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Bauer Hockey, Hockey Canada Research Shows

Bauer Hockey, Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of ice hockey equipment, and Hockey Canada announced today the next phase of their Grow the Game partnership, including initial research study results as well as the creation of pilot programs developed to specifically address the results of those findings.

Launched in 2012, Grow the Game is a global initiative to add 1 million new players to the game of hockey by 2022, with Canada serving as the starting point of those efforts. Hockey in Canada has experienced historically low participation growth rates over the last few years, and today approximately 90 percent of Canadian families and their children choose not to play hockey.

"We're starting in Canada because it's home to not only a deep hockey heritage but it's also where Bauer Hockey was founded in 1927," said Kevin Davis, President and CEO of Bauer Performance Sports. "Some might say our goal is too bold, but the research shows that non-hockey families view the sport positively and many would 'definitely' consider enrolling their kids. With these findings, our focus now turns to breaking down perceived barriers."

Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada commissioned an independent research initiative to better understand the considerations and barriers for non-hockey families and their children as they decide to play different sports. The findings from the survey show that 73 percent of non-hockey families would consider enrolling their child in the future, and nearly 40 percent said they would "definitely" consider enrolling their child.

Even as Canada's demographics are changing, New Canadians are engaged in the sport, with nearly two-thirds of families saying they would consider enrolling their child in hockey and 20 percent saying they would "definitely" consider.

The Perceived Barriers

In addition to the positive signs for growth, the research provided an in-depth look at the perceived barriers for those who have decided not to enroll their children in hockey. These barriers were consistent across regions and demographics and include:

Hockey is not perceived as fun

Non-hockey families do not perceive hockey as a 'fun' sport. Nearly every other sport in this research, such as soccer and baseball, was described as 'fun' by respondents.

Perceived time commitment

Many parents cited too much required travel and a commitment of three days per week as a significant concern. Parents cited a need for options beyond one-size-fits-all, similar to the range of choices offered in other sports, for kids who want less time commitment.

Perceived safety

Many parents do not perceive the sport as safe for their children to play, including a risk of concussion and a belief that the game promotes violent behavior.

Perceived affordability

Although entry-level players can get on the ice at an affordable cost with the appropriate equipment for their skill level, parents cited the high costs of enrollment fees and equipment as a perceived barrier.

"Hockey is a fun sport and through this exciting new initiative, Hockey Canada and Bauer Hockey want to ensure youngsters have opportunities to get on the ice and give it a try," said Paul Carson, Vice-President, Hockey Development at Hockey Canada. "By eliminating barriers preventing access to the sport, more girls and boys will be able to try hockey and have a fun, safe and positive experience with the ultimate goal of growing our sport across the country and around the globe."

The Pilot Programs to Overcome Barriers

To overcome these perceived barriers, Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada announced the creation of pilot programs that will launch this fall in both Ontario and Nova Scotia. The programs, which will take place in Hamilton, Scarborough, Halifax and East Hants, were designed to be fun, affordable and convenient. The pilot programs will focus on the following aspects in an attempt to begin breaking down the perceived barriers to entry.

A Fun Experience:

Bauer, Hockey Canada and local governing bodies will host fun enrollment days for parents and kids, and provide informational materials on safety in the game, including the importance of equipment fit and educating parents on gear, the game and more.

Convenience:

These six-week sessions will meet for one hour once a week, which keeps the commitment to a minimum and allows for participation in other activities.

Improved Communication:

Locally marketed to reach non-hockey families and to communicate fun, safety, convenience and affordability.

Affordability:

Enrollment and equipment will be bundled together at $100.

After these programs are launched, tested and re-evaluated, they will be expanded into other regions to help grow the game.

Hall of Famer Mark Messier will assist Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada in their efforts to attract additional players to the sport. Messier, who joined forces with Bauer Hockey last year following the company's acquisition of Cascade Sports, has been deeply committed to growing the game and has been a vocal advocate for increasing participation and safety.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to continue working with Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada to help take down these barriers and bring more people to our game that's fun and teaches valuable life lessons," Messier said. "Along with the change in family lifestyles, the game of hockey has also changed. Kids need the opportunity to experience a variety of sports growing up, and it is our responsibility to offer our game in a way that is affordable, requires a reasonable commitment level, and most important, demonstrates how much fun hockey is for kids and families."

ABOUT BAUER HOCKEY Bauer Hockey is the world's most recognized designer, marketer and manufacturer of hockey equipment. Founded in Kitchener, Ontario 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."

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Tory Mazzola Global Communications Manager Bauer Hockey Phone: 603-430-2111 media@bauer.com

Francis Dupont Manager, Media Relations and Communications Hockey Canada Phone: 403-777-4564 fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Posted By: Bauer Hockey

Comments

8/2/13 10:12 AM

dave Roach said

I am a father of a boy playing in his second year of hockey going to the Bantom age next season, My comment is he is the hight and size of a man and his goalie equipment caust
me 2 to 3 times as much as rest of the parents then fees are getting more as he moves up so I think its the money that's at the top of the list. We need to find a way for get the players that have no use for there discarded equipment from Junior and up could be sent to local areas for use by kids and youth when they can not get there own.

8/2/13 3:33 PM

kulyk ivan said

Dear Bauer Hockey team.I'm a huge hockey fan from Ukraine.The stoty of ice-hockey in my city (Uzhgorod)dates back to the year 1987.There was a sport arena builded during the reign of the USSR.Hockey was growing up really strong , until the whole arena was flooded with the river waters in 1991.Until taht time,thanks to russian coaches Ignatkin Evgenii pavlovich and Pravdin Sergey Pavlovich our city had a promissing young team which competed in several international championships.After the flood of 1991 , in Ukraine , nobody paid any attention to the rebirth of ice-hockey,except a number of persons/Playing on the lakes as far as the wheather let us to.The aim of this request is to pay your attention to the (so called) rebirth of Ukrainian hockey.Our aim is to have a covered ice-hockey field in our 150000 town.The boarders near to Slovakia,Hungary,the Czech,Romania promiss to take a huge step towards developing the popularity of the GAME in Europe/

8/27/13 11:38 AM

Blair Cunningham said

I attended your Bauer Days on August 24, 2013 in Balzac, Alberta.
Need less to say i was very disappointed, upon arrival we see a table with your reps there. They have a table with swag and a wheel that you can spin to win.
I was there with my 2 nephews, they spun the wheel and they received a prize. Your reps said its for the kids. i was fine with that until just a few minutes later 2 caucasian adult males walk in and they are told to spin the wheel and they get a prize.
So i thought it was for the kids.
Did Bauer forget that its the parents (adults) who are mostly purchasing items.I know from this experience i won't be buying any Bauer products if this is how the customers are treated.

10/25/13 10:52 AM

Chloe said

Hockey Canada keeps on talking about "growing the game.. My brother plays PeeWee Rep for a tier 4 team in a small town, he also AP's for the Bantam REP team due to the lack of players. Our association is so tiny due to the fact of boundaries, you see, a player from our town can go play for another town, yet our town can't get any players in return. Also, in the middle of the season, Hockey Canada changed a rule that said "AP players can only play ten games until January 10th after that they're ineligible to play.. This might work in the city, but Hockey Canada has no idea how much damage they're doing to small towns! You see, they need the AP players too survive as a team! It doesn't give them a extra boost. Oh yeah, did I mention that we don't even have tryouts?! If you register well congrats you made the team.