conversations happening over social media regarding the Nashville Predators. I used Social Mention to track and report on the conversations and it is a very thorough free tool to use.

My focus in selecting conversations was on timeliness. Rather than going through topics that might have been dated back a few months but might have more people commenting on it, I chose conversations that were more recent to reflect the upcoming start of the hockey season. Here are 10 conversations related to the Preds that are happening now:

1. With season debut of NFL Football season (yes, football), Carrie Underwood now voices the new intro to NBC’s Sunday Night Football, as one Twitter user notes. Where’s the connection the Preds? Underwood’s husband, Mike Fisher plays for the Predators. Underwood has been seen at many Preds games. She has also sung National Anthem and performed at the Intermission shows for the Predators. Given her popularity, it’s not a surprise that people are talking about her and her impact on the Preds’ business side of things has been sizeable.

2. In July, the Predators signed goaltender Carter Hutton to be the backup to star Pekka Rinne. It’s the first time in awhile, the Preds have some nerves about their backup situation. Rinne played through an injury last season and the team has usually had effective backup performances in lieu or relief of their Finnish starting netminder. One Twitter user tweeted out an article from the Nashville Tennessean newspaper on Hutton and how he feels he is prepared for the NHL season.

3. One of the biggest off-ice Nashville Predators news items of the last few weeks happened in an email that the team sent to season ticket holders. Everything had gone well up until the bottom of the email, where it is signed “Go Perds!” – an obvious accidental misspelling of “Preds”. This went viral very quickly and even the organization made fun of it.

4. With rookie sensation Seth Jones about to hit the ice in Nashville, he and the rest of the Predators prospects are playing other teams in a Rookie Tournament. Jones, a Texas native, was taken 4th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft this summer and has plenty of hype to his name and ability. In Saturday’s game vs Tampa Bay, Jones scored his first goal as a Predator (non-regular season) as the tweet to the story indicates.

5. As with any professional sports team, various outlets of media members and bloggers alike publish who they feel are players to look out for. It’s a common kind of article and provides some sort of spotlight on a number of players who may deserve it. This tweet is of an article on 5 Predators to look out for this season.

6. Closely related to number 1, Carrie Underwood’s voice and appearance on Sunday Night Football drew a tweet and then response to that tweet. As I mentioned, Mike Fisher is the husband of Carrie Underwood. Understanding that fact, I think the tweet below speaks for itself.

7. Related to number 4, someone posted an article to Tumblr on the Panthers/Predators rookie game from Friday. It’s a Panthers blogger who wrote the article, breaking down the game from a Panthers point of view. There are a sizeable amount of comments on it as well.

8. Among many of the Predators off-ice initiatives to build their brand, they put on a little scavenger hunt for fans. The prize? Free season tickets. Not too bad of an investment if you get them! It was just an article that Social Mention found over Yahoo News. It seems like the article was indexed to be place for conversations to happen. However, none were happening at the bottom of this article. Grade: 1/10

9. This conversation is a bit dated but very noteworthy from this offseason. The Preds painted their home ice gold for a few days and this was captured and posted to Reddit, where it received plenty of comments (as most things on Reddit do). The conversation is length and mostly positive with a few inappropriate and irrelevant comments (but that’s going to happen over Reddit!). Grade 8/10  – lots of discussion and very little negatives on the Preds.

10. If you read my last blog on the Predators trying to “Keep The Red Out”, then you’ll know that this ticket policy of the Preds has generated a fair amount of discussion. Preds fans love it and Blackhawks fans seem to hate it. This is exactly what the Predators want – more revenue and more of a rivalry. This is a post off a Blackhawks forum so the sentiment towards the Preds is mostly negative (not a surprise!). Grade: 5/10 – poor sentiment but plenty of discussion.

As you can see, I did not give a grade for many of the conversations that I have tracked here. I did that because some of them are “one-off” posts or tweets and don’t exactly contain what we would call a two-way conversation.

I did grade the conversations that were more two-way and the overwhelming majority of discussion surrounding the Predators is positive going into the 2013/2014 season. Naturally, going into any season, the mood will be positive. Fans have been waiting a few months for hockey and given the eventful Predators offseason and what is expected to come this season, there is no doubt in my mind that the fans of this brand are overwhelmingly positive.

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