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Hockey Mom Vs. Soccer Mom – Will It Win Votes?

Posted By Holly Buchanan On September 4, 2008 @ 11:30 am In Improving Conversion,Marketing to Women | 32 Comments

Move over Soccer Mom – there’s a new political label in town.   Hockey Mom.

While past elections focused on the key voting block of the Soccer Mom, now it appears there may be a new focus.  This year, we have a candidate who is a self-proclaimed “Hockey Mom”.

As a marketing to women enthusiast, and a long-time researcher of Soccer Moms, this is one of those marketing insight opportunities that has me salivating.  How will this “Hockey Mom” thing play out with voters?

One of the main reasons Michele Miller and I wrote The Soccer Mom Myth [1] was to help companies and marketers break through the stereotype of the Soccer Mom to better understand who women really are and why they really buy.

We’ve found that women don’t like the label “Soccer Mom.”

Yes, Soccer Moms are terrific mothers, devoted to their children, driving them to and from sports games. But there is also a negative side to the term. Do you think Soccer Moms are incredibly technologically savvy? Would you seek one out for intellectual conversation at a cocktail party? Would you want one running your company [2]?

Here’s the problem. Sometimes these biases are unconscious. That’s why they are so dangerous.

So do we now have a new stereotype?  I’ve heard of Hockey Moms before, but with Sarah Palin now calling herself a Hockey Mom [3], the term seems to be everywhere.

It’s always a little tricky to blog about marketing of politics without getting into political battles – so let me be clear I am looking at this strictly from a marketing point of view.

I am curious what the term “Hockey Mom’ brings up in people’s minds. When I went to Wikipedia and typed in Hockey Mom [4] I was redirected to Soccer Mom. Hmmm…that’s interesting. Are they the same thing?

Dan Rodicks from the Baltimore Sun has some interesting insight into Hockey Moms [3].   He  points out this main difference:

Soccer moms get to attend their children’s games in the great outdoors, often in warm sunshine. Hockey moms rise early, in the dark morning hours of a winter Saturday or Sunday, and drive their hockey-playing children to an ice rink in time for an 8:00 am game, which occurs indoors, under the dim lights of cold hockey rinks.

Here’s my main question – when voters hear the term “Hockey Mom” will they relate to it? Will they have a positive connation? A negative connotation?  And how do they feel about a “Hockey Mom” holding one of the most powerful positions in the country?

I honestly don’t know how using the Hockey Mom label will affect the public’s perception of Sarah Palin.    I do think it’s interesting that so many of the news organizations picked up on that label.  Seriously – Google “hockey mom” and see almost every result is a story about Sarah Palin.

What do you think?  Will identifying herself as a Hockey Mom help or hurt her political image?  No matter what your political affiliation – you have to admit – this has been one of the most interesting campaigns from a marketing standpoint.    Fascinating.   I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

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URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/09/04/hockey-mom-vs-soccer-mom-will-it-win-votes/

URLs in this post:

[1] The Soccer Mom Myth: http://www.amazon.com/Soccer-Mom-Myth-Michele-Miller/dp/1932226567/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200385602&sr=8-16

[2] Would you want one running your company: http://www.inc.com/articles/2008/09/palin.html

[3] Sarah Palin now calling herself a Hockey Mom: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/local/rodricks/blog/2008/09/hockey_mom.html

[4] Wikipedia and typed in Hockey Mom: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_mom

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