Kraft Hockeyville recruits via social media

Facebook, Flickr and online ads reach out to hockey enthusiasts for the fourth run of the contest to find Canada's most puck-obsessed community.

The fourth edition of Kraft Hockeyville, which begins Nov. 1, is using social media and online ad buys by Toronto-based MediaVest to spread the word about the popular contest, wherein communitites battle to prove they are the biggest hockey fans, culminating in a CBC broadcast of finalists and online vote-off.

The Facebook group Official Kraft Hockeyville 2009 launched last week and will feature video logs and behind-the-scene info, while Flickr will feature images of past events. The Hockeyville site will enable fans to post commentaries and interact with other browsers. Also new is a user-friendly widget that can be shared among users. Kraft Hockeyville ads were recently placed on and to further promote the contest.

The competition calls on hockey enthusiasts to submit a 500-word essay along with at least one photo until Dec. 6. The top 10 communities compete for the title on CBC Television on Monday Jan. 12 at 8 pm. After the broadcast, Canadians will vote online for the top five communities until Jan. 18. From Jan. 31 to Feb. 28, hockey star and CBC commentator Cassie Campbell and Hockey Night in Canada will profile each of the top five communities, and on March 7 the winner will be crowned.

The winning communities will receive cash prizes up to $100,000 from Kraft towards arena upgrades and the chance to host a 2009/10 NHL pre-season game. The 2008 season saw 1,138 communities competing and over 7 million Canadians voting.