NHL.com: circuit of culture

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Koleton Marquis

The circuit of culture is a tool that evaluates if something is an object of culture. The circuit of culture consists of five huge components that include representation, identity, production, consumption, and regulation. How objects are identified and represented is what the circuit of culture covers, including the production, consumption, the value of distribution and the regulation. All of these elements make it easier to understand how culture affects society in many ways. 

The circuit of culture is important to keep in mind when analyzing a product. For a product to be successful, all different aspects of the circuit of culture must be taken into consideration. A product must include these aspects because they are responsible for the product’s ability to exist, capability to reach an audience, and capacity to be profitable without being exploited. 

NHL.com is a website home to the National Hockey League. This website is home to all statistics, scores, game analyses, and live streaming of all games happening around the league. NHL.com is a fast and easy website that can be used by anyone around the world. Although this website is free to access there are certain plans that can be bought under subscription for an extended use of the website. With the subscription not only can users view games but they can watch them in real time.

The first of the five aspects of the circuit of culture is representation. Representation is what the product means or what it aims to convey to the users. Representations cover the audience that receives the product and what the context is. Structure, language, tone, and feelings are all parts of representation that need to be identified. Lastly, representation in a product is visual and can oftentimes be shown as a symbol. 

On NHL.com, there are plenty of visual things that the users can interact with. For example, there are links to game articles, video highlights, scores, advertisements, and even a link from the website to open one of the three apps. At first, the website seems clustered because of all of the interactive links and pictures. However, when a user becomes familiarized with how to work the website suited to their needs, it quickly becomes very easy and helpful for an array of uses. There aren’t too many words on the website when it is first opened. Instead, there are more pictures and numbers. Because NHL.com is the website of the National Hockey League, and every team in the league has a mascot with a picture depicting their team, there are many symbols embedded within the website to help the audience find what they are looking for quicker. Since NHL.com does not have as many words as there are pictures, the language used on the website is far from highly educational and formal, but more so informal for updating fans on their favorite team’s standings. However, the articles linked into the website may be more statistical to cover things such as team rankings, player statistics, and overall league stats. Not only this, but there are articles such as blogs to reel fans in to know more about the background of their favorite players. All in all, the website is more of a platform that is used to link many other things that fans may find interesting about their favorite league teams. 

The second aspect of the circuit of culture is identity. Identity covers who produces the product, who consumes the product, and who regulates the product. Furthermore, it is who cares about the product and how these people use it. Identity also highlights if there are groups that are created as a byproduct of the product. 

NHL.com can is a website home to all hockey fan lovers. With the age range being limitless it welcomes everybody and anybody who enjoys watching the sport of hockey. NHL.com is a fast and easy website, which is why I believe draws more and more consumers to the website. Because it is free, NHL.com allows those who either do not have the funds to attend a live game or those who would like to save money the ability to still watch games online. Not only does NHL.com provide fans with games to watch but it brings in a new audience of people who like to bet or compete. For example, fantasy and online betting are great aspects within the hockey community which the website caters to. Fantasy hockey is a great way for fans to interact and compete with each other. These competitions are based on live player statistics, which can be found on NHL.com. Those who participate in online betting can use the website to keep up on the standings of their favorite teams. 

Hockey is a fast and physical sport. Because of its nature and level of competition, hockey players oftentimes are entangled in physical fights while on the ice. While most hockey fans are simply interested in the actual game, there are many fans who enjoy this high level of physical competition and enjoy watching fights break out. Because of this, not only are true hockey fans drawn to the sport, but fans who enjoy the nature of fighting, whether it be in or out of sports. For example, those who enjoy watching other physical sports, such as MMA or football, may also be interested in hockey. With almost every game, fights attract fans to want to buy tickets and go to the games. Not only this, but hockey is one of the quickest, fast paced sports to watch. It has fans on the edge of their seats all game long.

The third aspect of the circuit of culture is production. Production is the design, creation, reproduction, distribution, advertisement, and purchasing of all the resources necessary for a product. Not only does production cover the resources of a product and how they are distributed to the public users, but it covers who created said product and how they did so. The ideas and process of the making of the product fall under production. 

NHL.com is run by the National Hockey League. Because it is owned by such a big corporation and is not its own website, there is no one person in particular who runs the website. However, Sean Dennison, a social media manager, is responsible for the production and exploitation of game highlights, analyses, journals and other aspects of the website. One way that NHL.com is able to distribute the resources it provides (the ability to watch recorded games, access game, player, and team statistics, buy tickets and team/player merchandise, keep up with all league rankings, follow social media platforms of teams, players, and organizations, and read articles covering daily news on the league) is through three apps that organize all data from the website. These three apps are the NHL.tv app, the official NHL app, and the NHL Fan Access App. 

The first of the three apps is the NHL.tv app. NHL.tv is an app that users can download and subscribe to different plans to watch an array of games. The NHL.tv app makes it easier for fans to access games no matter where they are or what they are using. NHL.tv is partnered with ESPN, which lets viewers have the ability to watch NHL games on their TVs, smartphones, computers, and more. With this, viewers only need to subscribe to the plan of their choosing and can access their purchases through either the NHL.tv or ESPN apps or websites.

The second of the three apps is the NHL app. This app allows users to get live updates from their favorite teams across the league. It also allows users to check standings, scores, and highlights of any team they would like. For extra personalization, there is a feature that allows the user to select their favorite team to be a part of their home screen. This allows for quick and easy access to an array of things. These include the team’s schedule, articles surrounding said team, social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube) and the NHL shop.

The last of the three NHL.com derived apps is NHL Fan Access. NHL Fan Access allows hockey fans to interact directly with players within the hockey community, plan game visits in different areas, and partake in any NHL-related activities. With downloading this app, fans get the opportunity to obtain a chance for a free visit to the Stanley Cup. With this, fans can also get autographs from their favorite players.

The fourth aspect of the circuit of culture is consumption. Consumption is how the product is used. It covers if the product is something that can be bought or it is consumed in another way. Consumption covers the reasons of how, where, with whom, and why a product is used. Lastly, consumption deals with the advertisements or marketing strategies of the product and how they are used. 

As explained before, NHL.com is a website that is a platform for fans to access many different things associated with the National Hockey League. The website itself is free for people to use and access, but has other things, such as apps that distribute information on the website more clearly, that require payment. If people who visit the website would just like to view already streamed games (not in live time) and keep up with stats, the website is perfect for their needs. However, if fans would like to watch games in real time, they need to pay for these luxuries (instead of going in person). This is how NHL.com is consumed. As for how it is consumed, everything is online and can be used from any sort of device. The apps can be downloaded virtually on any platform or device, no matter the make of it. For example, Apple, Google, and Android users can all access the website or apps from their respective search engines and app stores. Because the website can be accessed from any of these devices, it can be accessed no matter where the user is. Because NHL.com is the main website for the National Hockey League, and hockey is one of the most watched sports in the world, it can be used to bring people together to watch their favorite teams play. The website can be used to watch and stream hundreds of games, which can be cast onto TVs through computers, phones, and more. Because of this feature, groups of fans may gather together to watch and enjoy games. Not only is NHL.com easy and useful, but it helps fans become closer and enjoy themselves together. Lastly, NHL.com is advertised in multiple ways. By simply being the main and official website of the National Hockey League, it is already advertised to fans that go to watch hockey games in real life or fans who are curious to see how their favorite teams are doing. It is further advertised by multiple apps that contain selective information about the league. Hockey fans who follow their favorite teams on social media platforms are also more prone to get advertisements on their devices and social media platforms about NHL.com due to the algorithmic way social media works (based on a user’s common interactions and liked posts/following).

And lastly, the fifth aspect of the circuit of culture is regulation. Regulation includes laws that are upheld by authorities. It also deals with what actions a company can take to ensure who uses their product, who can access their product, what products are being used, and the distribution of said products. Without regulation, there would be little to no organization on both a producer and consumer level.

NHL.com can provide anyone with unlimited game streaming. Even though viewing games is free, because these videos are streamed and owned by the NHL, it is forbidden to record and share these videos from devices. For example, when watching games, screen recording is disabled to prevent illegal game sharing. Although NHL.com is free for game viewing, there are certain uses that require payment. For example, there are three mobile apps that stem from NHL.com which while are free to download, contain in-app purchases for certain privileges. NHL.tv, one of the three apps, has three different watching plans fans can purchase. At the highest cost, there is the All-Access Pass, which includes the ability to watch all games of all teams for a whole year for 99 dollars and 99 cents. Next, the Single Team Pass allows viewers to watch just one team’s games for 84 dollars and 99 cents a year. Lastly, the cheapest option, the Monthly Pass, allows the viewing of all games of all teams for one month at a time for 24 dollars and 99 cents.

All and all the circuit of culture is very helpful and necessary to follow in order for a product to be successful. As researched and explained above NHL.com satisfied all five aspects of the circuit of culture. NHL.com has been and will continue to thrive because of its ability to complete the circuit of culture.

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