Pay-to-play junior hockey should be about developing
into a higher caliber player and getting the exposure needed to elevate to the
next level of play. I’m sorry to say
that from the operators’ standpoint, the main objective appears to be customer
retention and topping off the bank account.
In most cases, customer retention is the players
themselves. Pay-to-play level players
that remain with the same team for three and four seasons are considered the Holy
Grail. In reality, most teams use the
word exposure in the same manner a fisherman baits a hook.
There is one pay-to-play hockey team that
regularly gets in excess of 800 fans per game while bringing in $150,000+ a
year in player fees. One of the key
elements in their recruiting arsenal is the promise of exposure. While on my site, getting content from this
team was like pulling teeth out of a nine year old. Player signings and movement were secrets that
were guarded better than the President of United States.
So how can a team that preaches exposure get
away with doing whatever they can to limit it?
Would it be surprising to know that there are
more 20 year-olds on this team each year than 95% of the other pay-to-play
teams on the continent? No, that’s to be
This particular team is more focused on local
advertising in order to generate a bigger gate…
Not that they really need it.
Maybe they think local advertising will do a
lot more to get players exposure than whatever we could do for the team. I
mean, just about every NCAA and ACHA team in the country has somebody looking
at JuniorHockey.com every day, why would any team want to reach those guys
Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Now semi-retired, he spends
his time in Florida with his children Sonia and Tomas.
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