Klein, J.Z. (2010, December 11). Isles’ Boisterous Crowd Is Filled With Nordiques Fans. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/sports/hockey/12nhl.html?_r=2
The Nordiques Nation is an example of collective action as fans have come together to pursue a common goal. Quebec City lost its National Hockey League (NHL) franchise due to financial reasons in 1995, moving to Colorado to become the Avalanche. Fans were disappointed to see the team go and were left with even more anguish when the franchise won the Stanley Cup the very next season in Colorado.
Numerous reports have surfaced that Quebec City is interested in getting a new NHL team. With the potential development of a new arena and political promises to support the club, the goal seems realistic. But it is a group of fans that took the ambition for an NHL team to a new level.
A game between the New York Islanders and the Atlanta Thrashers was attended by 1,100 Quebec Nordiques fans on December 11, 2010. Both the Islanders and Thrashers have two of the lowest attendance records over the past few years, with speculation that their owners may look to a new city if the team does not improve financially. At the fifteen minute mark of each period, the 1,100 fans cheered for thirty seconds to commemorate the fifteen years since they lost their beloved Nordiques.
Here's a clip of the demonstration:
Nordiques fans co-ordinated their demonstration using Facebook, fan sites, Twitter and blogs. Being able to utilize networks between fans was critical to the demonstration. Social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter allowed fans to not only connect, but keep their friends updated on what they were doing to support the cause. For instance, liking the Facebook page also let others know that they were getting involved. To participate, fans require some knowledge and experience regarding social media tools. They had to understand how the tool worked and develop a trust with the larger group that they were to be a part of.
According to Howard Rheingold, smart mobs utilize social networks and technological tools to coordinate collective action (2002). Doing so allows the message to spread to peers and the online community quickly. It also allows the message to be interacted with. For instance, a message could be forwarded, copied and even commented on by others online. Reputations of individuals and groups is also an important part of the Rheingold’s concept of smart mobs. Knowing someone who is part of the group creates a trust of the group, which in turn influences an individuals contribution to the smart mob. With the growing number of mobile devices, information is also shared in real-time. This increases the speed in which the smart mob can form and take action.
Associated Press. (2011, December 10). Nordiques Fans to Send Message with Long Island Invasion. The Sports Network. Retrieved from http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=344972
CTV.ca Newstaff. (2011, February 10). Quebec City, Province Teaming Up to Build Arena. CTV Ottawa. Retrieved from http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110210/nordiques-announcement-110210/20110210/?hub=OttawaHome
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. (2011). 2010-2011 NHL Attendance. Rerieved from http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance
Quebec Nordiques. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_Nordiques
Rheingold, H. (2002). Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Massachusetts: Perseus Books.