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Thread: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

  1. #141
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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by Still Eeyore View Post
    The reason that the WNBA's average attendance took a big hit last year is because the New York Liberty were pushed out of Madison Square Garden, where they had been drawing about 10,000 fans a game, to a 5,000 seat arena in White Plains, 20 miles outside the city and away from their fan base. Like many other things that New York Knicks fans would be happy to tell you about, James Dolan ****s up everything he touches, and the Liberty is no exception. The team has since been sold to the principle owner of the Brooklyn Nets principle owner. They're still in White Plains this year, but hopefully that will change going forward.
    This article does a better job of addressing what you mentioned...

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...2019/38809289/

    Hard to get too positive when the league is still losing money after 23 years...Seems like more of a "cause" sport than one that can become sustainable. And that reality is probably true with a pro women's hockey league as well.
    Last edited by FiveHoleFrenzy; 05-24-2019 at 03:18 PM.
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  2. #142
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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by FiveHoleFrenzy View Post
    Hard to get too positive when the league is still losing money after 23 years...Seems like more of a "cause" sport that one that can become sustainable. And that reality is probably true with a pro women's hockey league as well.
    There are three things to keep in mind when you look at the claimed $12 million loss last year:

    1) The Liberty's move also dramatically affected revenue. They went from about 10,000 tickets sold per game on average in 2017 to about 2,500. You can't find figures for average paid ticket price, but from the list of the price of different tickets, $25-$30 seems like a reasonable guess. In which case, somewhere between a quarter and a third of the league's losses are the result of this move. And it wasn't just the Liberty; the Washington Mystics also moved to an arena that has a smaller capacity than their 2017 average attendance.

    2) The NBA's original rationale for creating the WNBA wasn't to make money directly. It was to use the league as marketing for the NBA itself. The thought was that having a women's league would increase interest in the sport of basketball and thus create NBA fans, especially among women and girls. We have no idea how successful the WNBA has been at doing this. I'm pretty certain that the number is greater than $0, but you could cite a very wide range of numbers that I would find plausible. So, the real net loss for the league is almost certainly lower than $12 million.

    Note that this does not constitute a subsidy to the WNBA or some sort of cause. Whatever the marketing value of the WNBA to the NBA is, that's money that the WNBA is generating for its parent league. It's just money that does not show up in the WNBA's P/L statements.

    3) The WNBA players are clearly at least somewhat skeptical about that $12 million figure. One of the primary reasons that they voted to reopen the CBA after this season is that they want to examine the league's books rather than just relying upon what the NBA tells them. It's possible that this is related to point #1, and they want to see how much of the damage to the league's finances was self-inflicted (or Dolan-inflicted, if you choose to view him as separate from the league). It's possible that it's related to point #2, and they want to see the NBA's estimates for how valuable the WNBA is as a marketing tool.

    But there are dozens of ways to cook the books of sports teams and leagues. There are even more ways to cook the books of a league that is effectively the subsidiary of another league. Do WNBA teams pay market rents to use NBA facilities? Is the WNBA's revenue from TV deals entirely independent from the NBA's own deals? We don't know the answers to these and many other questions, and neither does the WNBPA. Regardless, until the NBA allows independent examination of the accounting, we don't have any reason to accept their claims as necessarily accurate.

  3. #143
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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by Still Eeyore View Post
    There are three things to keep in mind when you look at the claimed $12 million loss last year:

    1) The Liberty's move also dramatically affected revenue. They went from about 10,000 tickets sold per game on average in 2017 to about 2,500. You can't find figures for average paid ticket price, but from the list of the price of different tickets, $25-$30 seems like a reasonable guess. In which case, somewhere between a quarter and a third of the league's losses are the result of this move. And it wasn't just the Liberty; the Washington Mystics also moved to an arena that has a smaller capacity than their 2017 average attendance.

    2) The NBA's original rationale for creating the WNBA wasn't to make money directly. It was to use the league as marketing for the NBA itself. The thought was that having a women's league would increase interest in the sport of basketball and thus create NBA fans, especially among women and girls. We have no idea how successful the WNBA has been at doing this. I'm pretty certain that the number is greater than $0, but you could cite a very wide range of numbers that I would find plausible. So, the real net loss for the league is almost certainly lower than $12 million.

    Note that this does not constitute a subsidy to the WNBA or some sort of cause. Whatever the marketing value of the WNBA to the NBA is, that's money that the WNBA is generating for its parent league. It's just money that does not show up in the WNBA's P/L statements.

    3) The WNBA players are clearly at least somewhat skeptical about that $12 million figure. One of the primary reasons that they voted to reopen the CBA after this season is that they want to examine the league's books rather than just relying upon what the NBA tells them. It's possible that this is related to point #1, and they want to see how much of the damage to the league's finances was self-inflicted (or Dolan-inflicted, if you choose to view him as separate from the league). It's possible that it's related to point #2, and they want to see the NBA's estimates for how valuable the WNBA is as a marketing tool.

    But there are dozens of ways to cook the books of sports teams and leagues. There are even more ways to cook the books of a league that is effectively the subsidiary of another league. Do WNBA teams pay market rents to use NBA facilities? Is the WNBA's revenue from TV deals entirely independent from the NBA's own deals? We don't know the answers to these and many other questions, and neither does the WNBPA. Regardless, until the NBA allows independent examination of the accounting, we don't have any reason to accept their claims as necessarily accurate.
    Meh...I'll keep in mind that I'm a hockey guy so I have pretty much zero interest in basketball other than what lessons can be learned for a women's pro hockey league from the WBNA experiment.
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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    The other thing the WNBA players undoubtedly want to look at is the expenses. The league claims that it lost $12 million last year despite the fact that the players only get 12% of the declared revenues in salary. All of the major men's leagues pay about 50% of revenues in player salaries. There are undoubtedly some fixed costs that don't scale down, but it's kind of strange to be losing money when you've scaled down the largest expense in most sports leagues that far.

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by Still Eeyore View Post
    The NBA's original rationale for creating the WNBA wasn't to make money directly. It was to use the league as marketing for the NBA itself.
    As a kid once delighting in the Harlem Globetrotters’ undercard to a pre-Dolan Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, I would have found it hard to believe that professional basketball would ever not fill the stands . . . So the NBA once needed a boost? Amazing. And the suits considered a WNBA as a way to provide that boost? Astonishing. Magic v Bird and Michael Jordan proved to be worth a zillion Libertys. So Eeyore’s post led me on to a search of zany marketing ideas, starting with the Globetrotters themselves, who, as the Savoy Big Five, were enlisted to boost flagging dance attendance at the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago. Abe Saperstein, a true marketing genius, gave these native sons of the south side the double cachet of “Harlem” (a most happening place at the time) and “Globetrotters,” which speaks for itself. They were so talented that commerce itself broke the color line when Sweetwater Clifton was hired as the first black player to wear an NBA uniform. Those were its fledgling days when professional basketball really needed a boost. Why? Because the NBA (first known as the BAA before a merger) was more or less created out of thin air by one Walter Brown of the Boston Bruins and his fellow hockey honchos. They needed a way to fill their empty dance cards (arenas) and decided that a fully supported league to monetize the popularity of (mostly college) roundball was the way to do this. Voilà! ---- The sports juggernaut that we all know and love today. (You can look it up.) If you think of these hockey barons as looking for a little economic something on the side, you could almost get away with saying the NBA was the love child of the NHL. Now that’s astonishing! So if Hilary Knight & Co, in dealing with Bettman, were to take anything at all from the WNBA model to help establish a viable women’s professional hockey league they would be completing a very strange circle indeed.
    Last edited by thirdtime's . . .; 05-25-2019 at 12:43 PM.

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    The BAA merged with the National League to create the NBA around 1948.

    I'm old enough to remember NBA doubleheaders (4 teams / 2 games) at arenas (50th st MSG was mine). Also, as late as 1980, the NBA final (Magic's rookie year vs the 76ers) was shown on delay tape (1130 pm) in most US markets. DC got it live.
    Last edited by joecct; 05-25-2019 at 05:00 PM.

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by thirdtime's . . . View Post
    As a kid once delighting in the Harlem Globetrotters’ undercard to a pre-Dolan Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, I would have found it hard to believe that professional basketball would ever not fill the stands . . . So the NBA once needed a boost?.
    Even if you're filling the arena, you market. At that point, increasing demand allows you to raise ticket prices.

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    And martketing goes beyond selling tickets to merchandising and increasing demand for the broadcast product to up advertising revenue. For a league like the NFL, ticket sales has to be a relatively small percentage of the total revenue generated.
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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    My question about marketing, prompted by the supposed logic of the founding of the WNBA, is whether any fan of any women’s sport has ever been turned on to the same sport, previously ignored but now enthusiastically enjoyed, as played by men?! I doubt it.
    (And I need to get this posted before T3 brings in Homer Simpson.)

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by thirdtime's . . . View Post
    My question about marketing, prompted by the supposed logic of the founding of the WNBA, is whether any fan of any women’s sport has ever been turned on to the same sport, previously ignored but now enthusiastically enjoyed, as played by men?! I doubt it.
    I suspect that you're wrong, but neither of us has any data on that, and the NBA does. But you also don't have the mechanism they're pursuing correct. The goal was not to take existing fans of women's basketball and, by starting the WNBA, convert them into fans of the NBA.

    The concept was to appeal to women, and especially girls, who didn't have any attachment to basketball at all. By starting a women's league, they would spread the idea that basketball is something that women care about. That basketball is something that women play. And that it's something that they will pay to follow. It also goes the other way, showing women that the NBA is interested in them, in ways that paying a bunch of men millions of dollars to play basketball doesn't. If this works, you will create a new group of fans that follow both the WNBA and the NBA, and even lots of them who never follow the WNBA at all, but would never have become fans of the NBA without feeling included.

    I have no idea how well this works, and how much revenue this generates for the NBA annually. I'm certain that the value is greater than zero, and almost equally certain that it's less than $100 million. (For reference, the NBA generated about $7.4 billion in revenue last season, so my guess is that the WNBA is responsible for something between 0% and 1.35% of the NBA's revenue.) The NBA, though, does have estimates of how well this works. Having taken business school classes in which the statistical methodology of marketing was discussed, I'm skeptical that their estimates are all that solid, but I'd still be interested to see them.

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    So I spent a lot of time the last 2 weeks watching the NCAA lacrosse tournament ( mens and women's). I am puzzled as to why the women's semifinals was on ESPN3 and all week there were a million softball games.....including non-elimination games.) The coverage of sports seems extremely unequal.....even within womens coverage.

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by MAHOCKEY FAN View Post
    So I spent a lot of time the last 2 weeks watching the NCAA lacrosse tournament ( mens and women's). I am puzzled as to why the women's semifinals was on ESPN3 and all week there were a million softball games.....including non-elimination games.) The coverage of sports seems extremely unequal.....even within womens coverage.
    There's undoubtedly multiple reasons ESPN covers softball more heavily than lacrosse, but here's the big one: lacrosse is basically nonexistent in the SEC. There are no SEC schools with varsity men's lacrosse teams, and only two, Florida and Vanderbilt, with women's teams. Meanwhile, there are not only 13 SEC schools with softball teams, but all 13 of them made the NCAA tournament.

    You have to keep in mind how closely joined ESPN and the SEC are. Unlike the Big 10 Network or the Pac 12 Network, the SEC Network is not owned by the conference; it's really ESPN 4 Covering the SEC. Scroll down ESPN's college sports page during baseball/softball season, and you'll find story after story about SEC teams, with an occasional piece about someone else mixed in. There are many more SEC games shown, even on the official ESPN networks, than there are of anyone else. And so, naturally, come NCAA tournament time, they're going to show a lot more of a tournament that features a bunch of SEC teams than one that doesn't. It's where their investment, and their payout, is.

    Convince the SEC to get into lacrosse in a big way, and you will magically find that ESPN shows more of the tournament.

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Very interesting ....did not know that. Thanks for a knowledge response.

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by Still Eeyore View Post
    I suspect that you're wrong, but neither of us has any data on that, and the NBA does. But you also don't have the mechanism they're pursuing correct. The goal was not to take existing fans of women's basketball and, by starting the WNBA, convert them into fans of the NBA.

    The concept was to appeal to women, and especially girls, who didn't have any attachment to basketball at all. By starting a women's league, they would spread the idea that basketball is something that women care about. That basketball is something that women play. And that it's something that they will pay to follow. It also goes the other way, showing women that the NBA is interested in them, in ways that paying a bunch of men millions of dollars to play basketball doesn't. If this works, you will create a new group of fans that follow both the WNBA and the NBA, and even lots of them who never follow the WNBA at all, but would never have become fans of the NBA without feeling included.

    I have no idea how well this works, and how much revenue this generates for the NBA annually. I'm certain that the value is greater than zero, and almost equally certain that it's less than $100 million. (For reference, the NBA generated about $7.4 billion in revenue last season, so my guess is that the WNBA is responsible for something between 0% and 1.35% of the NBA's revenue.) The NBA, though, does have estimates of how well this works. Having taken business school classes in which the statistical methodology of marketing was discussed, I'm skeptical that their estimates are all that solid, but I'd still be interested to see them.
    I’m more than happy to learn that the NBA has a more nuanced agenda than mine!

    Do you suppose the NHL brass is equally in the dark about how much revenue the WNBA generates, and does it matter? They have to move off dead center before losing The Big Mo that this current crop of skaters has generated. Not every Olympics is going to be magic.

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by MAHOCKEY FAN View Post
    So I spent a lot of time the last 2 weeks watching the NCAA lacrosse tournament ( mens and women's). I am puzzled as to why the women's semifinals was on ESPN3 and all week there were a million softball games.....including non-elimination games.) The coverage of sports seems extremely unequal.....even within womens coverage.
    as fast as it is gaining popularity it is nowhere near as popular as softball

    keep in mind even the lowest watched World Series game each year gets well over twice as much viewership as Monday's Stanley Cup game one which also had the advantage of being on Memorial Day evening, the bachlorette nearly did as well Monday, and usually does better

    it would be interested to know what the split of women hockey players watched the SC game one vs. the Bachlorette

    when the NFL had their draft it was broadcast live on ABC for what? three days? Then a week later they spent another day on ABC discussing how each of the teams fared and rated each teams likely success for the coming season

    hockey might be the #4 pro sport, but it is a very distant #4, it is kinda like Fox was back in the day before The Simpsons, 90210, and Married With Children propelled them up to the big leagues and eventually be #1. except that hockey has been trying to join the big boys for 50 years and still hasn't figured it out

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Latest development

    NWHL plows forward with plans for next season amid player boycott
    https://www.startribune.com/nwhl-plow...ott/510628082/
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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    It’s not much of a gamble for the Canadian national team members to boycott, nor for that matter the US players since even if they don’t play in the NWHL they will still participate with their national team. The ones who are really taking a gamble are the ones who are not members of the national teams, if they don’t play in the NWHL they got nuthin’. Worse, they are losing out on an opportunity to show that they deserve consideration for their national team. It is obvious a few players in the NWHL should get a shot with their national team based on their NWHL play last year.

    I suspect we’ll see at minimum all of the non-national team members of the Whitecaps play this year, if not eventually the Olympic players as well. Last year was too good of an “inaugural” season for them. (Quotations since they have a history no other women’s “pro” team can come close to matching) To miss a follow up season would be a blunder, if anything, if there is a facility available in the two to three thousand range they should roll the dice and play there. Strike while the iron is hot and see if the market is there to support them. Opportunity seldom knocks twice.

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    The other consideration is what impact, if any, would sitting out an entire season of competitive hockey have on a player's game? Sure, they would continue to skate on their own and play pick up games, but would that be enough, particularly for the older players whose skill level might have already peaked?
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    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    The other consideration is what impact, if any, would sitting out an entire season of competitive hockey have on a player's game? Sure, they would continue to skate on their own and play pick up games, but would that be enough, particularly for the older players whose skill level might have already peaked?
    Most likely,The players would do what they did before nwhl, the Whitecaps will play exhibitions against all the wcha teams as before,.

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    Re: NWHL Announcement Event On Tuesday In Saint Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by mnwis View Post
    Most likely,The players would do what they did before nwhl, the Whitecaps will play exhibitions against all the wcha teams as before.
    The Whitecaps are on the Gopher's preliminary schedule for a September 22nd exhibition, but how many national-level players will the Whitecaps have on their roster? As of now Coyne-Schofield, Brandt and Stecklein are boycotting the league, so unless something happens that would change their minds they (and others) could very well not be playing organized hockey in the upcoming season. Right now everything is pretty much up in the air, so things could - any probably will - see drastic change.
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