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Ever since Easton turned the hockey world upside down with their revolutionary composite Easton Synergy stick they have had a stranglehold on the hockey stick marketplace. Big companies like Bauer, Sherwood and Reebok have all tried to put a dent in their market share, but Easton has continued to fight off these hockey equipment giants by continually raising the bar on hockey stick technology. But perhaps their greatest threat isn’t coming from these major hockey equipment manufacturers. While Easton is busy fending off these elephants of the hockey world, a tiny mouse is slipping unnoticed in the backdoor, and is quietly but quickly nibbling away at Easton’s grip on the hockey stick marketplace.
Who is this tiny mouse, you ask? The company is called Warrior Hockey, and though they haven’t been around for as long as Easton et al their Warrior hockey stick line is quickly gaining momentum with both professional NHL hockey players, and recreational players alike.
This begs the question, how is the Warrior Hockey stick company succeeding where Bauer and others have been stymied? Well, first of all, a Warrior hockey stick is a quality piece of equipment. No amount of clever marketing is going to work if you are supplying a shoddy product. Warrior hockey sticks are lightweight, durable, and provide incredible performance. This stellar quality has given Warrior good word-of-mouth momentum, and as any marketer will tell you, this old-fashioned free advertising is the most valuable commodity when trying to launch a product. In fact, in these days, where the internet gives us instant access to information with just the click of a mouse, it can be argued that word-of-mouth advertising is more powerful than ever before. A good review on a major sports site or some praise in a popular niche forum can help sales explode. The marketers of the Warrior hockey stick line have recognized this and have done their best to capitalize on this phenomenon.
You see, rather than going the traditional route of hockey equipment manufacturers – signing a big NHL star to promote their product line – Warrior instead tried to appeal to the recreational player a different way. They came up with creative, trendy names and color schemes for each Warrior hockey stick line. With names like Mac Daddy, Dolomite, and Kronik they identified with the youth of today, and those teenagers who might have brushed past the Warrior hockey stick rack without a glance on their way to pick up the newest Easton Stealth instead stopped to check out the cool looking Warrior hockey sticks. Once they had one in their hands, felt the light weight and exceptional balance they were hooked. With a little bit of crafty, creative product design Warrior was poaching customers from Easton left and right.
In a reversal of the normal process, NHL players started to take their cue from the recreational hockey playing crowd. The buzz about the Warrior hockey sticks caught the attention on the big stars, and soon they began to get on board. Now , if you look at any NHL team bench you’ll see a smattering of Warrior sticks in with the Easton Synergies and Bauer Vapors.
Whether the Warrior hockey stick company can continue to gain momentum and one day challenge Easton for dominance in the hockey stick manufacturing world remains to be seen, but if their marketing crew continues to display the savvy they’ve shown so far, I’d say they have a pretty good chance.