In a significant milestone for the NWHL and professional women’s hockey in North America, the league announced today that the Boston Pride hockey club has been purchased by a team of investors led by Cannon Capital managing partner Miles Arnone.
“My investors and I believe in the NWHL, and we are honored to take on the responsibility of leading the Boston Pride during this important era of growth for women’s sports,” said Arnone, a Massachusetts resident. “We will build the Pride into a world-class team and an innovative and thoughtful business venture that demonstrates the power of professional women’s hockey and the value of the game’s remarkable athletes.”
Prior to the Pride’s practice on Monday night, Arnone met with the team’s players and staff. Ownership’s immediate plans for the Pride include investments to enhance player and team development, increased marketing and promotion, the creation of more youth hockey initiatives, and the hiring of a team president.
Arnone brings to the Pride and NWHL more than 20 years of investment experience and a background in engineering, turn-around management and start-ups. He is the author of two books, founder of three start-ups and principal inventor on 125 patents. A Long Island native, Arnone earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has called Boston home for more than thirty years.
The sale of the Boston Pride was facilitated by The Sports Advisory Group, an industry leader in the sale and acquisition of major and minor league sports teams. As the NWHL enters its next phase after four years of consistent growth, the league is considering the sale of other current teams and prospective expansion teams to investors genuinely dedicated to the women’s game.
“There are few brands available in professional sports as powerful and with the growth potential of the NWHL and its teams,” said Bill Yates, Senior Partner at The Sports Advisory Group. “Entrepreneurs with a true vision for women’s hockey like Miles Arnone have monitored the success of the league in four short years, see the potential of women’s hockey as a thriving business, and are interested in continuing to build a platform that honors the game, players and fans.”
The Boston Pride are one of the Founding Four teams of the NWHL, and in 2016, the Pride won the first-ever Isobel Cup. More than 80 percent of this season’s Pride roster consists of players who were either raised or played collegiately in New England. Captain Jillian Dempsey is the co-leader in scoring in league history and, for the last two seasons, has been selected by her fellow players around the NWHL as the recipient of the Denna Laing Award for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport. Lovisa Selander, the Pride’s No. 1 goaltender, is the NCAA’s all-time leader in saves and in 2019 was a top ten finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given to the best player in college hockey. The general manager of the club is Karilyn Pilch and the head coach is former NHL defenseman and gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic Team assistant coach Paul Mara.
The NWHL’s fifth season begins in October with an increased schedule of 24 regular season games for each team, followed by the Isobel Cup Playoffs. Salary caps for each team have been increased by 50 percent, and the players are receiving a 50 percent split of revenue from all league-level sponsorship and media deals. Those deals include an exclusive three-year streaming partnership with Twitch for all NWHL games.
“The NWHL congratulates Miles Arnone on his acquisition of the Boston Pride, and we thank Miles and his investors for their belief in our league and players,” said NWHL Founder and Commissioner Dani Rylan. “Miles has a love for the game and deep connections in the New England community. The Pride’s new ownership is passionately committed to the team for the long haul, and we are confident they will set a new standard for how professional women’s hockey teams are run in North America. Their dedication to investing in the Pride’s infrastructure, player development, and every aspect of the sport and business is a game-changer.”
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