Friday, September 2, 2011

This Year's Rivalry Cup Format Announced

The 2011-12 edition of the Brunswick News Rivalry Cup will have a modern feel to it.

This morning the Moncton Wildcats and Saint John Sea Dogs announced the format for this year’s season-long challenge with one of the changes being the role that Twitter and Facebook will have in determining the winner.

Here is this year’s format:
(1)   On-ice record: one (1) point for an overtime or shootout loss, two (2) points for an overtime or shootout win, and three (3) points for a regulation win. 
 (2)   Attendance: based on game-by-game attendance numbers, one (1) point for 4,000 or more fans, two (2) points for 5,000 or more fans, and three (3) points for 6,000 or more fans. 
 (3)   Social Media (Facebook and Twitter) Challenge: one (1) point per new like on each team’s Facebook page, one (1) point per new follower on Twitter, and five (5) points per picture taken in “hostile territory” and posted/tagged online. The team with the highest total receives five (5) points toward the Rivalry Cup challenge. 
 (4)   Food Drive: The food drive in Saint John will take place on Jan. 2, while the drive in Moncton will take place on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31. The team gathering the most food by weight will be awarded three (3) points.
As Sea Dogs president Wayne Long explained in a release, this year’s format will allow fans to more interactive in the challenge.

“The Rivalry Cup has really accentuated the natural rivalry between the Sea Dogs and Wildcats over the past three years,” said Long. “While on-ice performance and attendance remain at the heart of the competition, these new elements provide more ways for fans to support their team. We have such a great following on Facebook and Twitter, and this will encourage fans to invite more friends to take advantage of the information and contests available on our social media. Meanwhile, the need is great at our community food banks, and a food drive right after Christmas will help restock the cupboards.”

“The Rivalry Cup has been an exciting part of the Wildcats experience building on the rivalry with our interprovincial neighbor Saint John Sea Dogs” said Moncton GM Jeff Rose in a release. “This year we look forward to adding two new components that directly tie the fans into the outcome. Facebook and Twitter will are becoming more and more important to connect with our fans and being able to reward them with prizes and advanced information. As well, supporting our community has been the mantra of this organization from the start, we are excited to be raising food donations at such a crucial time of need during the year. We would like to put a call out to all of our fans to help us take the trophy back to Moncton this year.”

This season’s format resembles the 2009-10 edition more than 2010-11’s. Last year, the challenge was simplified and only used attendance, head-to-head results and a video game challenge.

In 2009-10, the second year the challenge was held, head-to-head results, attendance, a mascot challenge, holiday food drive and a road trip challenge were all used to determine a winner.

The first annual challenge, held in 2008-09, was a two-game event where the team with the best attendance in their one home game was named the winner.

The Wildcats one the first two Rivalry Cups but the Sea Dogs won easily last year after sweeping the Wildcats in eight regular season games. It's also interesting to note that the last two Rivalry Cup winners have gone on to win the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League title.

With fans more involved this year, it should make things more interesting even if one team is dominant over the other.

At the time of this post, the Sea Dogs had 3,431 followers on Twitter and 2,266 fans on Facebook. The Wildcats have 1,932 Twitter followers and 2,474 Facebook fans.

The first of eight meetings between the two clubs is next Thursday when the Sea Dogs host the Wildcats at 7pm at Harbour Station for the opening game of the Canadian Hockey League season. The Rivalry Cup is expected to be in attendance.

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