Newsflash... it takes
actual money to operate a junior hockey team.
Despite popular opinion
that pay-to-play junior hockey is a sure bet path to millions of dollars, teams
require a large amount of liquid capital to keep going.
This tidbit of
information keeps getting overlooked by team owners, and even leagues, all across
both the United States and Canada.
Even now, we are still hearing about teams without any kind of marketing budget, business
development plan, season tickets sold, or for the most part, even a clue. How
can that be?
A number of teams are on the ropes and destined for another failure because team owners
continue to depend entirely on the player fee for 100% of the operational
expenses. That is not going to work. There is more to junior hockey (or any
team) than throwing up a crappy website and calling it a day. These guys can
expect to come out of pocket with $50,000 or more to start a successful season.
Many owners do not have $1,000 to throw at the teams.
Player Development is
more than just a flashy phrase and pay-to-play junior hockey is a very
competitive market. Let's face it; if a player's parent has the ability to pay,
finding a team is not a difficult task. It is a buyer's market for financially
A lot of these teams
have unique situations that could be very attractive to prospective players and
parents. Geography has become less important when teams can deliver an
exceptional opportunity for development.
Teams that continue to try to
stock their team by poaching from other teams' tryout camps, a dinky site, social media, and
direct telephone contact are missing the boat. It takes a lot more.
The next few months should be interesting; with the addition of so many new teams and leagues, the devil in the details is going to bite a lot of these yahoos directly in the...
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