Anaheim Ducks grow fan base with school hockey
March 31, 2014 by Max
Officials from the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League met with representatives of St. John Bosco High, a school well known for its football achievements, earlier this month as it seeks to add to its impressive portfolio of hockey programs.
Since Southern California’s climate does not naturally lend itself naturally to hockey, the team has developed an unusual marketing strategy. To keep their franchise viable, even in the event that their standing in the N.H.L. should slide, they have spent on average $2m a year to get young people interested in the sport.
From refurbishing ice rinks to subsidizing high school hockey teams, the Ducks have increased the interest in professional hockey from the ground up. Starting almost six years ago with one team, the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League has grown to include 28 teams with two varsity divisions and a single junior division.
The Ducks’ early success created interest in hockey among elementary school children. However, by the time those kids reached high school, they were often lured away by less expensive sports that they didn’t need to travel so far to play. The strategy now being employed by the Anaheim Ducks is similar to one initiated by the Dallas Stars in 1997 after their move from Minnesota. This season, their Texas league is made up of 42 teams.