Global initiative aims to double growth rate, add one million new players by 2022
EXETER, N.H. – July 16, 2013 – Bauer Hockey, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of ice hockey equipment, announced today the preliminary findings of an in-depth Canadian research study, the first phase of its global effort to add one million new hockey players to the sport by 2022.
In partnership with Hockey Canada, the research was conducted to better understand why 90 per cent of Canadian children choose not to play hockey. The final results of the research, which was conducted over a three-month span in two provinces, will be released in August, along with the announcement of targeted pilot programs designed to attract youth players who are new to hockey.
“We’re still in the early stages of understanding the research findings, but the initial results show that interest in and enthusiasm for hockey remains extremely high and that the challenges we face can be overcome,” said Kevin Davis, president and CEO of Bauer Performance Sports. “These preliminary findings reinforce our belief that through our aggressive and focused Grow the Game initiative we can add one million new players to this great sport.”
Preliminary results of the research study show that:
- 73 per cent of respondents who do not have children playing hockey would consider enrolling their child in the sport;
- nearly 40 per cent say they would “definitely” enroll their child in organized hockey;
- two-thirds of non-hockey parents view hockey positively.
The research studies surveyed nearly 1,000 non-hockey families in Ontario and Nova Scotia and concluded this spring after three months of data collection and analysis. By partnering with Hockey Canada, Bauer Hockey looks to identify the barriers facing non-hockey families, determine the necessary steps to break down these obstacles and develop strategies for growth on national and regional levels. The next step is the launch of pilot programs in these provinces that will be tested, evaluated and expanded.
Launched in October 2012, the Grow the Game initiative is a multi-faceted campaign designed to increase hockey participation among those families not currently involved with the sport, with the goal of adding one million additional players in 10 years. At the current hockey participation growth rate of 1.5 per cent per year, an estimated 975,000 additional players will be playing hockey in 2022. Under the Bauer Hockey-led initiative, the sport could double that growth rate, adding one million more players.
”It has long been a goal of Hockey Canada to have as many young Canadians playing hockey as possible, and we are excited with Bauer Hockey’s preliminary findings,” said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “We look forward to watching the Grow the Game initiative evolve and bring more players into our great game.”
Subsequent phases of this 10-year plan will include similar studies in the United States, as well as other key markets around the globe.
ABOUT BAUER HOCKEY
Bauer Hockey is the world’s most recognized designer, marketer and manufacturer of hockey equipment. Founded in Kitchener, Ont., in 1927, Bauer Hockey developed the first skate with a blade attached to a boot, forever changing the game of hockey. Since then, Bauer Hockey has continued to develop the most sought after products in the industry, including the widely successful SUPREME®, VAPOR® and NEXUS® lines of products. Bauer Performance Sports Ltd., the parent company of Bauer Hockey, is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange whose affiliates market products under the BAUER, MISSION, MAVERIK, CASCADE, INARIA and COMBAT brand names. For more information, visit Bauer Hockey’s website at www.BAUER.com.
About Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada is the governing body for hockey in Canada and a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), with a membership through its 13 provincial branch associations of over 700,000 players, coaches and officials. Hockey Canada is a not-for-profit organization that creates leading-edge hockey development programs for its members to deliver in communities across Canada, provides consistent rules and regulations and various other membership services from coast to coast, manages numerous regional, national and international hockey championships and events, and leads the operation of all teams that represent Canada in international hockey competition. Hockey Canada’s mission is to “lead, develop and promote positive hockey experiences.”