Digital Research: UK Ice Hockey

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

As the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships start today (Friday 21 May 2021) in Latvia (Good luck Team GB), we thought it would be a great time to share some previous digital research that we carried out back in November 2020.

We used Digital Research to track the English Ice Hockey Associations’ “Streaming Series”, which was the first competitive ice hockey to be played in the UK since all sport came to an abrupt halt due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The 3 competing teams’ (Swindon Wildcats Sheffield Steeldogs Milton Keynes Lightning) all compete in the National Ice Hockey League in the UK. We monitored the online presence of the competing teams during the period of the competition.

This was the first time that games would be available to supporters under an online “streaming subscription” service and meant that ice hockey could play on amidst the pandemic.

It was interesting to see the mentions on a time-series graph for Swindon Wildcats, Sheffield Steeldogs, and Milton Keynes Lightning. Sheffield Steeldogs had the highest amount of mention on the day of streaming.

Digital Research: Mentions of the teams over time series graph

Any article, post, comment, or retweet that contains the keywords or phrases in your search query. In other words, this is a piece of content that is brought in by your topic(s). This could be multiple times per author.

By tracking mentions over time you can pinpoint the exact points where there are any slumps or peaks to investigate.

The engagement of an article/post is the sum of actions made by others on that article/post. The engagement of a topic is the sum of the engagement of all articles/posts of the topic.

Is the total number of times that a piece of content has appeared in a timeline or equivalent. So essentially, If I have 100 followers on Twitter and I share a Tweet, the potential reach of that Tweet is 100. If however one of my friends also has 100 followers and they share my Tweet, then the potential reach of my original Tweet increases to 200. 

For this overview piece of Digital Research, we used the following criteria for identifying mentions of the teams from the 19th of October to the 17th of November in 2020:


  • Swindon Wildcats
  • Milton Keynes Lightning
  • Sheffield Steeldogs

Within region:

  • United Kingdom

Swindon Wildcats

As Swindon Wildcats is our local ice hockey team, we decided to delve into their key metrics and found over this time-period:

1 K
1 K
1 M
potential reach
Wildcats montage

Digital Research -Content

We all know a picture says a thousand words, but the emoji theme cloud really highlights this.

In this emoji theme cloud we can see the ice hockey stick, tickets, VS, thinking as well as team specific emojis like the dog and lightning.

Digital Research: Emoji cloud

This is a great resource to make sure you are incorporating all the emojis which people are engaging with here.

By using content people are engaging with, this makes them more likely to build rapport and loyalty as well as share content which can increase potential reach.

Digital Research- Top Results

The most engaging content was from the online newspaper Swindon Advertiser which shared the story.

This shows that a community support approach is a really positive and engaging story. Marketeers see trusted authentic brands perform better overall.

This content potentially reached 30 thousand people and it was engaged with 888 times.

Article in the Swindon Adver

Research is a key part of your digital marketing road map! Without research you are proceeding blind. We want to see ice hockey all over the news feeds and boost the online presence for all the teams in the league!

We can help with:

  • Successful campaigns require in-depth knowledge on a wide range of digital marketing techniques, using a team of specialists in digital marketing, data and analysis
  • A team of professionals at your disposal that can produce a project package to fit your business requirements and budget
  • Benefit from contemporary technological tools without the need for costly licenses to make your marketing campaigns successful.

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