In February, the Caps hosted a “Hockey ‘n Heels” night for female fans. (You can read my recap here.) Last Saturday, the Kings hosted their own “Hockey & High Heels” event. CKim and kms2 from Purple Crushed Velvet attended the event, and CKim had this to say about it:
“Hockey & High Heels was the event that brought us out and it couldn’t have been better. Yes the flyer geared the event to women wanted to know more about the game, but it evolved into something better. The 24 or so women that made it out all already had a love for the game so it was a great way to bring this unique group of ladies together.”
Glad to hear such enthusiasm for the event; the Kings had to be pleased with the fan reaction, if nothing else. The event was fairly similar to the Caps event, except that the women had significant ice time in full gear and the swag they received sounded better than the makeup bag and purse mirror from the Caps’ Hockey ‘n Heels.
Given that the Caps were able to attract 250 women on a weeknight, it’s slightly surprising to see that only about two dozen women attended the Kings’ event over the weekend. Then I saw the price tag: $100, plus $52 for each additional ticket. The same event will be held for female Penguins fans on November 7 for $130 each, and the Penguins expect the event to sell out. One thing the Caps did right was to price their event tickets at $65. While it may have seemed like a lot at the time, it was a relative bargain compared to the prices that the Hockey & High Heels events are commanding. There are more perks (such as a copy of Lisa Ovens’ book, Hockey & High Heels), but the casual fan may not need or desire that. Something for clubs to consider is that the higher price may ensure the devoted fan will be more inclined to attend, as opposed to someone who knows little to nothing about hockey.
kms2 addresses the issue this way:
“If Hockey and High Heels is coming to an arena near you, I would highly recommend attending. If you’re hesitant about going, I suggest emailing the contact person in charge of the event and ask what kind of female fans they’re trying to target. I wish this event had been advertised in a better way, more towards, wanting to bring together female hockey fans rather than educate females about becoming fans. Regardless, I had such a great time and I really hope the Kings and other teams continue to put together similar events, not even just for females, but for all fans.”
And that, in a nutshell, is the problem: it’s difficult to meet everyone’s needs. The primary goal of these types of events seems to be engaging casual female fans, as opposed to encouraging female hockey fans. There’s nothing wrong with that, obviously; it’s great to see more fans at hockey games. It’s a fine line to walk: it would be ideal if there was a way to connect both groups without alienating either one. Regardless, events like these are a great start towards generating new fans and engaging current ones.