NHL hires teen influencer Josh Richards as adviser to grow fan base

Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson, both part of the Sway Boys, pose for photos Sunday, May 30, 2021, during the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The National Hockey League named 19-year-old content creator and social media influencer Josh Richards as special adviser, with the aim of expanding the fan base.

Richards, a Toronto native and avid Maple Leafs fan, will attend NHL marquee events and assist in “fan development efforts for the next generation,” the league said in a news release.

“I want to thank the National Hockey League for giving me an opportunity to share my love of hockey with a whole new generation of fans,” Richards said. “I have always wanted to use my platform to educate and inspire, and I look forward to sharing my passion for hockey with millions.”

Richards has about 40 million followers across social media platforms, including more than 25.3 million on TikTok.

“We love the passion Josh has for hockey. He shares the League’s vision to engage young hockey fans,” said Steve Mayer, the NHL’s chief content officer. “He relates to our players and fans and we can’t wait to hear his great ideas about how to grow our game. We look forward to working with Josh over the next year.”

Richards is an entrepreneur — he started his first company at age 13 — and earned $1.5 million from TikTok in 2019, Forbes reported in a November 2020 profile. He helped to found the agency Talent X, which represents some of TikTok’s most notable content creators, and has invested in several startups.

His first official act will be a one-on-one conversation with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday that will be shared on the league’s social and digital channels.

–Field Level Media