The NHL is expanding its digital outreach by partnering with TikTok and Jinri Toutiao to dive into a potential Chinese market, the league announced Wednesday.
Both companies are Chinese owned under the ByteDance brand. TikTok, better known in China as Douyin, is a surging product that showcases user-created content in 15-second videos. Jinri Toutiao is a leader in news aggregation in China with over 700 million downloads.
“It’s important for us to see more people in China becoming interested in hockey,” said David Proper, NHL executive vice president of media and international strategy. “By launching on Douyin and Toutiao, we plan to offer additional entertaining and localized content for all hockey and Winter sports fans. China is a market we’re very committed to and these new platforms represent another step in our journey.”
China has hosted four preseason games for the NHL, which spiked the games popularity in the Far East. Over the past year, the NHL saw its followers rase by more than 500,000 on the Weibo social media platform after the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames played in Shenzhen and Beijing in 2018.
The NHL partnerships with TikTok and Jinri Touttiao join WeChat and Weibo to grow the league’s digital involvement to four social media platforms that cater to the Chinese market. The NHL has put a focus recently on connecting with fans digitally having partnered with Snapchat late last month.
With the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics approaching, the NHL sees a grand opportunity to grow its fan base in China and appeal to a brand new market.