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Professional Women’s Hockey League, will it work this time?

Mississauga Chiefs 2014 | wikimedia commons

There’s some big news in the hockey world this week! The Professional Women’s Hockey League, or the PWHL, has announced its formation to be the one and only pro women’s hockey league in North America.

This will be a great installation to the already great sport of hockey, but as seen in the past, women’s leagues tend to not succeed. The question now is: will it work this time?

There have been four previous leagues before the formation of the new PWHL, most recently the PHF, Premier Hockey Federation, and the CWHL, Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

Both leagues didn’t work out in the way they intended, but now a new beam of light appears in the PWHL.

The PWHL will begin with an original six, as the NHL once did in 1917. With the league still being in its early stages of life, no team names have been announced yet.

But the six locations feature three teams in Canada and three in the United States, these cities being Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, New York, Boston and St. Paul-Minneapolis.

The PWHL has already announced that they intend on streaming every single regular season game, which is 24 per team. This is already a good start for this young league to spread to new fans.

For this league to work and make money, they must focus on gaining the awareness of fans, which is something that the previous leagues such as the PHF, failed in doing.

People living in these six cities should know the names of star players of their team. This comes down to marketing strategies. Merchandising at an affordable cost for the average hockey fan is a good start.

To make it affordable for people to walk around the city wearing the team’s jersey or shirt is huge. This is a much bigger deal than people may think as it promotes awareness for the new league.

The marketing of the leagues’ star players is also a must for the league to succeed. A major mistake the NHL has made is not marketing their superstars to their full potential. This has resulted in the NFL, MLB and NBA becoming more popular leagues in recent years.

The same must happen for ticket prices as well. During these first few seasons for the PWHL, there must be more of a focus on gaining interest and attention than making profit.

Again, if the New York team is playing in a spot convenient for me to drive to and the tickets are relatively cheap, I wouldn’t mind going to a couple games. Many hockey fans hold similar logic.

The PWHL could work if the right business decisions are made concerning marketing and garnering attention from fans.

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