Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/18/12 at 09:54 AM ET
from the Financial Post,
One would expect the CEO of one of the world’s largest sports and recreation equipment producers to be sitting on pins and needles in hopes an NHL lockout could be avoided. Yet Kevin Davis, chief executive of Bauer, remained unusually calm last week when negotiations between the NHL and the NHL Players Association were at a stalemate. The league and its players may now be in a lockout scenario, but Mr. Davis does not expect the freeze on the 2012-13 hockey season will have a material effect on his company, which enjoys a 52% market share in hockey equipment. He spoke recently with Hollie Shaw about corporate branding outside of the NHL, the potential impact of a lockout on his business and how to increase participation in the sport. Following is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Q: You have said there is a misperception that most of your “elite” category — the category which makes up 48% of your sales — consists largely of NHL players. How do you think a lockout would affect sales?
A: When we talk about elite performance and recreation, we are talking about the price point of the product—not necessarily the athlete that is using it. So when we say 48% of our revenue comes from elite, if you are a 14-year-old frequent hockey player in a high-level travel team, you are an elite player. Our primary market is the 12- to 18-year-old hockey player. We want the NHL season to start as much as anybody else does, but from a business standpoint there are about 650 guys playing in the NHL and about six-million kids playing hockey around the world. From a financial point of view, for us it is a very small part of our revenue.
Q: Isn’t it likely, though, that a lockout would affect the marketing of your products?
A: We are the number one brand in the NHL in every category, and certainly having those guys on the ice is better for our marketing than not having them on the ice. But, while it is important, we don’t rely solely on NHL as our marketing for kids....
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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