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  • Women's hockey players boycott

    I'm sure you've all heard that several women's hockey players have staged a boycott, hoping for a "sustainable" professional women's hockey league in North America. Several Clarkson alumni and coaches have signed onto this boycott. What does everyone think about this move?

    Personally, I've seen a few of the Boston games on NESN and they don't appear to be well attended (Bright-Landry less than 1/4 full). It seems that the olympics get a bit of press but unfortunately, unless you're like me, the time of the USA-CAN game in this past olympics ruined a great marketing opportunity. Women's hockey is growing, albeit slowly, but even national championship NCAA teams can't get more than a couple of hundred for a regular season home game. The NWHL had some NHL support but even that was limited, likely because the NHL isn't making great margins or market shares itself.

    I don't know what the answer is here but I feel this boycott can do more to hurt the women's game than help. When you're not drawing what ECHL or even SPHL clubs do on a regular basis, in order to "sustain" you'll have to have almost full funding from outside sources. I guess they could bargain for some better marketing; maybe some off-peak showings on NHL-N or NBCSN, but I'm not sure they have the leverage to make that grip yet.

  • #2
    Originally posted by FireKnight View Post
    I'm sure you've all heard that several women's hockey players have staged a boycott, hoping for a "sustainable" professional women's hockey league in North America. Several Clarkson alumni and coaches have signed onto this boycott. What does everyone think about this move?

    Personally, I've seen a few of the Boston games on NESN and they don't appear to be well attended (Bright-Landry less than 1/4 full). It seems that the olympics get a bit of press but unfortunately, unless you're like me, the time of the USA-CAN game in this past olympics ruined a great marketing opportunity. Women's hockey is growing, albeit slowly, but even national championship NCAA teams can't get more than a couple of hundred for a regular season home game. The NWHL had some NHL support but even that was limited, likely because the NHL isn't making great margins or market shares itself.

    I don't know what the answer is here but I feel this boycott can do more to hurt the women's game than help. When you're not drawing what ECHL or even SPHL clubs do on a regular basis, in order to "sustain" you'll have to have almost full funding from outside sources. I guess they could bargain for some better marketing; maybe some off-peak showings on NHL-N or NBCSN, but I'm not sure they have the leverage to make that grip yet.
    Yeah, I don't quite get it either. I mean, what they want (a sustainable league that pays a living wage and health benefits) isn't a bad thing to want, but I'm not sure that hurting a league on the edge is going to help them. I know the USA players strike/boycott of the 2017 IIHF World Championship won many concessions, but USA Hockey had the money to give them what they wanted and stood the risk of being embarrassed if they couldn't send a team. When players in any of the big 4 leagues strike (or force a lockout), it makes sense since those leagues are rolling in money. The NWHL is clearly not rolling in money.

    I'd love to see professional women's hockey take-off, but it's a double niche sport (women's and ice hockey) where the niches don't always overlap. How many people watch NHL games strictly to see the players try to kill each other? That doesn't happen in women's hockey.

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    • #3
      You boycott when you have leverage and women hockey players have none. The WNBA would never exist if it wasnít for the subsidy provided by the NBA. The NHL provides a pittance for the womenís league. It would be nice if they could subsidize the womenís league like the NBA does but that isnít going to happen. This seems like a foolish move.

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      • #4
        I think they want the NWHL to fold and a WNHL to start up with solid $$ backing from the NHL.
        CCT '77 & '78

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