Investor Group Announces Formation of North American Professional Women’s Hockey League
On June 30, 2023, the Mark Walter Group and Billie Jean King Enterprises (the “Investor Group”) announced that a single viable professional women’s hockey league in North America, featuring the best women hockey players in the world, will launch in 2024.
The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (“PWHPA”) was formed in May 2019 in an effort to promote the need for a sustainable and viable professional women’s hockey league in North America.
The Investor Group has spent months negotiating a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) with a formal union, the Professional Women’s Hockey League Players Association (“PWHLPA”), that was formed by the members of the PWHPA. In a groundbreaking step towards the launch of the new league, the members of the PWHLPA have ratified the CBA, marking the first time a women’s professional sports union has ratified a CBA prior to the start of competition.
Aird & Berlis has acted as Canadian counsel for both the PWHPA and the PWHLPA on corporate/commercial matters and assisted with negotiations of the CBA with a team led by Jessie Lewis (Corporate/Commercial) and including Jennifer Bishop (Corporate/M&A), Dasha Peregoudova (Labour/Employment), Stephen Zolf (Media/Broadcasting), Amy Grenon and Ken Clark (Intellectual Property), all of whom are members of the firm’s Sports, Media & Entertainment Group.