NHL All Star Voting Has a Viral Storm on its Hands


Vote for Rory Fan Signs

This year, the NHL is using the Internet to allow fans to vote for 12 players to its All Star Game taking place Jan 24th in Dallas – 6 players from the Eastern Conference and 6 from the Western conference. Voting is unrestricted and unlimited. The usual cast of NHL superstars are on the ballot like Scott Niedermayer, Joe Sakic, and Jarome Iginla. But, there is also a place where you can “write-in” a player who is not on the current ballot – see here. This is where it gets interesting. 22-year old Steve Schmid, a Buffalo Sabres fan has launched a site called VoteforRory.com where he is calling upon hockey fans to vote ex-Sabres and current Vancouver Canucks defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick to the All Star game. Rory who? Yes, that’s the point. Although Rory Fitzpatrick has been around for a while, playing back and forth between the NHL and AHL, he isn’t a “superstar” by any stretch and wouldn’t ever be mistaken for Chris Pronger or Niklas Lidstrom by his own admission. Nevertheless, the hockey forums are all buzzing with the “Vote for Rory” campaign, and it’s picking up a lot of steam. Some online fans are committing to “Rory Diets”, where they will do nothing else for 24 hours but sit in front of the computer and vote for Rory as many times as they can. As of a Nov 27th NHL press release, Rory has 31,310 votes and is the ONLY “write-in” player on the list. The voting ends Jan 2nd.

Vote for Rory T-shirtsFans are posting Rory Fitzpatrick montages to YouTube and bringing “Vote for Rory” signs to games. His current team, the Vancouver Canucks, has issued an official post on its site and their support for the movement. In fact, the Canucks have started selling “Vote for Rory” t-shirts inspired by the Napoleon Dynamite movie and it has already become a hot seller. Even his teammates are getting in on the action wearing the t-shirts and expressing their support in media scrums.

So what is Steve’s motivation? Is it to show a flaw in the NHL’s new Internet-based voting system? Publicity? Or, is it because he just happens to be a huge Rory Fitzpatrick fan. Well, according to his site, it appears to be a little bit of everything:

Everyone has their reasons for voting, but the general consensus is that Rory is the perfect representative for all the players who work hard “behind the scenes” and never get any recognition. Myself and many others view the All-Star game as an exhibition for the fans. That said, the fans want to see Rory Fitzpatrick… simple as that!

I don’t think this is what the NHL brass quite had in mind when they decided to let fans vote through the net. But, since I’m a long-suffering Canucks fan, any time we have a chance at winning something, I’m behind it. So, Rory you’ve got my vote. Clear your calendar, you’re going to Dallas! If you would also like to see Rory at the All Star game, vote now.

16 Comments

Filed under Canucks, Hockey, Internet, marketing, NHL, Viral, Word-of-Mouth

16 responses to “NHL All Star Voting Has a Viral Storm on its Hands

  1. RORY

    ^WHAT HE SAID!!!

  2. Simmy

    Did You Vote For Rory Today?

    VoteForRory.com

  3. Samantha

    I love Rory!

    VoteForRory.com

  4. The fact that people can sit for 24 hours and vote for the same player over and over renders this fan voting meaningless. I like the fact that fans can vote and that you can pick your favorite player over a so-called “superstar”… that’s great. But the ability to “stuff” the ballot box renders the game meaningless. So what, so Rory will play in the All-star game. Does that mean he was voted in by a majority of fans… no… more like a hand full of fans who have nothing better to do. Oh well, at least he won’t steal a spot on the roster of the Eastern Team. VoteForVanek

  5. Personally, I never use more than one life on this if I understand this correclty. I just wonder why so many do not understand how this is. I guess that is the beauty of it all. Good post though!!

  6. The campaign has been wildly successful,
    the NHL is getting 10,000% more media coverage of the All-Star game because of the grassroots web campaign, see my catalogue of links to media and blog coverage at
    http://canesallstars.wordpress.com/2006/12/19/rory-fitzpatrick-media-coverage-update/
    or
    http://tinyurl.com/yndm8y
    Fitzpatrick has nearly a half-million votes and is line for a starting spot in the all-star game!

  7. Gordon Bombay

    Flying “V” !!! Vote for Rory

  8. chuck norris

    It’s too bad someone who actually deserves to go is going to get screwed out of it because of the Rory phenomenon. I guess the one good thing about it is that it shows the flaws in the system and hopefully can get fixed in the near future. Sorry to the Western Conference Defenseman who won’t get to go, we gotta get Rory in there because he is a “hard worker.”

  9. pchrisw

    If the NHL brass can’t figure out how to set up a proper balloting system, in this day and age, and the fans are having fun with it more power to the fans! The allstar game needs some hype and to be talked about. This is generating more interest than Bettman could create.

  10. Pingback: Vote for Rory Viral Campaign is Winning « BIG marketing for small business

  11. Sara

    Wicked!! This is hilarious…

  12. To play off the petty ploy that this is bringing an immense amount of media and coverage to the NHL is not enough, and to say that he’s a “hard worker” is just pathetic. How do you think anyone gets to the NHL? Hard work! Everyone single one of the players who are actually listed on the All Star ballot has worked harder at one thing for a longer period of time, then any of us have at anything.

    If Rory does accept his free pass to the All Star game it will look very bad, not only on himself but also the Vancouver Canucks and the NHL for not doing something. Try putting yourself in the position of one of the players who may actually have a shot at making the All Star team for the first or last time, legitimately, but then gets snubbed because hardworking Rory took the final spot. Don’t you think they may be able to put up just as concrete an argument that they work equally as hard?

    The All Star game is an honour and privilege. What’s happening in the Rory phenomenon is sad.

  13. hooks

    It’s an All Star game vote for Professional Athletes who get paid to play a game; get over yourself and save us the sanctimonious B.S.

    If you think everyone in the NHL is a “hard worker” then I suggest that you open your eyes the next time you’re watching a game. Similarly, the assertion that players listed on the ballot have “worked harder … then any of us have at anything” is not only idiotic but frighteningly naive.

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