Friday, March 19, 2010
The Female Hockey Fan: CBJ-style
Posted by PuckeysMom at 10:26 AM
Plain & simple, folks... the Columbus Blue Jackets' official stance on female hockey fans is that they do not know hockey.
ster·e·o·type (stěr'ē-ə-tīp', stîr'-) n.
1. A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image.
2. A generalization, usually exaggerated or oversimplified and often offensive, that is used to describe or distinguish a group.
The good news? The Blue Jackets are FINALLY offering their first "ladies' night" event! The bad news? It is Hockey in Heels night - complete with Hockey 101. Yes, really. Check it out: http://bit.ly/aHXiAV.
Okay, so let's look at this objectively.
The Blue Jackets are trying to grow their female fan base. Terrific! But, are the Blue Jackets Marketing Think Tank actually attending the games? Are they looking around the stands to see who is actually attending games? Do they only see men? I have attended most of the home games since opening night on October 7, 2000 - when I look around the stands, I see mostly families. I have no data to prove or disprove this, but I would venture to say that the crowds at a typical Blue Jackets game are 60% male/40% female. But they want to grow the female fan base. Wonderful!
So how can they do this? They already have the CBJ Rush program for any females in schools, so apparently they aren't targeting these women. There is already an arena half filled with "family women" (moms & grandmas), so there is no need to target them either. So that leaves single, out-of-school women...correct? How can the CBJ get THESE women into hockey games? Hey - how about appealing to their "puckbunny-ness" (isn't that really all this demographic is? So thinks the CBJ...) Voila! Hockey in Heels! And how can they actually teach them that hockey is a real sport and not just that group of sweaty men on the ice they are attempting to hook-up with? Voila! Hockey 101!
Another bonus: Alex Ovechkin will be there to witness all the newly hockey-smart women in Columbus!
The biggest bonus of all: Women get a free t-shirt! I wonder if it will incorporate the CBJ logo & a high-heeled shoe? Or, better yet, they can go with the ever-popular "Make your own dinner - I'm going to the Blue Jackets game" shirt that can currently be found in the Blue Line. One more shining example of the Blue Jackets' respect for the female fan.
Way to go, Blue Jackets.
Now, I know perfectly well that the intent of this program was not to insult women. I just cannot fathom why they would have numerous "Guys Night Out", "Family 4-Packs", etc. for promotions, yet choose the one & only female-base event to hold a "Hockey 101." I mean, seriously - wouldn't a Hockey 101 benefit a family with children the most? So that Central Ohio children are exposed to as much hockey knowledge as possible from a young age? What a wonderful family experience that could be. But the CBJ thinks that it is better used on female fans.
Hopefully they correct their collective view of fans before they try to expand their diversity promotions any further.
I welcome any other well-reasoned opinions in the attempt to get an intelligent dialogue on this topic. I also know that the CBJ are not the first hockey team to use the "Hockey in Heels" term for a promotion - but that doesn't make it any less stereotypical.
Many of you will think that this isn't a big deal, and that I am making too much out of it - you are entitled to that. Many fellow ladies aren't offended by this program at all and think it is a good idea - they are entitled to that as well.
In the words of Thomas Jefferson: “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”
Go Jackets! Tame the Wild! :)
Until next time...