The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) today announced a commitment from the Board of Governors to invest over $25 million in direct payments and benefits to its players over the next three years. The pledge includes more than $7.5 million in salary and benefits for the 2022-23 season. This represents the largest one-time independent investment in the history of professional women’s hockey and will provide more financial opportunities for athletes while directly enhancing the player experience.
“The PHF has been steadfast in its vision to grow the game under a new era that truly provides leading opportunities for athletes in the sport who deserve to be treated as professionals,” said Tyler Tumminia, PHF Commissioner. “This amazing investment by ownership reaffirms the strength of their commitment to being difference-makers who advance the professional game so that our athletes can thrive as role models who continue to inspire the next generation.”
The investment to our professional players, which includes cash, full healthcare benefits provided by their club, and equity in the teams, will support the current athletes and attract new players. At the heart of the investment is a substantial salary cap increase to $750,000 for next year, 150 percent more than the current record figure of $300,000 that is available per team. The PHF will further support its growth and the development opportunities for its athletes through expansion, updating facilities, purchasing new equipment, and increasing ice time in the form of more practices and an expanded 28 game schedule. All players will benefit from 10 percent of the equity of each team, which will be contributed to an investment pool owned by the PHF players, enabling them to share in the league’s financial success. Additionally, players will have control over their own likeness and be able to profit from their image.
“On behalf of the Board of Governors we are proud to play a part in bringing women’s sports to the next level by investing in the PHF,” said John Boynton, Chairman of the Board of Governors. “We see the PHF as a platform to address the inequities that women athletes face. We also believe in the sustainability of our developing business model and embrace our responsibility to build a platform that grows this dynamic league to historic heights.”
Over the last 18 months, the PHF has pivoted from a single entity structure to a joint venture model, with all six member clubs owned and operated by private ownership groups in their respective markets. The PHF also generated landmark broadcast and corporate partnerships, the largest sponsorship revenues in its history, and received record digital viewership and engagement during a shortened season. Prior to the 2021-22 campaign, the league announced a historic name change and refreshed logo to redefine the brand based on the skill and talent of the athletes as opposed to their gender.
This season, the PHF has established unprecedented media exposure through an agreement with ESPN+ who serves as the exclusive home of the PHF in the United States, with international rights for ESPN affiliates including TSN in Canada. The Federation also recently announced a trailblazing multi-year agreement with The Upper Deck Company who will produce their first-ever professional women’s hockey trading cards and a new multi-year agreement with Warrior who becomes the first PHF-wide partner in the equipment category.
The PHF currently has six franchises including the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and Toronto Six. Details for the PHF’s planned expansion of a seventh team in Montreal, Quebec, and the potential for additional clubs to broaden its United States footprint will be announced at a later date.