When the New York Rangers drafted Kaapo Kakko second overall at the 2019 NHL draft, it was more than just their roster that developed.
The Broadway Blueshirts have always been known for their ‘classic’ behavior. The diagonal lettering and the Ranger blue alone scream ‘tradition’. It goes beyond their sweaters though, anyone can see the Rangers take the term original six very literally. For example, where they play. Although it’s had it’s renovations, Madison Square Garden is simply ‘The World’s Most Famous Arena’. The Rangers do not have a mascot, an alternate jersey, or (as fans claim) a very good PR team. Something within the world of sports and social media that has become very common is the interaction of team accounts and fans. What started with replying to fan tweets with GIFs, became full-fledged conversations, and sometimes even jokes. The Rangers never had much of this, in fact they didn’t have any.
As the 2019-2020 season approached, there was an evident change in their social media persona. Here’s a reply to a fan:
To many Ranger fans, this sudden interaction with them was surprising, but fun.
Not only was their Twitter page’s social status boosted, but a new Instagram page was created. @Rangersonmsg on Instagram is direct from MSG Networks and dedicated to keeping fans in the loop of pictures, interviews, and player fun. Perhaps its most notable feature is a close-up ready Kaapo Kakko in the profile’s picture.
As the 2019-2020 season continues, youthfulness is seen in all aspects of the organization. Young players like Kakko, Filip Chytil, Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, Lias Andersson, and Adam Fox bring that new-generation-of-hockey-player essence to the team. Their skill and attitude reflect a more fresh-faced type of play. But it’s not just the young players that radiate spryness, 28-year-old Artemi Panarin is conceivably the most active on social media.
Panarin has become very invested in New York life, using the subway and all. Fans can easily keep up with their star right wing and what he’s doing while he’s not dominating the ice. In fact, fans can keep up with most players on their public social media’s.
With the team currently 7-6-2, there is plenty of room for improvement, but the New York Rangers public relations team works hard to keep its fans involved, and most importantly, excited. A new era of hockey is here, and social media is a big part of that.