Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nike sells on hockey

Nike Inc. is selling its Nike Bauer Hockey subsidiary to an investor group led by Kohlberg & Co. and expatriate Canadian businessman W. Graeme Roustan for $200-million (U.S.) in cash, the sporting goods giant announced Thursday.

Two other hockey equipment companies, Easton-Bell Sports and Mission-Itech, dropped out of the bidding for the company in December because of the high price tag.
Thirteen years after the sports giant bought into hockey apparel in a big way, they're selling for what amounts to half the price.

I don't know about anyone else, but to me, quality became an issue with Bauer products with the shift to the Nike brand. A lot of the manufacturing was outsourced outside of Canada with the change in ownership, which would explain a decline in the product itself.

In the land of hockey, we make skates and sticks better than anyone. And if you try and make a buck by selling inferior hockey gear, good luck.

And good riddance.


At 8:50 a.m., February 22, 2008, Blogger Jeff J said...

It's frustrating. I was a Sher-Wood buyer for many years, but not anymore. Are there any wood sticks still made in Canada at all?

The last time I shopped for some new equipment was a few years ago and there were damn few pieces still made here. Helmets, visors, and higher-end skates were. Unless you buy custom made, It's impossible to find gloves made in Canada.

At 12:15 p.m., February 22, 2008, Anonymous Dominik said...

Although losing the Almighty Nike may be a bad sign for the "growth" of the game, er, revenue, this feels like a victory for hockey fans and rec players everywhere: You can't just slap a swoosh on something and call it great.

The quality of Nike equipment was a joke from the start (particularly when juxtaposed with the asking price, and the hype). It was as if they pretended their Glorious Brand would do all the work for them.

Ever since they joined the game, discount bins at sports stores in my area (St. Louis) have been filled with their overpriced junk, marked down 50-70% off.

Good riddance.

At 1:11 a.m., February 23, 2008, Anonymous cj said...

I was a loyal Bauer customer for at least a couple of decades - they were the only skate that really fit my feet.

That is until Nike took over. Quality and design changed so much that I was forced to switch brands.

I'm on Easton skates now and they're lighter and more comfortable than anything Bauer has in the same price range.

I'm not going to miss Nike's influence on Bauer or the rest of the hockey world.

At 8:20 p.m., February 23, 2008, Blogger db said...

The one piece of equipment I like from Nike-Bauer is their gloves, they're light and comfortable, yet protective. To me, it seems that Nike really dropped the ball on their hockey line altogether, hell, Vector cereal has better ads targeted at the hockey community. Quality has suffered too, you've gotta love the global economy...


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