SBD/June 4, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sporting Goods Manufacturer STX To Launch Ice Hockey Line In Fall Of '14

Baltimore-based sporting goods manufacturer STX yesterday announced it will launch an ice hockey division. STX, currently manufacturing lacrosse, golf and field hockey equipment, will begin production and sales of its ice hockey equipment in the fall of '14. STX has installed dedicated management, a research & development team, and a product team to develop and launch STX Ice Hockey (STX). In Baltimore, Chris Korman notes the ice hockey equipment line is a "rare foray into a new business for STX, which developed the first plastic lacrosse head in 1970." It added "golf putters in 1980 and expanded into field hockey gear in 1993." But STX President Jason Goger said that ice hockey equipment "seemed a natural extension of what it makes now." STX execs said that hockey "made sense because lacrosse shafts and ice hockey sticks are made of similar lightweight composite materials, and athletes in both sports wear shoulder and elbow pads and need flexible gloves that still provide ample protection." Ice hockey offers STX "a significant revenue growth opportunity if it garners even a fraction of the global market." STX execs said that the "global market for hockey gear is estimated to be between" $500-600M a year. Lacrosse, which "remains one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, has a global market of between" $120-150M. Reaching hockey consumers "won't be easy, though." Bauer -- once "owned by Nike but now publicly traded -- claims to have" 52% of the global hockey market and reported revenue of $375M in '12. STX management "hopes to capture consumers by bringing innovation to gear the company believes sorely needs it" (Baltimore SUN, 6/4).
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