AEW’s handling of their women’s division has been a heavily debated subject since the company’s launch last year.
The organization, and especially Chief Brand Officer Brandi Rhodes, has preached patience and pointed to other initiatives like Heels, an online community for fans who identify as female. Heels had its first virtual event back in June, and in advance of its second (scheduled for this Friday, Aug. 7), they’ve announced a “dynamic membership platform.” A subscription costs $49 a year.
Here’s the press release:
AEW HEELS LAUNCHES DYNAMIC MEMBERSHIP PLATFORM FOR FEMALE WRESTLING FANS
— New Female-Forward Community Led by Brandi Rhodes to Hold First Event on New Platform Friday, August 7 —
August 5, 2020 – AEW Heels, the new female-focused wrestling community led by AEW Chief Brand Officer Brandi Rhodes and the stars of AEW’s women’s division, today announced the launch of its new fan membership platform. Powered by Wonderful Union’s secure digital platform, female wrestling fans can seamlessly access AEW Heels’ exclusive content and other special benefits — all in a safe environment for engaging in conversation and developing friendships worldwide.
With an annual paid subscription of $49, members receive access to a variety of features including virtual meet-and-greets, video conference discussions with industry experts, exclusive AEW talent Q&A sessions, customized merchandise, special promotions, themed parties and more. The secure space enables AEW Heels members to connect, learn and thrive together through shared passions for women’s wrestling.
Female fans can subscribe to AEW Heels at: alleliteheels.com
The first event for AEW Heels members is scheduled for Friday, August 7, which is included in the annual subscription. The virtual event will be curated on the platform and feature a Q&A session with Aubrey Edwards, a social media strategizing discussion with Brandi, and a special session on respect and empowerment in the workplace with Keisha-Ann Gray, partner at Proskauer.
“AEW Heels is a first-of-its-kind community designed to celebrate and inspire our female fans around the world,” said AEW Chief Brand Officer Brandi Rhodes. “With our new platform, we look forward to the next step in connecting the AEW Heels community and making this the best time ever to be a female wrestling fan.”
AEW Heels debuted earlier this year with two special video conference sessions designed for women. Session elements included a Q&A with former AEW Women’s World Champion Nyla Rose, a tutorial with renowned AEW makeup artist Stella Kae, and a mental health seminar with AEW Chief Legal Officer Megha Parekh, as well as a sweepstakes program and donation opportunities to support The George Floyd Memorial Fund and The Trevor Project.
All of that sounds great, but putting it behind a paywall seems kind of limiting. Wanting to create a safe space is certainly understandable - just look at the comments under any tweet by any woman in the community. The $49 price tag means there’s a financial gate in place of the gender-based one you’re trying to take down, though.
But I’m just one male fan who wants wrestling to be a better place for its female fans. What do you all think?