Archive for October, 2010
“In a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Dick’s Sporting Goods outlined a state-by-state plan for where it sees its potential to double its store count in the years ahead. Not surprisingly, its biggest expansion potential was seen in the West but sizeable growth was also forecast in Texas, New York, Maryland, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Iowa, Michigan and Illinois. More mature states were seen as Pennsylvania, Maine, Tennessee, Alabama, and Indiana.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods plans to add 900 stores over the next several years. You would have to believe several of these stores would be a on smaller scale.
Read the rest of the story here.
In the history of sports equipment, athletes have always been looking for an edge over the competition, or a level of comfort to help them perform their best. Imagine Alex Ovechkin playing with an old pair of brown leather to-your-elbow hockey gloves. Or Peyton Manning rocking a leather helmet. Or Albert Pujols picking a throw with one of those puffy brown mitts with three laces instead of a pocket. My elusive point is, it’s not the case. Sport has evolved, and with it, its equipment has evolved. Athletes today are bigger, stronger, faster, and therefore; the equipment is bigger, lighter, and works better. So when I heard about the NBA banning a shoe, I was a little surprised.
The shoe in question is the Concept 1s from APL- Athletic Propulsion Labs. I took a gander at their website, and they’re actually quite proud that they are banned by the NBA. Which, as a marketing guy myself, is the perfect route to go to attract the high school kid willing to shell out the $300 for a basketball shoe. I looked at their testing data, and it’s actually a little surprising. They tested that 11 out of 12 participants increased their vertical leap by using the shoe. The problem I’m seeing is that most of them increased their leap by only an inch, with the most being 3.5 inches. An inch is great, it may get you a fingertip block or two at some point during the season, but seriously…
The NBA is banning a shoe that increases vertical leap by an inch? Seems a little overzealous. Imagine it if the NHL took this stance when one piece sticks came in, or baseball when maple bats became popular(even though they might regret that now)? I instantly saw right through this as the NBA doing a favor to their boys- the Adidas, Nike, Converse, Reebok, etc that help pay the bills at Mr. Stern’s office. I get that. But it kind of represents a disturbing precedent, with the NBA saying “Hey they are the little guy trying to improve the game; you’re not a big money sponsor, so no one can wear your shoes regardless of your product.” Seems kind of messed up to me.
Of course, we’ve seen this before, if you recall the controversy surrounding the full body swimsuits used in competitive swimming but were subsequently banned in the Olympics. I can sort of understand that one. All of the major brands made a suit like that, and swimming has always been about nakedness in the water, whatever. But the NBA banning a shoe, is a little different. You can make the argument that basketball shoes have evolved to increase performance. Nothing against Chuck Taylor’s, but compare the ankle support on those to the latest pair of Jordan’s. See my point? Ingenuity is a great thing, it keeps things fresh, and in sports, it improves the game.
So as much as I’d like to support the NBA, I can’t. As a sports nut, and a sports equipment nut, I don’t like the message this sends to small equipment companies with great ideas, even with marginal improvements.
If you play basketball and your looking for extra height on your jumps, check out the Concept 1’s here.
“Li Ning, the Chinese footwear giant, will debut its first running shoe in the U.S. market this week. Called the Fremont, the lightweight style is named after Portland’s Fremont Bridge. The 7-ounce Fremont will be available for purchase for $85 at the Li Ning store in Portland as well as Fit Right NW stores in Portland and Vancouver, according to a report in The Oregonian. The U.S. team then plans to sell to the collection at specialty running shops in Oregon and Washington with the next phase calling for expanding across the country at run specialty. In August, Champs Sports, a division of Foot Locker Inc., became the first U.S. retailer to partner with Li-Ning when it began selling basketball shoes and apparel endorsed by Baron Davis of the Los Angeles Clippers.”
Read the rest of the story at Sportsonesource.com.
We are coming up on hockey season here in mid October and we would like to talk about some of the equipment needed for hockey including Shoulder Pads, Elbow Pads, Shin Pads, Breezers and Hockey Gloves:
- Hockey shoulder pads they protect your collarbone, upper chest, back, upper arms, and shoulders.
- There are lighter and heavier shoulder pads depending on how much protection the player wants versus how maneuverable they are. Most shoulder pads will work for both forward and defensive positions, but players do have their own preference.
- To measure, wrap a tape measure around your chest just below your arm pits.
- Most sales associates can help fit shoulder pads. A good indicator is determine how the pads fit is looking at the elbow and see if there is room between the end of the shoulder pad on the arm and the elbow pad. If the shoulder pad is on top of the elbow pad, they are too big. There should be some room between the end of the shoulder pad on the arm and the elbow pad. Also, the shoulder pads should fit snug around the players’ body, not loosely.
- Youth shoulder pads typically run from $19 to $99. Adult pads sell from $39 to $129. Typically the bigger, bulkier, more padding there is the higher the price.
- Elbow pads do what they say, they are pads for the elbows, to help protect the elbow area in hockey.
- There are elbow pads that protect more of the forearm up to the glove and there are pads that just protect the elbow itself. It is the players personal preference on what they are looking for.
- Most elbow pads adjust to size with straps. The elbow pad should fit snug around the arm and elbow. Make sure you move your arm back and forth to tell whether they might be too tight or too loose. They should fit comfortably.
- Elbow pads sell from $9 to $79. You can buy a nice pair of elbow pads for around $29.
- Shin pads protect the knees, shins and ankles from sticks, pucks and falls.
- Shin pads range from 6 to 18 inches in length and are designed to fit over the kneecap to just above the skate.
- Again, like shoulder pads the lighter weight the pads, the easier it is to skate and maneuver. Generally, larger shin pads are better for defensive players and smaller pads are better for forwards or offensive players.
- The shin pad should fit snug to your leg, just above the knee cap and just above the skate.
- Shin pads cost from $19 to $79. You can buy a good pair of shin pads for $39.
- Breezers protect your upper leg and waist from pucks and sticks.
- These go over your supporter, garter belt and socks around your waist. They usually come up to around the belly button and go down to just above the top of the shin pad.
- Breezers usually have an elastic band or strap that extends to secure the breezers around your waist. Breezers have padding above and below the waist strap.
- Breezers can get bulky, so players have their own preference on how much padding they want their breezers to have.
- Breezers usually sell from $29 to $89.
With the baseball postseason upon us, the baseball world is frenzied with activity. The Braves, Giants, Phillies, Rangers, Rays, Reds, Twins and Yankees are all looking to go the distance this year and win the World Series. Following an exciting Sunday of Major League Baseball Action, I rummaged around the internet for some baseball fodder and was presented with this: Tater Grip signs Adrian Gonzalez as Spokesman. So I checked it out. Seems there’s a new customizable bat grip out there, and A-Gone is their guy. He already used the product in a game(with Psalm 27:1 on his bat grip) and got a hit in his first at bat. Sure, Adrian Gonzalez getting hits isn’t really news, but I looked into customizing my own bat grip, just for a laugh amongst my slow-pitch softball buddies.
So I went to www.Tatergrip.com and checked out what they had to offer. I’ll admit, it’s a little hokey putting green flames or an American flag on your bat, but at the same time, it’s kinda fun. I messed around in the design shop with several names, inspirational messages, rally cries to put on my bat, and it was actually a lot of fun. First I put REMINGTON down the bat. Striking, but a little self absorbed. Then I put GET JUICED, in reference to the bat that I swing. Added my hitting creed- ‘Swing Fast, Not Hard’ in the second text area, and I was giddy with the prospects of this on my bat. You get this kid like feeling, which isn’t surprising, as I would anticipate this product becoming any little leaguer’s dream.
The Tater Grip offers several different backgrounds, and even solid, non customized grips for your bat that slide on easily and then shrink to fit. They start at $19.99, coming with blank design labels; with their design printing coming at a small additional charge. The price is great for a kid’s birthday gift, or a gag gift for one of your softball buddies (I envision Capt. Popout on someone’s bat for a laugh), and is bound to catch on. I’ll be ordering mine shortly, as soon as I decide between ‘GET JUICED’ and ‘JUICE IT UP’.