North American ice hockey’s NHL has entered into partnership with Clubhouse, the US-based social media mobile interaction app, ahead of this year’s Stanley Cup Final, which starts tonight.

Clubhouse has created virtual platforms where fans can chat to players and coaches from the two teams – the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning – leading into the best-of-seven series.

The fans were able to take part in the Stanley Cup Final media day over the weekend, and, using Clubhouse's audio-based social platform, “listen in and participate in discussions with NHL players".

Although the app is currently invite-only, and so not available to the entire general public, it is reported that a significant number of fans received invites and were able to take part.

Heidi Browning, NHL’s chief marketing officer, said: “We hope this is just the first of many opportunities to leverage Clubhouse’s platform to offer exclusive, live audio experiences to hockey fans year-round.”

Sean Brown, Clubhouse’s head of sports, said: “There’s no fan base quite like the NHL’s… and we are thrilled to get things started with this official partnership that sets a new standard for how major leagues can connect in the social audio space.” 

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Clubhouse made its debut as a major league partner for the NFL Draft earlier this year.

For that event, the NFL hosted a series of audio rooms via Clubhouse which allowed fans to listen to ongoing live conversations, including a pre-Draft assessment of players, a mock Draft, debriefs and more.