Monday, September 15, 2008


Growing a Devils Legion

If you have noticed by the end of last season or during the playoffs or have been to the Devils' official website, you've likely heard of the Devils Legion. Basically, it's the organization reaching out to those who have supported the team via an online community. As far as i know, to be a part of the Legion, you have to do one of three things. Other than being a Devils fan, of course.

1) Be a season ticket holder of some kind.
2) Submit something online - be it a picture, a video, a story, a drawing, or "other."
3) Be Patrick Warburton.

While we all can't be Patrick Warburton, options 1 and 2 are pretty good choices. I happen to think this is a great way to drawing interest into the team. It allows those who are already "in"to show off their support of the team in a creative manner and be recognized for it. It can be of interest to those who aren't "in" and could be a way of convincing them that the team directly supports their supporters. I mean, what's more attractive? A professional hockey organization giving their fans space to tell their story and share their pictorial moments of "bleeding Devils red?" Or a series of commercials where a die-hard fan continually gets abused or made to look like a fool or taking a wrist shot to the testicles?

Oh, sure, I enjoy those commercials. But I'm a Devils fan. How can I not enjoy a Rangers fan taking a shot to the groin? Even if it isn't real? However, the message there is: be a fan of our team, like this doofus.

I don't think that's a good idea (albiet hilarious to their rivals). I think the Devils are onto something with this Devils Legion. My only complaint - other than that they should have done this sooner - is that they really need to put it out there. Hopefully, they'll make more of a point that it's a community rather than saying "you're one of us" like last year's commercial-esque spots. While I enjoyed the spots, such as this and this and this, it doesn't tell me much about what the Legion actually is. It tells me to join it - or perhaps I already had (I'd hope so just on the basis that I do this.) - but it doesn't tell me, or anyone else, how. If they are going to use the same spots, which would be fine, just edit them to include how they can join the Legion by going to the Devils' website. If they are going to use new spots, well, they need to make sure they include that. (Related Aside: If you submit a video, could it become a spot for the Devils Legion? That'd be a good question to ask, actually.) This way new and recently new fans can start to be a part of something and long-time fans who may not necessarily go poke around the Devils' official site all that much will learn about it too.

Incidentally, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the Devils' site included a little section on the front page of the site to highlight features of the Devils Legion. They have a nice sized rectangle below Merchandise and next to the widget (?) for the schedule, standings, and statistics that could hold that quite nicely. While the page does have a tab up top for "Fan Zone" and a side graphic for the Devils Legion, a little something just to show off what's new over there. It could give vistors more of a reason to check it out.

Regardless of the nitpicks, overall, I think it's a good decision by the organization to start this and I sincerely hope they continue it. It shows that they are interested in growing a community, giving the Devils fanbase an area for them, and they actually are doing something to promote the team.

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