The National Women’s Hockey League announced a rebrand heading into their seventh season. It was reported on Monday night by Marisa Ingemi of the Seattle Times, followed by the league’s Tuesday announcement to make it official. They took on a new name, the Premier Hockey Federation to solidify change within the federation as a whole. All six teams that were a part of the NWHL will still be involved under the new name.
League commissioner, Ty Tumminia said in Tuesday’s press release that, “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”.
“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.” she continued.
The league’s desire to remove gender from its name impacted the decision to rebrand the league. “We felt it’s time for our players to be defined by their talent and skill,” Tumminia said. “It’s not like they’re female phenomenal. You’re just phenomenal.” They have used the phrase, “No Labels, No Limits”, to describe their mission moving forward. This move helps to make the league more inclusive for players, staff and fans. This vow of inclusivity for the PHF must go further than just the name change and really be seen in day to day operations. This includes policies and regulations rewritten or put in place to protect all players.
The new logo uses components from the preexisting one including the black and white theme along with the stars. This new logo has the stars moved into the shape of a W to symbolize women or to “raise the W”.
The rebrand could potentially help to separate the league from the not-so-great parts of their history. This change also comes just months after the NWHL was featured on NBCSN and Sportsnet. This new, generic name may take away from the work done to grow the viewership of the NWHL over the last year. Only time will tell what kind of an impact this change truly makes.
The rebrand is not complete as the PHF still has to unveil its website and fully convert social channels. Effective immediately, the NWHL is now the PHF and we will have to wait and see what the next few months look like for the federation.