“Hockey is for Everyone”: A Semiotic Analysis of NHL Instagram Posts to Define Success for EDI-Focused Sports Marketing

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • In North America, the National Hockey League (NHL) is an example of an influential
    organization that not only acts as a home for some of the world’s greatest athletes, but also fosters a strong community of hockey fans, who primarily engage with the organization and its teams online. The NHL “Hockey is for Everyone” campaign is a marketing initiative activated throughout the NHL and its clubs, focusing on the expression of the league’s commitment to EDI values. Through a quantitative and qualitative content analysis of ten Instagram posts made by NHL teams advertising a “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative, this study aims to define success for an EDI-focused professional sports marketing campaign through the use of Instagram as a means of advertising. This research employs Roland Barthes’ “connotation procedures” as a guide to a visual semiotic analysis of Instagram photos, based on traditional EDI principles. Overall, the study concludes that based on a set of best practices that acknowledge a negative correlation between online engagement and EDI expression, it is possible to achieve both commercial and sociocultural success through the advertisement of a “Hockey is for Everyone” event or initiative on Instagram.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International