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Lawsuit Accuses Performance Sports Group of Fraud
Pure Hockey Completes Purchase of Total Hockey
A lawsuit filed in New York district court in mid-August accused Performance Sports Group, the parent company of Bauer, of fraud and stock market manipulation. The lawsuit alleges that PSG moved future orders into earlier finanical quarters by pressuring hockey retailers to accept products they did not need to increase the company's sales.
The Plumbers and Pipefitters National Pension Fund, which is a PSG shareholder, is named as the lead plaintiff. Former PSG CEO Kevin Davis and former CFO Amir Rosenthal are named as defendants. The lawsuit claims PSG knowingly or recklessly engaged in acts, transactions, practices and courses of business which operated as a fraud and deceit.
PSG saw its share prices cut in half after it was unable to file an audited annual report with regulators by an August 15 deadline. That puts PSG in a default position under its credit agreements.
PSG said in a statement its filing was delayed by an internal investigation by its Audit Committee. PSG has initiated discussions with its lenders to address the issue but said it can offer no assurances on the outcome of those discussions. The company plans to continue operating its business and serving its customers in a normal fashion.
On Aug. 17, PSG confirmed it was facing an investigation by the U.S. securities regulator, The company also said in a filing that it was subject to inquiries by the Canadian securities regulator, besides the investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
PSG, which makes Easton baseball gear and other sports equipment, saw its shares drop to $2.30 in the first half hour of trading on Monday, Aug. 15 in Toronto from $4.50 on Aug. 12. That was a drop from a year-earlier price of $19.93.
The company also announced a corporate restructuring in early August which resulted in a workforce reduction in several areas and levels of the organization. Along with the consolidation of its baseball and softball operations, PSG reduced its workforce by approximately 15% since the end of its Fiscal Year 2016.
"It is important that we focus our efforts on our core businesses of hockey, baseball/softball and lacrosse, while we make improvements to our business processes with the goal of making our entire company more efficient and effective," said CEO Harlan Kent in a statement.
TSG Enterprises, which owns Pure Hockey, received court approval of its purchase of bankrupt Total Hockey for $22.5 million. TSG was the only buyer after Total Hockey filed for bankruptcy in July.
TSG will now operate 54 retail locations across the United States and seven e-commerce sites focused on hockey, lacrosse and goalie equipment. TSG also owns Hockey Giant, Pure Goalie and Commonwealth Lacrosse.
Total Hockey, the 32-store United States chain founded in 1999, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July. Total Hockey had estimated liabilities of $50 million to $100 million, including $32 million in unsecured debt, and assets of $10 million to $50 million. Creditors include Bauer Hockey with a $13.8 million claim.
"We are very excited to add Total Hockey into our existing portfolio of nationally recognized and respected retail and e-commerce brands," said David Nectow, President of TSG, in a release. "The acquisition gives us access to exciting new markets such as Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Maryland, Utah and Colorado, and also enables us to strengthen our presence in existing markets.
"Despite some recent financial difficulties, Total Hockey has built a strong brand, best-in class technologies and an overall culture of success that will help TSG continue to grow our retail and e-commerce operations across the U.S. to best meet the evolving needs of our customers. We're really excited to acquire great retail stores and websites, and to have an extremely talented management team join our company as well."
TSG was the only buyer for Total Hockey's assets. Total Hockey expanded into lacrosse in 2012 and has 32 stores after it purchased Players Bench, a Denver-based hockey and lacrosse retailer with eight stores, last year.
"The Chapter 11 filing was necessary as a result of a loss of liquidity over the past six to nine months," Total Hockey CEO and owner Michael Benoit said in a statement in July. "There is nothing like Total Hockey in this market and we look forward to melding our capabilities with Pure Hockey's strong market position."
to read the full story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
NHL Streamlined Goalie Equipment May Be Delayed a Year
The plan to put NHL goalies in more streamlined equipment has hit some snags, according to Sportsnet Canada. The NHL and its Players Association have not come to an agreement on the new equipment and it appears it will not be worn for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which runs from September 17 to October 1 in Toronto.
"It is still a work in progress," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said at a World Cup news conference. "I know our people in hockey operations are working very hard with the players' association. I am hopeful we can get it in place because I think it's important."
Sportsnet reported that a small group of NHL goalies have stalled the process enough so no NHL goalies have received gear fitting the new standards for the 2016-17 season. There is also doubt that an equipment change could be instituted during the season.
Business of Ice Hockey Report
nnual Business of Ice Hockey is a great resource of information on participation and sales data in the United States. The 2016 Edition of the report is now available!
Overall participation in the U.S. declined slightly for the second consecutive year. Overall sales for the categories of hockey and ice skates also decreased from 2014 to 2015.
In 2015, it was a very warm year across the country, which likely influenced the slightly lower participation and sales figures.
Members of the Hockey Dealers Association, and National Sporting Goods Association members with an interest in hockey, will receive a free electronic copy of the report. Printed copies of the report are available to members upon request.
The cost of the report is $395 for non-members. Purchasing a one-year membership in HDA for $125 is a great way to not only receive the Annual Business of Ice Hockey report, but also to keep up with news and information on the industry and to utilize various cost-saving services.
For more information on HDA membership, or to learn more about the Annual Business of Ice Hockey report, contact HDA director Marty Maciaszek at email@example.com
or at (800) 815-5422, ext. 1260.
Performance Sports Group Appoints New CEO
Performance Sports Group has appointed Harlan Kent as the Company’s new Chief Executive Officer and as a member of its Board of Directors, both effective June 20. The announcement follows a comprehensive search process undertaken by the Board of Directors with the assistance of a leading executive search firm.
Kent is an experienced CEO who has a strong track record of leading consumer-centric brands, growing profitability and creating shareholder value. As President and CEO of Yankee Candle, Inc., he led the organization through consistent growth in revenues, profits and shareholder value. During his tenure as President and CEO, Yankee Candle revenues more than doubled to $840 million and the company’s market capitalization increased to $1.7 billion.
“Over his 13-year career at Yankee Candle, Harlan grew both revenues and margins through consumer focus, product innovation and operational excellence,” said Bernard McDonell, Chairman of the Board, Performance Sports Group. “We are confident that Harlan’s expertise in building brands and creating shareholder value will drive Performance Sports Group to the next stage of growth. The Board looks forward to working with Harlan and the entire management team as we take the actions necessary to successfully execute our strategy and capitalize on the opportunities ahead.”
During his tenure with Yankee Candle, Kent led the successful expansion of the company’s go-to-market strategy including diversification of the product portfolio, emphasis on brand building and increase in channel distribution.
“I’m excited to join the team at Performance Sports Group, a company best known for its iconic brands and elevating player performance and protection,” Kent said. “PSG has a strong portfolio of leading brands, a successful track record of product innovation and significant global growth potential. I look forward to working closely with the Board and our employees to fulfill our consumer-centric mission.”
Kent’s career has been marked with success in a range of evolving senior roles across category management, operations, business development and leadership in a number of global consumer companies including Alex and Ani, C. Wonder, Totes Isotoner Corporation, Olin Corporation, Campbell Soup Company and Dole Food Company. Kent began his career at Bain and Company as a consultant and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth College.
Amir Rosenthal, who has served as interim CEO of Performance Sports Group since March 22, remains with the Company. “We are grateful to Amir for stepping in as interim CEO, while also overseeing the day-to-day management of our entire brand portfolio,” McDonell said. “Amir is a valuable leader within our organization and we are appreciative of his efforts as well as the continued commitment and dedication shown by the employees of Performance Sports Group.”
Youth Player and Dad Use ASTM
to Help Protect Throats of Goalies
Jerry Ostrander figured something needed to be done after the throat protector on the goalie's mask of his then 14-year-old A.J. was shattered by a puck for the fourth time. Ostrander, a retired police officer, did not feel the kids were being protected and eventually took the issue to ASTM International.
Ostrander found there was no safety standard at ASTM or any other governing body for throat protectors. But with some help he began to develop a standard and started going to ASTM meetings with his son.
As a result, the ASTM approved a standard on March 15: F3165, Specification for Throat Protective Equipment for Hockey Goaltenders. The Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) is expected to use the new standard and it may be adopted by other organizations.
Bauer to Open First Canadian Retail Experience in Suburban Toronto in 2017
Bauer announced it will open its third Own The Moment retail experience in the Toronto suburb of Vaughan, Ontario in summer of 2017. Bauer opened its first two stores in suburban Boston (Burlington, Mass.) and suburban Minneapolis (Bloomington, Minn.) in 2015.
Bauer's first Canadian retail initiative will be a 24,000-square foot location in the RioCan Colossus Centre. The Toronto store will feature a 3,200-square foot indoor ice rink with regulation boards and glass, Bauer Personal Fit Experts to guide each customer through individual fitting protocols, dedicated areas for each product category and specific areas to easily educate new-to-hockey families and welcome them to the sport.
“We’re excited to bring the Own The Moment Hockey Experience to Canada and to the important hockey community of the greater Toronto area,” said Amir Rosenthal, President, PSG Brands and Interim CEO, Performance Sports Group. “The Own The Moment Hockey Experience is designed specifically to meet the needs of hockey players of all ages and abilities. We look forward to educating and inspiring current and future hockey players in the area with a unique retail experience that is truly the ultimate Bauer brand and product showcase.”
Bauer plans to open a total of 8 to 10 locations in North America in "Original Six" NHL cities and other key hockey markets.
Hockey Participation in U.S. Dips Slightly For Second Consecutive Year
The 2016 edition of the National Sporting Goods Association's Sports Participation in the United States report was released on May 4. For the second straight year, the study showed a slight decline in U.S. ice hockey participation to 3.3 million for ages 7 and older. In 2013 it was 3.5 million and 2014 was 3.4 million.
Participation is defined as someone who participates at least twice per year and can include recreational and/or organized activity. In 2015, it was a very warm year across the United States, which likely influenced slightly lower participation figures.
The 2016 Edition of the Annual Business of Ice Hockey report will be available for Hockey Dealers Association members this summer. It includes detailed participation and cross-participation reports and data on sales of ice hockey equipment. The cost of the Ice Hockey report will be $395 for non-members.
for more information on all of the NSGA 2016 research offerings.
CCM, Sigmatex to Produce
High-End Sticks for 2017
CCM Hockey and Sigmatex
announced a partnership on CCM's line of premium hockey sticks for 2017. The upcoming product line will incorporate Sigmatex's sigmaST fabric, and is driven by weight reduction and strength objectives.
The sticks will utilize Sigmatex's sigmaST fabric, which is 20 percent lighter than traditional carbon fiber fabrics, and has an excellent strength to weight ratio. This technology is crucial to sporting applications, particularly in the hockey industry that demands a lightweight stick which maintains durability and has a high impact tolerance. With its sleek checkerboard finish, sigmaST gives the hockey sticks a unique shelf appeal.
"Using sigmaST has empowered us to produce a lighter stick which still maintains the overall strength and performance required," CCM said in a release. "We chose to work with Sigmatex because of their proven capability in the sports & leisure sector to create innovative composite solutions. We have been able to build hockey sticks which outperform their predecessors not just from a weight perspective, but also in terms of strength and durability."
The sticks will be distributed globally and used in professional leagues across the world including the National, American, Canadian and Swedish hockey leagues.
Sigmatex is the world's leading independent converter of carbon fiber. With over 30 years' experience, Sigmatex supplies a range of technical textile solutions to a wide spectrum of industries including Sport & Leisure, Automotive, Aerospace, Marine, Industrial and Construction markets. For more information, see www.sigmatex.com
Wuerthele Departing Performance Sports Group's Hockey Division
Rich Wuerthele, the Executive Vice President for Hockey with Performance Sports Group, will be leaving the company May 20. Wuerthele joined PSG in 2014 and will take an executive leadership position at Newell Brands, a marketer of consumer and commercial products. Wuerthele worked for Newell for 11 years before joining PSG.
"I would like to thank Rich for his leadership of our hockey business during the past two years," said Amir Rosenthal, the President of PSG and interim CEO. "During his tenure, Bauer Hockey continued its No. 1 brand position and strengthened its commitment to deliver the industry's most innovative products through superior athlete insight and deep consumer connection. We wish Rich continued success in his new role and will immediately begin a search for his replacement."
CCM Extends Partnership
for Helmet Safety Testing
CCM Hockey, which is owned by Adidas, announced a three-year extension of its partnership with the Neurotrauma Impact Science Laboratory (NISL) at the University of Ottawa. The collaborative research partnership ensures that CCM helmets are independently tested for safety and meet the facility's high standards. The extension underlines CCM's commitment to player safety and ongoing research and development within the sport of hockey.
For decades, the University of Ottawa's Neurotrauma Impact Science Laboratory has been a leader in the field of head trauma research. The laboratory's mandate is to contribute in a meaningful way to decreasing all types of head injury in sport. CCM first entered into a partnership with the Neurotrauma Impact Science Laboratory in 2011. Through highly advanced laboratory tests and simulations, this joint research and development partnership allows CCM to gain further knowledge on head protection impact management in the sport of hockey. Additionally, the equipment manufacturer is able to collaborate with the specialized research facility to test helmets and drive product innovation focused on player safety.
"Player safety is our top priority," said Jeff Dalzell, Vice President, Product Creation and Sourcing, CCM Hockey. "This is emphasized by our continued research collaboration with the Neurotrauma Impact Science Laboratory, as well as other prominent universities in various categories. We believe that the NISL measures for testing are unparalleled in sport, and we are serious about investing in research to ensure our products are developed and tested on the leading edge of science to meet high external standards."
"We are thrilled to be able to work with CCM Hockey," said Dr. Blaine Hoshizaki, Laboratory Director, Neurotrauma Impact Science Laboratory. "CCM shares our passion to continuously improve player safety through ongoing research and development."
CCM Hockey recently announced that it will launch the new Fitlite 3DS helmet this summer. The CCM Fitlite 3DS and CCM Resistance helmet lines were both tested by the Neurotrauma Impact Science Laboratory, and are certified by HECC in the United States, the CSA in Canada and EN directives in Europe.
Hockey Discussed at 10th Annual
NFHS, NCAA Meeting
The 10th annual NCAA and NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) rules meeting was held April 12 in Indianapolis. Here is a look at what occurred in ice hockey:
The NCAA's Ty Halpin said Division I men's coaches have regular discussions about the NHL's plan to cut down on the size of goalie equipment. Halpin said D-I coaches want to be on the same page with the NHL plans.
This is a rule-change year in early June and the NCAA's Ty Halpin said they would like to a see an increased amount of scoring chances - even though goal-scoring was up this year.
The rules committee meets at the end of April and NFHS's Dan Schuster said there are no proposals on equipment changes for this year. Schuster said they are satisfied with the current state of helmets but are pushing for an emphasis on proper fitting of helmets and facemasks.
Schuster said there are no NHL-type proposals about the size of goalie equipment. He said it's not a direction the NFHS can go for a number of reasons.
HECC (Hockey Equipment Certification Council) representative Terry Smith said they have formed a task force with the CSA Group in Canada to develop a national test for ice hockey helmets. Schuster and Halpin said they have received no inquiries regarding the Virginia Tech hockey helmet test ratings done in 2015.
Neurosurgeon Has Concerns About Equipment, Fighting in NHL
A Toronto neurosurgeon believes the NHL should be more concerned about concussions and said one of the problems is hockey equipment. Dr. Charles Tator of the Krembil Neuroscience Centre at Toronto Western Hospital thinks some changes would decrease the number of concussions.
"I would start probably with the equipment," Tator told Canada's Sportsnet 590 The Fan. "It's crazy to have elbow pads and shoulder pads that are like sledgehammers. Why have the (NHL and other hockey leaders) allowed those ridiculous elbow pads and shoulder pads to be perpetuated?"
Tator thinks eliminating fighting and imposing harsher penalties and suspensions for hits from behind on unsuspecting players would help reduce concussions.
Kevin Davis Out in Performance Sports Group Management Shakeup
A management shakeup at Performance Sports Group, the parent company of Bauer, led to the immediate departure of Chief Executive Officer Kevin Davis. The PSG Board of Directors appointed Chief Financial Officer Amir Rosenthal as the interim CEO on Tuesday, March 22.
The move comes in the wake of PSG lowering its fiscal year guidance in early March and a New York Post report that the company was being questioned about misstatements of revenue. Davis had been the CEO since 2008.
“We are grateful to Kevin for his significant contributions to the Company,” said PSG Chairman Bernard McDonell in a statement. “Kevin and the management team successfully led the company from a privately held hockey business to the publicly traded, global and multi-sport organization it is today. We wish him well as he pursues the next chapter in his career.”
Graeme Roustan, who was PSG's Chairman from 2008 to 2012, has been trying to get back on the board and told The Post: "This is long overdue."
Several customers told Roustan in a 2015 survey that the company asked them to move orders forward to an earlier quarter, which The Post reported exclusively March 14. Roustan presented his findings to the PSG Board in June 2015 but Davis, at a Bank of America retail conference March 15, told The Post he did nothing wrong and didn't manipulate PSG's earnings.
Rosenthal, who will also remain President, PSG Brands, joined PSG in 2008 and previously held the role of CFO and Executive Vice President Finance and Administration with the Company. In his role as CFO, Rosenthal was instrumental in leading PSG's initial public offering and listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2011, as well as the U.S. listing on the New York Stock Exchange nearly two years ago.
"The Board is pleased to appoint Amir as the Company’s interim Chief Executive Officer,” McDonell said. “Amir is a proven leader with a strong understanding of our brands and our customers and has been instrumental in the growth and success of Performance Sports Group. The Board will conduct a search for the permanent CEO of Performance Sports Group and will include Amir among the candidates under consideration for this role.”
“Performance Sports Group continues to be focused on delivering the best possible performance and protection to athletes at all levels,” Rosenthal said. “Our leading brands, deep consumer connections, commitment to innovation and dedicated employees remain the four key pillars of our company and I look forward to working with the Board, the management team and all of our employees to continue delivering on our mission."
Bauer Named Exclusive Equipment Supplier of NAHL
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) announced that Bauer Hockey, a subsidiary of Performance Sports Group Ltd., has been named the exclusive equipment supplier of the 22-team junior league. Through this three-year agreement, Bauer will provide all NAHL teams with Bauer sticks, pants, gloves and helmets. For the NAHL, this strategic partnership provides its players with the world’s most innovative product to ensure athletes can perform at their best during these important development years.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Bauer Hockey as our exclusive league equipment supplier,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “We believe Bauer products are among the best in the industry and that this relationship will provide our most valuable asset – the players – with the necessary tools to compete at an elite level. Bauer Hockey is the leader in the industry with a passionate commitment to elevating performance and protection. This reinforces our mission to help athletes who aim to climb the developmental ladder and excel on the ice.”
The NAHL is the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II junior league, and it includes 22 teams in 10 states. The league graduates hundreds of its players to NCAA hockey each year, which during the current 2015-16 season includes approximately 150 Division I commitments. Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks and James van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs are just a few of the alumni who once played in the NAHL.
“We’re proud to be partnering with such a prestigious league that allows us to help elevate the on-ice performance of top upcoming players,” said Rich Wuerthele, Executive Vice President, Bauer Hockey. “Through this strategic partnership we will continue to showcase our brand and innovations to elite athletes, while also activating at the grassroots level in key NAHL communities for tournaments and other league events.”
In addition to the range of Bauer products available, the selection options for NAHL players will also include Easton sticks and gloves. Performance Sports Group recently acquired Easton Hockey, bringing the brand’s heritage and history of innovation together with Bauer. Bauer will also serve as the preferred equipment supplier of both the Tier III Junior North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) and the Tier I Midget North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL).
The Financial and Time Sacrifices to Play Youth Hockey
The Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota took a closer look at the financial and time investments for kids to play hockey. Some families told the newspaper they spend as much as $10,000 a year for equipment, fees, travel and lodging. Parents end up making numerous sacrifices in order for their children to play the sport they enjoy.
There are ways to reduce some of the equipment costs, which is pointed out by Eric Knudson, the store manager of NSGA member Gerrells Sports Center/Hockey World in Grand Forks. Helmets can be used for two to three years and Gerrells also has a leasing program for skates so they can be switched out in-season if a player's feet outgrow the skates. Equipment can also be handed down to younger siblings.
Click here to read the full story and view an graphic that shows the cost of outfitting a player from head to toe.
Adidas Appoints New Head of Hockey North America
Adidas appointed Dan Near as the new head of Adidas Hockey for Adidas Group North America. Near joins Adidas from the NHL, where he built new distribution for licensed products and led strategic grow-the-game initiatives in North America during his 10 years in the league.
"His existing relationships within the NHL and across the hockey industry will be key in bringing the Adidas/NHL partnership to life," said Michael Rossi, the General Manager for Adidas Group Canada. "Dan also brings diverse experience from other industries ... and is a proud Canadian with an innate passion for sports, especially hockey. He also brings a natural curiosity and genuine passion to create a new path forward between Adidas and the NHL under our new agreement that excites us all."
Adidas also promoted Keith Leach to senior director - NHL, leading all NHL-related licensed product initiatives for the SLD division across North America.
"As we look ahead to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto and next season's launch of Adidas on-ice with the NHL, we are thrilled to step onto a proverbial 'fresh sheet of ice' with these two capable leaders guiding our efforts."
CCM Hockey, AHL Extend Partnership Five Years
CCM Hockey and the American Hockey League announced a five-year extension of their multi-year partnership that will continue to serve as the foundation for the AHL's marketing, licensing and on-ice branding strategies. CCM will remain the exclusive supplier of sticks, helmets, gloves, pants and jerseys to deliver world-class products to AHL players.
The AHL is in its 80th season and CCM is positioned as the largest designer and manufacturer of hockey equipment in the world. CCM is represented by NHL superstars Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Carey Price and John Tavares. CCM Hockey will remain the exclusive licensee for AHL replica jerseys and will remain a licensee for other apparel and headwear.
CCM will also continue to sponsor the AHL All-Star Classic, providing equipment, jerseys and locker room apparel for the annual event, and will also be the head-to-toe uniform provider for AHL referees and linesmen.
"Our partnership with CCM Hockey has been an integral element in the success of our league business for the past 11 years," said David Andrews, President and CEO of the AHL. "The scope of this relationship remains unmatched in our sport and continues to have a positive impact on every facet of our product both on and off the ice."
Reebok-CCM Ordered to Stop Helmet Safety Claims
Reebok-CCM has agreed to stop making claims that its hockey helmets prevent head injuries after it reached a consent agreement with Canada’s Competition Bureau in late December 2015.
According the Bureau, advertisements for the CCM Resistance hockey helmet contained words, images and videos that created an impression that the helmet would protect players from head injuries such as concussions. Reebok-CCM had conducted testing on the helmet prior to making the claims, but the Bureau determined the testing was not adequate and proper to support its marketing claims.
The Bureau reached a similar agreement with Bauer Hockey last year.
“We are pleased that Reebok-CCM has cooperated with the Bureau’s investigation and has agreed to stop making claims that could lead consumers into believing that their helmets can prevent concussions,” said John Pecman, the Bureau’s Commissioner of Competition. “Arriving at an agreement rapidly that resolves the Bureau’s concerns while putting sports equipment in the hands of the less fortunate is a great alternative to spending time and resources in a courtroom.”
The agreement with the Bureau requires Reebok-CCM to:
- Donate $475,000 worth of sports equipment to a charity that supports youth in sports or teams, associations or leagues for underprivileged children or youth hockey players;
- Remove or modify the remaining claims from all marketing materials, including packaging and online advertising;
- Implement an enhanced corporate compliance program and take steps to ensure retailers do not make unsupported claims;
- Pay $30,000 toward the Bureau’s investigation costs.
On its website, Reebok-CCM advertised that the CCM Resistance helmet had a “Rotational Energy Dampening System” that helped manage rotational impacts and reduce rotational acceleration of the head during impact, according to a story in the Toronto Globe and Mail. The Bureau determined this created an impression the helmet could protect against head injuries.
Adidas Lands Penguins' Star Sidney Crosby
Adidas announced a multi-year partnership with NHL star and captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, in October. A Stanley Cup winner, World Championships Gold Medalist and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Crosby joins adidas to collaborate on apparel and equipment design and development. The Penguins center will also take a leading role in adidas marketing.
"Since I started playing hockey I have had a passion for the sport. I am excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with adidas and have an influence on products that matter to hockey players and all athletes in their training and preparation," Crosby said. "Adidas and I share the same drive to be the best at what we do. It's an exciting time to be a part of the energy the brand has and the future of the sport."
Known for his intuitive scoring ability, Crosby notched his 800th career point last season, becoming the sixth-fastest player in NHL history to reach 800 points. Along the way, Crosby has taken home the Art Ross Trophy (leading scorer) twice, made eight Stanley Cup playoff appearances and been named an NHL All-Star five times.
In addition to playing a key role in future hockey product creation and in marketing campaigns, Crosby will represent adidas at major international sporting events and brand initiatives around the world. Last month, adidas announced its new partnership with the NHL and NHLPA to be the official outfitter of all on-ice uniforms and licensed apparel and headwear, set to begin with the 2017-18 season. Additionally, adidas will become the official outfitter of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Pure Hockey Acquires Hockey Giant
Pure Hockey, LLC announced it has acquired all of the assets and ongoing business of California-based Sports Giant, LLC. Sports Giant includes ice hockey retailer Hockey Giant and online property HockeyGiant.com (among other online properties). HockeyGiant.com was one of the original online sellers of hockey gear and related product and remains among the largest online retailers.
Pure Hockey began discussions to acquire Sports Giant, LLC this past summer and with the acquisition, Pure Hockey strengthens its position as the largest ice hockey retailer in the US, operating 31 retail locations and multiple websites.
"This is a transformational acquisition for Pure Hockey; one which allows us to provide more value to our customers and increases our presence in some excellent hockey markets," said David Nectow, President of Pure Hockey parent company TSG Enterprises, LLC. "It also allows us to better compete in an evolving competitive environment. We are beyond excited to introduce ourselves to all of the valued Hockey Giant customers in the U.S.A."
In conjunction with the acquisition of Hockey Giant, Pure Hockey has also announced the relocation of its Corporate Headquarters to a 345,000 square foot building in Holliston, Mass. According to Nectow, the move to the state-of-the-art office and distribution facility will accomodate the Company's plans for current and future growth.
Pure Hockey is in its 21st year of business, with 22 store locations in seven states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania) and its online properties at www.purehockey.com and www.puregoalie.com. Pure Hockey also owns and operates ComLax, a 22-store retail chain which sells lacrosse equipment, and the online property www.comlax.com.
Hockey Giant was founded in 1999 and is a specialty multi-channel retailer of equipment for ice hockey and lacrosse. Hockey Giant is the main operating division of SportsGiant, with nine hockey stores in seven U.S. states (California, Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York and New Jersey). Its primary online business is www.hockeygiant.com.