In an incredibly unique and genius marketing technique, the National Women’s Hockey League has created an all-new affiliate program.
It’s called the Jr. NWHL, and it’s not what you think it would be.
Rather than creating a “junior developmental league”, and creating franchises, scouting cities, and handling recruiting…the NWHL has put out the call to existing teams to expand their family.
The chance to have any youth girls hockey organization become an official affiliate, simply by registering.
This is more than just a shallow-title, and a pat on the back.
This, is unprecedented.
“The Jr. NWHL works solely as a way to give attention to youth organizations and get the kids involved with our league. We provide them resources and awareness,” the league told BLH “Any youth team is open to register! We prefer the registration come from the organization as a whole, not just one team or age level. We want to recognize the entire organization as an affiliate.”
The NWHL is welcoming women’s youth organizations, leagues, and teams aboard to truly plant the ideas of being able to play at the highest level to girls as they grow up.
The NWHL isn’t just doing this for PR either. They’re actually serious about growing the game of hockey for women, and providing them a pipeline and direct route to working for the highest level.
Just check out the benefits of registering as an affiliate.
Yeah. This is no joke. The NWHL is creating a pipeline by having established franchises join their umbrella.
Don’t be surprised by this. The NWHL did just welcomed aboard a long-time independent franchise in the Minnesota Whitecaps.
They’re once again pushing the envelope of professional hockey and what it can mean for women.
The teams that they’re having added to the family, they want to support by having scouting and recruiting done for these teams.
At this time, there is no limitation, as long as they’re a youth-based women’s team, for age, geographic region, league, team-type, or any factors that would prevent a women’s team from registering…and that fits right in with the NWHL’s mission.
The NWHL is possibly the most progressive and forward-thinking professional sports league in the world, from actively and openly as a league supporting the rights and inclusivity of underrepresented athletes, to welcoming the first professional transgender hockey player in the All-Star Harrison Browne. His groundbreaking career ended by winning not one, but two Isobel Cups.
Outside of their social stance, the NWHL is also one of the only leagues in high-level professional sports to broadcast all their games live, for free, on social media between Facebook and Twitter.
Once again, the league shows that it wants to change exactly what the idea of women’s hockey is, and what hockey can be for girls.
Hats off to the league.
If you or your organization are interested in registering your team as a Jr. NWHL team, you can do so here.