*Press release courtesy of the Premier Hockey Federation
New Name & Logo for Professional Women’s Hockey in North America
“No Labels, No Limits” : PHF Now Defined by the Talent and Skill of Its Athletes
September 7, 2021 (Brooklyn, N.Y.) – The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) has officially launched a new era with the introduction of a name change and refreshed logo ahead of the 2021-22 season. The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) re-defines the league’s brand based on the skill and talent of its athletes as opposed to their gender and is the first professional women’s sports league in North America to lift the word ‘women’s out of its title.
“The Premier Hockey Federation is home to some of the best professional athletes in the world who deserve to be recognized for their abilities and to be empowered as equals in sport,” said PHF Commissioner Tyler Tumminia. “This league has come a long way since its inception in 2015 and we believe that this is the right time and the right message as we strengthen our commitment to growing the game and inspiring youth.”
The PHF name was inspired by empowerment, gender equity, and inclusivity with respect to differences in the gender identity of current athletes, prospective players, and league stakeholders. Expansion across the United States, into Canada, and the increase of international talent also helped pave the way for a rebrand with global appeal.
“From an opportunity standpoint, it’s huge,” said Metropolitan Riveters captain Madison Packer, a member of the league since Season 1. “I understand and appreciate not having to define ourselves as female athletes anymore. Now we are defining players based on skill and what they bring to the game. This is about recognizing that regardless of gender, athletes are talented.”
The logo presents a modern identity with simplicity, versatility, and flexibility that pays tribute to the history of the NWHL. The black and white scheme is preserved in the primary emblem, while stars from the original design form the silhouette of a crown atop the PHF acronym. The use of both the stars and crown are symbolic of ambition and achievement but also form a subtle ‘W’ to represent the concept of raising women to the top.
“This rebrand strategy speaks volumes about what women in sports and women, in general, are trying to do,” said Boston Pride sophomore forward Sammy Davis, the first overall pick in the 2020 NWHL Draft. “We’re trying to be seen for more than just being women. It’s important to be pioneers, to be first. Set the foundation and show people that it’s okay to be different and it’s okay to want change.
The 2021 season was record-setting, despite the challenges of a COVID-19 pandemic. League visibility reached new heights through digital viewership, social engagement, and a historic broadcast partnership that saw the Isobel Cup raised for the first time on American network television. Landmark sponsorship deals, more corporate partners than ever before, and an increased commitment from private ownership has helped double the salary cap to $300,000 per team in 2021-22 which represents the highest figure in league history.
“We’re excited to build on all of our momentum from the last year, ‘Raise the W’ and embark on this new era with our athletes, teams, partners, and fans,” added Tumminia. “No labels, no limits.”
The PHF season begins Saturday, November 6, 2021, with all six teams in action. Over the coming weeks, the league will unveil new PHF digital components such as website addresses and social media handles along with an exciting line of new merchandise.
About Premier Hockey Federation (PHF):
The PHF is the leading source of professional women’s hockey in North America. Established in 2015 as the National Women’s Hockey League, the NWHL rebranded to become the PHF in 2021 and maintains the mission to provide strong role models and fuel the continued growth of the sport. The league is made up of the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and the Toronto Six who all compete annually for the Isobel Cup.
SOURCE: Mary Schwalm