Spanish-speaking hockey fans will now be able to get their Colorado Avalanche fix in their language, as the NHL continues its efforts to reach a wider audience.
When thinking about the NHL, usually five countries come to mind: Canada, the U.S., Sweden, Russia, and Finland, as most players come from these. But the love for hockey goes beyond those lands, and while there are not many actual Spanish-speaking players in the league (though there are some of Latino descent, like Colorado Avalanche’s very own Matt Nieto), there is an audience out there whose native language is Spanish.
The beauty of the digital era is that hockey is no longer exclusive to those countries with a “big hockey market”, and it can reach a wider audience. With that in mind, the NHL has taken a step towards a bigger engagement with fans in other countries that might not exactly have a “hockey market” (but they surely have an audience) by launching a Spanish language website.
According to a press release, the website comes as part of “Hispanic Heritage Month” and the Hockey Is For Everyone initiative, which aims to make hockey an inclusive space (if they are successful or not is a different story). Very much like the NHL’s main website, this Spanish version will cover games, all types of updates from around the league, offer analysis, videos, a special “Hockey 101” section for those new to the game, and more. Steve McArdle, NHL Executive Vice President of Digital Media & Strategic Planning shared the following:
"“We continue to see a strong appetite from NHL fans across North America and around the world for native-language hockey content. Our Spanish-language website will provide original, authentic NHL content. Stories will not simply be translated from English to Spanish but will be covered by experienced reporters and told in their own voices based on their unique perspectives”."
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NHL en español (sounds great, doesn’t it?) joins its brother sites in English, Czech, Finnish, French, German, Russian, Slovakian, and Swedish, and will hopefully help the hockey audience grow. The site is still in its early stages, and to be honest, there are some things that need to be polished (including grammar), but it’s all a matter of time and patience. And of course, at some point there will be a lot of Colorado Avalanche content there, because the team is doing great and why wouldn’t the Spanish-speaking audience like to know more about them?!
So far, the Spanish site has highlights on the LA Kings, Vegas Golden Knights, and Chicago Blackhawks, as these teams broadcast games in Spanish, but hopefully it will expand to other teams soon. This is a great move from the league, as it will also boost other hockey-related sites in Spanish that have been overlooked, and prompt others to start sharing content in that language.
Will we be sharing Colorado Avalanche content in Spanish? Maybe! Possibly! We are a multi-talented team, very much like the Avs themselves.