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NWHL cuts player salaries by up to half


BeerGuyJordan
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That sucks a lot.

 

Rylan also said neither the players nor the player's union was told of the decision. Players were offered no opportunity for input into the decision. They will need to sign an addendum to their contract agreeing to the reduction in pay.

This part is concerning. Why aren't you telling them before the media? It's their pay. 

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1 hour ago, MJWalker45 said:

As poorly advertised as this league is, I'm not surprised. 

They could've gotten 3,000 free hours from Saatchi & Saatchi or BBDP for total marketing program and been given hours of free advertising. Advertising and marketing failures are still low on the list of why a business, not just sport.

 

This group had lack of capital from Day 1 and the public doesn't want to pay what the league was asking fans to pay.

 

Plus, if San Antonio is still your location, why the hell should the league be advertising to you?

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58 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

So I can watch it on TV or maybe think about catching a game if I'm in the Northeast. 

So they need to barter for airtime with the hope (enter RSN here) is able to sell the ad space at the same time, they can't meet other contracts.

 

Just because a sport might be aired on TV, does not mean they're being paid to do so. Ask the FXFL 'bout those costs.

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As far as their marketing goes, I think I heard way more about one's moral duty to support the idea of women's hockey rather than the basics of getting people in the door to attend and enjoy a game. Okay, I support it, I guess, but I don't really feel compelled to spend any money on it because I'm not even spending money on the Blackhawks these days, so why do I care about women's teams in the Northeastern United States but to make a statement that I'm down with women getting paid to play sports? At its core, it's just the ECHL without fights (which is to their advantage; women's hockey is necessarily a more skill-oriented game than the lower-league slugfests): it's not as fast or as hard-hitting as the NHL, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun at a game. 

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The NHL has enough central revenue that they can write blank checks to the Predators and Hurricanes for however much they need to get by (yeah, it's in the CBA and everything). It probably wouldn't hurt to kick a few dollars to a women's league if it's the difference between having it and not having it. 

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On 11/21/2016 at 2:22 PM, the admiral said:

That sucks a lot.

 

 

 

This part is concerning. Why aren't you telling them before the media? It's their pay. 

The players were notified before the media.

 

19 hours ago, nickp91 said:

would like to see NWHL/CWHL merge with financial backing from NHL

As long as there are two competing leagues, the NHL will never do anything to back either league, in any official capacity. A merger would need to happen, first.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Committed Indian, a Blackhawks blog so woke that they don't want to call themselves "The Committed Indian" anymore because they think it's an intersectionally racist/ableist slur, did a big interview with some NWHL writers and there were some interesting parts that tied into some of what we talked about in this thread. Responses to the boldfaced:

 

Quote

I think each team and its players makes a major effort to do outreach in the local communities, especially to young fans and local youth hockey players.  They also have other jobs.  Women’s hockey players have pretty much always had to be something other than hockey players; that kind of presents a paradox to marketing a team because you’re really selling the players as people and as “role models.”  

You’re also selling a very different kind of experience than major men’s professional sports sell; it’s really community-based and it really focuses on the quality of the sport itself.  It gets very literal and very meta.  You have to have full confidence in the game itself.  The on-ice product has to be good (which it is, in my opinion) but the culture has to be good as well.  I think this salary thing with the league presents a huge problem to the individual culture of each franchise on the ground because they need the league and the league needs them.

The NWHL is pushing hard to sell more tickets; they’ve upped their social media presence and email blasts in the last few weeks, though I’m not sure what, if anything, they’ve done to get new sets of eyes on their product.  I think their current strategy indicates that they think they can sell more tickets and get more people out to games who are already on board with their game.  I’m not sure about that; a lot of their hardcore fans aren’t local to where the teams play because they’re already invested in women’s hockey from a college or international perspective and they’re following their favorite players.  Which is another problem; streaming is free, so faraway fans are a less reliable revenue source.

I think it becomes complicated because women’s hockey needs to follow an established business model but sports business models were not designed for a game like women’s hockey.  There are so many diehards, the product is great, and the players are amazing, but it simply doesn’t monetize the same way as the NHL does.  I almost think that you have to market it like a niche product, a cult classic, maybe?  You have to combine those types of marketing with what you typically see from a minor sports league.  I think women’s hockey’s main asset is its intimacy/authenticity, which ironically has been hard to nail down from a branding perspective.  I think if you approach it differently, you’ll attract more people to it–maybe people who haven’t even watched sports before because they are sick of capitalism or sick of masculinity or because sports have negative associations in their pasts.

So: ultimately it’s the league’s responsibility to deal with this, not individual teams, and I think fixing their revenue problem involves deep attention to transparency and authenticity and carrying that over to branding, as well as finding ways to attract new fans (locally and otherwise) and get revenue from people who aren’t local.

 

1) I agree and said as much to that effect when I said you need to get people in the respective communities to get out and watch good hockey.

 

2) I agree here as well, NWHL support as I know it is never about getting out and watching good hockey so much as crusading for the idea of it. What I've seen of NWHL streaming makes OHL telecasts look like the NFL on Fox. The only way you're sitting down and watching a grainy glorified fancam from a community rink is if you're a scout for major-junior and there's supposed to be a promising kid up in Nunavut, or you really believe in the NWHL.

 

3) the hell? Who are these unicorns who don't watch sports only because they're sick of capitalism and masculinity? "You wanna go to a Cubs game?" "Sure, as soon as the workers seize the means of production and get equal pay for women!" I'm friends with girls who don't like sports, and it's not because of capitalism or toxic masculinity (though my closest friends and I aren't huge fans of either). They just don't like sports, neither men's nor women's, which we forget is simply how people feel about stuff sometimes. I'm not ideologically opposed to comic books, zombie dramas, or snowmobiling; sometimes I just don't get into stuff because I'm into other stuff. Any potential consumers in adulthood have already held their personal referenda on whether they'll watch, attend, or devotedly follow the affairs of professional sporting events. If leftist academics or whoever you're talking about here haven't gotten into the game where people skate around swatting a disc along the ground, sub-NHL play won't be what wins them over, and you're certainly not going to win over the savvy, capitalism-resistant with more effective marketing. So by all means, fine-tune your approach, but you have to make sure you start by approaching people who probably like hockey.

 

Quote

In addition to transparency/authenticity I think the NWHL would do a really good job trying to sell hockey to people who might not have previously considered themselves to be sports fans.  I think a lot of people would be interested in women’s hockey who have been turned off by the culture surrounding men’s sports.  People who like games, people who like sci-fi.  I don’t know.  I see a lot of intersections in the people who follow the sport right now–they all like to feel like they’re a part of something that isn’t just like, ridiculous capitalism or patriarchy, it has some kind of meaning that can be gleaned from it.  Lots of things succeed without being the same kind of industry that sports is.  I think you have to stop thinking of it the same way you think of another major sports league and start thinking of it like a deeper story to tell; and that shouldn’t just translate to branding but to your approach to the business itself.

I still disagree here. You can/should sell the league's intimacy and authenticity, because those are tremendous assets that the NHL and even AHL/sometimes CHL lack, but thinking you're going to win over sci-fi fans who are too concerned with The Patriarchy to watch hockey isn't going to work. Sports fandom does afford the sense of belonging that other special interests do, and I'd say hockey's sense of belonging vis-a-vis the other leagues is something special, but that's still secondary to enjoying the game for the sake of the game. The only story to tell that goes beyond "these people play a sport and want to win it" is "this is a women's league, not a men's league," and as everyone seemed to agree with the out-of-towners streaming games for free, that isn't enough. We've come to terms with the fourth-biggest professional sports league's greatest priority being simply getting butts in the seats, and here we are trying to sell a significantly smaller league as a bunch of abstractions about feminism. Talk is cheap. Sell tickets!

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