Nike Bauer to be sold by May 31


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The hockey equipment industry was hit with shocking news late yesterday when Nike Inc. announced it would be exploring the sale of Nike Bauer Hockey, a subsidiary of the Beaverton, Ore. giant.
“It will probably sell pretty quickly,” Nike Bauer spokesman Steve Jones told “Nike Inc. wants it sold by the end of their fiscal year, which is May 31.”
The parent company is looking to focus its energies in other fields and the hockey firm just wasn’t bringing in enough revenue for Nike Inc.’s aggressive long-term business plan. Nike Bauer took in more than $160 million in revenue last year.
“Because of the industry itself, there’s not a whole lot of growth there,” Jones said. “Ironically, we had our best year ever last year and through the first quarter this year. Our market share has never been higher.”
Even the competition agrees.
“They’re the major player right now,” John Pagotto, president of TPS Hockey, another equipment firm, told “Their skates are on fire and their helmets are doing really well.”
The hockey industry has gone through a great deal of mergers and consolidation in recent years, with four major entities emerging: Nike Bauer, Mission-ITech, Easton and The Hockey Company (which includes Reebok and CCM). With the NHL entering many new markets around that time things were looking sunny, but with uncertainty in some NHL cities now, that may be changing.
“We haven’t seen the big increases in the U.S. market that we expected back when the NHL expanded in the 1990s,” Pagotto noted. “Hockey’s not a real global sport.”
For consumers, the news means little. Jones noted that it is “business as usual” at the company’s New Hampshire headquarters and that products will still be hitting the shelves on time. Even products still in development will get their scheduled release dates.
“They do want the brand to move forward,” Jones said of Nike Inc. “They are passionate about it; that was made very clear.”
Jones did not anticipate any layoffs or employee movements, as Nike’s sales offer stipulates the company remains largely as is.
NHLers with Nike Bauer endorsements – such as Jarome Iginla, Evgeni Malkin and Eric and Jordan Staal – will still be promoted.
“Our marketing team is still engaged,” Jones said. “This brand is not going away for a long time.”