(from Sports Business Journal, September 24, 2012) The NHL locked players out just after midnight on September 16 as the league’s collective-bargaining agreement expired. This is the second time in 8 years that the NHL has locked its players out, the previous was the 2004-2005 season, which canceled all the games for that season. However, during this lockout there are new technologies to keep the players informed of any sort of movement in the talks between the NHL and the National Hockey League Players Association or the NHLPA.
The biggest new technology is a mobile app for players to download on their smart phones. With players going overseas to continue playing hockey this app allows the NHLPA to reach guys wherever they are. “Nothing beats face to face,” said NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon, “but being able to get information to players in a quick effective manner is obviously a positive for the association.” The app is also a great way to keep the 740 members of the hockey union informed with frequent updates.
The app was developed by Vayyoo, an Ontario based mobile application and solutions company, for businesses. Similar apps cost anywhere between $75,000 and $100,000, a source familiar with applications said. Vayyoo has been working with the NHLPA for over a year to help develop ways for the union to communicate with members. The app was launched 4 months ago and no one at Vayyoo sees the information on it. Shailesh Kaul, CEO of Vayyoo, said, “During negotiations as sensitive as this, an enhanced, rapid exchange of multimedia information is essential.”
The app can handle videos as well as memos keep players up to speed on negotiations and news stories about the lockout. It is as basic as any app you can download on your smartphone; you click the icon and see the most recent news stories, videos, and memos on the lockout. The app is just one way the NHLPA is keeping its players involved, they also had a password protected website called The Source for players to receive emails updating them on negotiations and other related matters.