The Tampa Bay Lightning have developed a massive fanbase all over the globe through the knowledgeable use of social media and their team website. The usage of Facebook (542K followers), Instagram (524K followers), and Twitter (704K followers) encourages and inspires members of the Tampa Bay community, as well as people worldwide, to follow the team and show their support through each and every platform. The team employs specific people who are specialized in social media platforms in order to introduce new people to the greatness of the organization and keep all fans updated on team news, events, and rumors.
The Lightning organization pride themselves on giving back to the community and providing members with opportunities to meet players, employees, and meet with other die-heart fans. The first ever Bolts Game Night occurred March 3rd of 2019 where all members of the Lightning were split into two teams and competed with each other. The judges and audiences were fans and the games were chosen by the fans themselves. These games included Fan Feud, Caption This, Stack the Pucks, and many more. After the competition, the audience was invited to have a barbeque dinner with players of the team, a little meet and greet where fans could have a conversation with their favorite players.
Coops Catch for Kids is one of the largest community events the Lightning host. John Cooper, coach of the Lightning, hosts kids in the community to a day of fishing on the water. Each kid is paired with a Lightning player and a competition between each pair for who can catch the biggest and most fish keep everyone on their feet. The constant community events the Lightning host, and the large participation at these events, is evidence of the importance of social media and how it brings people of all ages together.
Even more so, to further encourage support during the games, the Lightning offers special deals for season ticket holders. Each holder receives a customisable jersey that, when scanned in the stadium, provides the person with discounts on food, drinks, and other merchandise in the stadium. This new technology of scanning a chip inside the jersey has greatly increased the fan connection with the stadium. The growing usage of technology, as well as social media, has created a stronger sense of community and partnership between the supporters of the Lightning and the team itself.
The usage of social media also encourages smaller websites to share their ideas about the Lightning and grow a following of their own. These smaller sites have goals of eventually taking part with the Lightning organization as a writer and the best way to get started is to write your own blogs and reach out to the team. If you want to come together with other Lightning fans to watch their games no matter where you live, please check out FanWide. Additionally, if you wish to create your own Lightning fan club, feel free to contact FanWide.