It’s game time meets slime time.
When the New York Islanders face off with the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, the team’s second screen platform and social and digital channels are going to have a different look to them. In an effort to engage their younger fanbase, while tapping into the nostalgia of the older segment of their fans, the Isles have teamed up with Nickelodeon for a special multi-platform experience.
Fans following along with the game on the Islanders HomeIce Experience powered by the HomeTurf App or through the team’s social media accounts will see special Nickelodeon-themed content that will incorporate shows and characters both past and present.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 3, 2021
“We wanted to elevate the overall Islanders game presentation,” Danielle Lewis, the Islanders director of game presentation told NYI Hockey Now in an interview. “With that, we saw Nickelodeon as a great partner having an amazing track record in the lives of generations of Islanders fans as well. It just felt like a natural fit as far as an entertainment side of it.
“With that, we wanted to create a fully co-branded experience. We’ve done some theme nights in the past, but really embracing the true Nickelodeon essence when it comes to slime and their characters.”
The familiar faces that Islanders fans will see tonight range from SpongeBob SquarePants and Rugrats to PAW Patrol and Rocket Power.
Conversations between Nickelodeon and the Islanders began months in advance, according to Lewis, and once the NHL season and schedule had been announced they pinpointed the team’s battle with Philadelphia as the perfect time to do it. For now, the focus has been on preparing for the game tonight, but Lews did say that the “goal is always to build a collaboration and partnership.”
Nickelodeon made plenty of sports headlines over the winter when they teamed up with the NFL to broadcast a special kid-themed telecast of the NFC Wild Card game between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints. Nickelodeon was also incorporated into CBS’s Super Bowl coverage with a special half-hour pregame show.
Of course, the NHL is much different than the NFL, but Nickelodeon’s brand appeal remains the same and carries ways to enhance the digital experience for fans. Not to mention the weight it carries not only for younger fans but for fans of the team who grew up watching the network and now have kids of their own.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 2, 2021
“Of course we want to be able to introduce more kids and have them become more familiar with the game of hockey,” Lewis said. “So having that family-friendly and family-oriented element within our game presentation is important to us. But also being able to touch the older generations and bring back a sense of nostalgia. Whether it’s through the 90s cartoons, which a lot of people are familiar with.”
The Islanders have already had a connection to classic Nick moments, such as the recurring reference to dancing lobsters from The Amanda Show after the team wins.
“We really feel across the different generations of Islanders fans there’s definitely something for everyone,” Lewis added.
While Islanders’ home games have been limited to 1,400 at Nassau Coliseum, tonight will feature some in-arena-only Nickelodeon additions as well. Some of the fan cutouts that are in the lower bowl of the arena will feature some well-known Nick characters, Lews said.
Still, the goal of the night is to not only entertain the limited fans inside the building but allow everyone the chance to feel like they’re inside Nassau Coliseum as well.
“We found this as an opportunity, especially pushing through when it comes to the second screen experience, just to bring that game day experience to all fans,” Lewis said.