A Hockey Mom’s Thoughts From the Sidelines

Marketing Notes from a Hockey Mom

Okay, I have to admit it –– I am a hockey mom. It is amazing how those words can stir such controversy.  It seems that nearly everyone has their idea of what a ‘hockey mom’ is –– some kind of crazy lunatic who can communicate only in screams and shouts. She is a woman with a one-track mind –– make her kid a hockey star…no matter whom she has to step on.

While I’ll admit there are a few of those moms out there, I am not one of them. And I’m sure this personality type can be found in any sport, not just hockey. I’ve also met several fathers who fall into this category. So I guess what I am trying to say is that most hockey moms are just that: moms.

That said, I do understand how a hockey mom can turn crazy. The investment and time commitment are enough to make one take a huge gulp as they write out the check for yet another tournament or clinic.  My son soon will be at the age where travel outside of our home state will become a regular occurrence, with additional air travel and hotels becoming part of the mix.  And we seem to constantly be defending ourselves against other sport parents who ask why we let our child play such a dangerous sport –– even when they’re totally unaware of what the safety rules are at this age.

A hockey mom juggles her schedule to accommodate ice times and car pools that can be at six in the morning, or eight o’clock at night.  She is continually washing uniforms, searching for mouthpieces, filling water bottles and making sure that all of the equipment is accounted for.  She is personal assistant, chauffeur, equipment supply officer, cheering section and chief fundraiser.

So why do I do it?  It’s simple, really — it’s good for my son.  It teaches him commitment, how to play on a team, how to think strategically, work toward a goal, and to persevere. That, and his father and I love watching him play.

Yes, hockey moms are intense, but we’re also extremely loyal –– sitting in freezing rinks to cheer on our teams while drinking bad coffee and eating stale food.  Today’s marketers would do well to have this kind of loyalty targeted at their brands.