It’s been said that the Sharks’ 7th man on the ice has been their fan base. Anyone in attendance at the Shark Tank during a crucial game can attest, the aural onslaught can be quite intimidating.
Vancouver has a 7th man as well, only it’s not as rooted at a single location as the Sharks is. It’s mobile, and it uses social media to organize. Oh, and did I mention that it is fully endorsed by Vancouver’s official Twitter account?
Here’s how it works, Vancouver fans organize themselves at tweetups where they watch the game and tweet using various hashtags like #nowayjose and #windaturd. Anecdotally, I’ve noted that during the first two post-season series the Sharks fans have been pretty noisy on Twitter using hashtags like #gosharks and #sjsharks. These have been entertaining to watch, and if you set up a search query that includes the opposing team’s preferred hashtags it provides a nice stream of back channeled discussion during games.
This isn’t the case with Canucks hashtags. When added to San Jose search queries these tweets absolutely flood the streams and snuff out any Sharks tweets posted.
That’s right, the Canucks 7th man is their fanbase on Twitter.
Add to this the insult that was the silent Shark Tank during Game 4 and Vancouver’s tendency to dominate the third period and suddenly the Canuck hashtags take on a whole new light.
So what say you @sanjosesharks? Why not organize fans around a group of hashtags? Encourage viewing parties in San Jose, and motivate fans to do their part?