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Leagues and Governing Bodies

NHL seeing growth in female and young fans

According to league research, 37% of hockey fans are female, including 26% growth in that demographic since ‘16Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

The NHL is “seeing unparalleled growth in female and younger fans that should have a big impact for years to come,” according to Joe Reedy of the AP. According to league research, 37% of hockey fans "are female,” including an “eye-popping 26% growth in that demographic” since ‘16. Most of those new fans are “likely within the coveted 18-49 age demographic, too," since nearly 40% of all NHL fans "are under 50." The increase among female viewers “was higher during Wednesday night games on TNT," as during the regular season, there was a 44% "jump in female viewers compared to previous years,” when the games were aired on NBCSN. Bleacher Report’s hockey site posted its “most viewed month (35.8 million page views)” in May and saw engagement "triple compared to last year.” League research found that 80% of the users on its digital channels "are Gen Z and millennial.” The Power Players board, created in ‘19, seeks the "opinions of fans and social influencers ages 13-17,” and board member Aidan Gunn "pointed to the changes in marketing for the growth." Gunn: “They’ve taken a less professional approach to their marketing. And I mean that in the best way possible. It’s so much more personal. ... They’ve done so much better with sprucing up all of their content” (AP, 6/25).

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