Polar Mobile is no stranger to making sports mobile. CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, Rogers Sportsnet, The Hockey News, and even the Toronto Maple Leafs (ouch) have enlisted their help to build mobile apps for them to get their message out to fans.
Today, Polar announced that they will be working with a different sort of sports partner; a player’s union, in this case, the NHL Players Association. This marks the first time Polar has worked with a union from one of the Big Four leagues as opposed to the league’s management.
As The National Post reports, the NHLPA wanted to get this app out so that players could communicate directly with fans — NHL marketing staff be damned:
For the NHLPA, the Polar deal marks the boldest step to date by a union of one of the big four North American pro sports leagues to market its athletes directly to the fans — without the filter of the league — via mobile technology.
“In today’s world, there isn’t always the opportunity for the guys to stop by and shake a kid’s hand and sign an autograph,” said Mike Ouellet, chief of business affairs for the NHLPA.
“So players are constantly asking us to find new ways that will allow them to reach out and interact with fans more … our efforts here are geared towards exposing the players as people, as guys who used to live in your community and who grew up in your minor hockey associations.”
The first NHLPA smartphone application is expected to be available in about two weeks. However, in addition to a catch-all NHLPA application that will contain information on all of the union’s more than 700 players, Polar also plans to begin working on other applications, including apps designed around single players.
Once the NHLPA starts releasing apps for individual players, they better make one for Paul Bissonnette; seriously, if you’re not following this guy on Twitter, you’re missing out. For example, on the subject of the Anaheim Ducks ice girls: “Unreal. The smell so nice. Its like mcdonalds french fries, addictive.”