The world of sports has seen many brands come and go. Nike, Adidas, and Reebok are all names I am sure you all have heard of. Some other extremely popular brands that you may not of heard of are Sherwood, CCM, and Warrior. The reason you may of not heard of these is because they are big brands for sports that are not as popular in the the U.S. The brands that were mentioned above make gear for hockey and lacrosse, both of which are not as popular than sports like football, basketball, or baseball. Making a name for yourself in such competitive markets like these is not easy. One up and coming brand, STX, is trying to do just that.
STX is a company that makes everything Lacrosse. From protective gear, to high end lacrosse sticks, to apparel, STX makes it all. They are one of the leaders in this industry and recently have started to expand their brand into other sports such as hockey. Hockey and lacrosse have their obvious differences such as hockey is played on ice with a puck, and lacrosse is played on field with a ball. Looking past that, the sports are fairly similar in regards to gameplay and players’ gear. Even though the similarities are prevalent, not many brands exist that carry both lacrosse and hockey gear. STX might be the next big name in hockey.
STX is not the first brand to make this transition. Warrior is one of the leaders in hockey protective gear and actually got their start in lacrosse before transferring over. Warrior is still at the top of both branches and STX wants to do the same. STX has just released their first set of player sticks and gloves for hockey this past month. This small introduction into the hockey world could be the start of something big. The sticks and gloves are already being sold in hockey stores across the country and they have even picked up some NHL players to showcase their gear on the professional level. Another way how the brand is attempting to make a quick entry into the market is through discounted team sales. As part of the club hockey team at DePaul, I have seen this first hand. An STX representative came out to a team practice and let the entire team demo their new line of sticks. After practice we were given the option to buy one or more sticks at an extremely discounted price. These sticks are pro quality and are comparable to many of the sticks on the racks today. This marketing ploy is one way that STX is going to grow as a hockey brand. The best way to get noticed is by getting exposure. STX has made a strong entry and I am excited to see what they roll out next.
My question for you is what do you think the next decision for STX should be to compete with other hockey brands.
Also, what are other brands that have expanded into different sport and how/why were they successful.
8 thoughts on “From Grass to Ice: STX is Here to Stay”
Your post was very intriguing because I was also aware of the differences between sports and brands. My first response to hockey brands was Bauer which is a hockey specific brand that STX will have to compete with. What always intrigued me about Bauer was how it was hockey exclusive. I always wonder if Bauer will ever try to expand into other sports given its popularity in hockey, but it would face several challenges like STX will. One of the top things I associate with Bauer is the amount of professional hockey players that endorse it. Seeing players like Patrick Kane and Henrik Lundqvist promote and use a brand helps expand it tremendously. If STX wants to make an immediate impact, it should definitely consider this type of marketing.
When I think of hockey I think of Bauer. My entire family plays hockey and Bauer is Hockey exclusive ranging from sticks to skates. However, I played Lacrosse and STX was the only brand of stick I used because of the long lasting quality, anti-cold/ anti- slip material used and then the prestige amongst Lacrosse players. If you look at Nike which has tapped into several different sport categories and remains successful, you can see that STX may have the same success if they ease into Hockey the proper way. Great article, cant wait to see what STX does.
As someone who has played both sports competitively and a former member of DePaul’s Ice hockey team, I think we are coming in from a similar perspective on this topic because I agree. I think Warrior took a smarter approach to it, because I think that they went from Hockey to Lacrosse. So players like me who started with hockey and went to lacrosse associated Warrior as a good brand and overlooked STX. However in the lacrosse community STX is huge; my sister is currently playing lacrosse and that is the brand that most of the girls primarily use along with Brine. One factor that may limit STX from being a huge brand in the industry is that there are many more hockey companies than lacrosse companies. Therefore it may not turn out for them how they hoped.
Interesting post. I’ve played lacrosse almost my whole life and I’m very familiar with STX as a lacrosse brand. I find it smart of them to expand to hockey since a lot of lacrosse players also play hockey. Some people have brand loyalty so this would be a smart decision. As for other brands that have done this the first that comes to mind is Nike. They are and have been the model company for athletics for the past 20 years and every opportunity they have they have tried to make their mark on different sports.
Great plan of attack by STX, I’m surprised at how quickly they reached out to the Hockey team and that they had that much equipment for you guys to tryout. That is a great way to get the brand growing and engage in young hockey players. I feel like they should keep doing this and bring cameras with them next time to create a video and film your reactions to the equipment and reactions of genuine testers throughout the country where they send their sales reps. Perhaps they could create some marketing material with the footage of you guys being pleased after using their equipment and then put Sales Reps contact info out there and say “Let your team tryout STX absolutely free-contact us!”
Interesting post! I think that STX is making great decisions that is helping the brand grow and attract new customers. In order to continue their success, STX should work on advertising its products so that it doesn’t get beaten by its competitors. Other than that, its hard to say if the brands success with last long term, but I feel like sports equipment in general, a new brand or company enters the market and competition always arises.
I’ve played lacrosse most of my life so I am very familiar with brands like STX and Warrior. I think it is a very smart business idea for STX to transfer over to hockey as well because many lacrosse players also play hockey. When a lacrosse player is dedicated to his STX lacrosse equipment there is a very good chance he will buy the hockey equipment as well. Players are usually loyal to a brand so it makes sense for them to sell equipment for multiple sports. Nike is another very popular brand that is always expanding into new sports. In the past 5 years or so they also expanded into lacrosse gear, probably for the same reason STX wants to expand to hockey.
This was a very interesting post! I think STX was smart to go after university clubs/teams with the discounts. It might be worth it for them to target a younger consumer, help get them used to STX gear to the point that they prefer it over other gear and recommend it to others. It would be like a grassroots program to build and grow the brand as the athlete grows. But of course, getting support from professionals won’t hurt them!