Nike plays it social with World Junior Championships

The athletic co signs on Canadian star vlogger Steve Glynn to tweet, Facebook and YouTube his take on the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, including tonight's gold-medal game.

He goes by the name ‘Steve Dangle’ on YouTube, but don’t let the weird handle fool you: he’s the face of athletic apparel giant Nike Canada’s social media strategy for the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.

Starting on Day 1 of the tournament on Dec. 26, Nike Canada signed on the popular Toronto-based YouTube personality Steve Glynn (aka ‘Dangle’) to fill the brand’s Nike Training website, as well as its YouTube channel, Twitter and Facebook pages with content for hockey fans nationwide. He has been covering every game from Saskatchewan for the brand and will continue to do so for tonight’s gold-medal game.

The idea came from Nike Canada’s digital agency, Toronto’s Organic, whose ‘social media guy’ was already a fan of Glynn’s ‘Dangle’s Angle’ YouTube page, says Craig Schiele, director, delivery management at Organic. They thought Glynn’s personality and established fan base – he has over 3,000 subscribers and over 200,000 channel views – was a perfect fit for the brand’s hockey-focused target demographic, says Shiele.

‘It was a no-brainer. He had the means to reach out to the target audience, the grassroots hockey fan that Nike is targeting. I’m not sure that any athlete, or even a reporter, would have built up that same kind of audience.’

Glynn has been on-site at the World Juniors since the tournament started, posting Twitter and Facebook content minute-by-minute when the games are on and creating video summaries afterwards.

The initiative is part of the brand’s greater hockey-focused ‘Force Fate’ campaign, built around the idea that athletes can achieve their goals through hard work and training, rather than relying on luck. The campaign is being run online through the brand’s Nike Training website and features Canadian hockey athletes such as Jarome Iginla. The WJC portion of the campaign is being promoted with a media buy, handled by Cossette and focusing only on Google Adwords, while the brand is letting Dangle’s buzz do the rest.

According to TSN (via BBM Canada), over 3.3 million Canadians watched the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships New Year’s Eve game between Canada and the US, the most-watched preliminary round WJC game ever and the channel’s fourth most-watched program of all time. Last January, 3.7 million Canadians watched the gold-medal game on TSN.