Today’s guest on Mitlin Money Mindset™ is Mary-Kay Messier. She is a member of the Bauer Hockey senior leadership team as Vice President of Global Marketing. Mary-Kay oversees all of Bauer’s global marketing efforts, including digital, social, consumer experience, sports marketing, and strategic partnerships, including those with the NHL, the NHLPA, international federations, and pro athletes. Mary-Kay is a committed and effective advocate for the game, intending to make it more accessible, inclusive, diverse, and fun-focused because after all, fun is what it’s about. Mary-Kay and her team created the internationally successful First Shift Program, now in partnership with the NHL, NHLP, and founding partner Hockey Canada. The First Shift has welcomed over 30,000 new families to hockey and that is what I would consider growing the game. Listen in as Mary-Kay and I talk about hockey, growing the game, and the huge expansion of the sport through women’s hockey.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- Mary-Kay’s path to becoming the VP of Marketing at Bauer Hockey [2:37]
- The launch of the Secret Dream Gap Tour [5:02]
- How does playing at hockey meccas like NY help grow the game of hockey? [9:54]
- Why was it important that the Secret Dream Gap Tour was a success? [13:02]
- What makes hockey different from other team sports? [16:44]
- Bauer’s goals for growing women’s hockey [21:17]
- How are those affiliated with the NHL helping to grow this initiative? [25:13]
- The responsibility to move things forward [28:57]
- Will women’s hockey direct the growth of the sport? [32:47]
- What Mary-Kay did today that put her in the right mindset for success? [37:33]
Mary-Kay’s path to becoming the VP of Marketing at Bauer Hockey
Mary-Kay feels like she’s been immersed in hockey her whole life. She has kids that play and her father and two brothers played pro. She’s had many different roles outside of the sport but at some point in her life, all roads led back to hockey. Mary-Kay took a couple of different positions for companies, one being a position with Cascade Sports introducing their revolutionary liner technology for helmets to the hockey market—which was exciting. She has also been tasked with raising awareness for concussions and educating on what people should be aware of. After three years that company was acquired by Bauer Hockey.
Mary-Kay first came on with Bauer to lead a global initiative to grow the game, which she’s passionate about. Over time, her role evolved to take on more marketing functions, including sports marketing, the creative team, and a number of other functions that have led to where she is today. It’s been a journey but Mary-Kay is still passionate about the cause-related initiatives that they lead specifically on growing the game and making it more inclusive and diverse.
Goals for growing women’s hockey
What are the goals for growing women’s hockey? What are the goals on the table for Mary-Kay and Bauer to say, this is what’s next, this is how we know we’re doing what we should with regards to women’s hockey?
Mary-Kay says growing participation is the key! In Canada, they have a program with the NHL and the NHLPA that welcomes new families into the sport called First Shift. They’ve had phenomenal success with that. Even during the pandemic participation for girls is up to 40%, more than double what the governing body’s registration is!
Then there’s the pro league. The Secret Dream Gap Tour was a showcase to prove that there is a world-class product. Thinking about coming out of the 22’ Olympics, the biggest inflection point for participation, Mary-Kay thinks the day after the gold medal game we should be announcing the start of a new women’s professional league for the 22’-23’ season. That will go a long way because professional women’s hockey is about creating a whole pipeline of girls playing at all different levels that aspire to different levels. Whether that means playing in college, playing pro, or pursuing a professional career in any capacity in hockey.
Will women’s hockey affect the overall growth of the sport?
Increasing girls’ and womens’ participation across the sport will help all ships rise. Women bring an interesting perspective to sport and how we offer programming, that will be incredible across the board. Mary-Kay thinks we need women in leadership positions. Seeing the impact that the women who are already involved have made so far is a testament to that. Once you open up to different programming, alternate programming, it offers the opportunity to open it up for so many other groups as well. Women have a mindset of working as teams and making a more inclusive environment and that will be helpful.
Connect with Mary-Kay Messier
Mary-Kay Messier is a member of the Bauer Hockey senior leadership team as Vice President,
Global Marketing. Mary-Kay oversees creative, digital, social, paid media, consumer experience, sports marketing, and strategic partnerships, including with the NHL, the NHLPA, international federations, and pro athletes. In this role, Mary-Kay and her team develop marketing initiatives to further establish the company’s brand and products as No. 1 in the industry.
Mary-Kay is a committed and effective advocate for the game with the goal of making it more accessible, inclusive, diverse, and focused on fun. This required first and foremost a brand positioning review to establish the company’s purpose and values, and as a result, brand initiatives are now rooted in new and revamped cause-related programs. Under Mary-Kay’s leadership, her team created the internationally successful First Shift program. Now in partnership with the NHL, NHLPA, and founding partner Hockey Canada, the First Shift has welcomed over 30,000 new families to hockey.
Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.
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