I. Situational Analysis
Bauer Performance Sports LTD is a top manufacturer and developer of ice hockey, roller hockey, and lacrosse equipment as well as apparel. Its products are sold under the Bauer Hockey, Mission Roller Hockey and Maverik Lacrosse brand names. While they do well in roller hockey and lacrosse, Bauer is most famous for ice hockey equipment where they hold the top market share. Bauer was established in Kitchener, Ontario in 1927 and has been one of the industry leaders since. From 1994 to 2008, Bauer was a subsidiary of Nike and most of its gear was labeled Nike Bauer. Nike divested itself from the company in 2008, but Bauer is still the leading ice hockey equipment manufacturer in the industry from beginners to NHL players. IN 2010 its market share was at 45%, and in the 2010-2011 NHL season 90% of players used at least one piece of Bauer equipment.
One of Bauers strengths is its R&D. Each year the company releases new equipment that is better (and more expensive) than last years line. Because hockey is such a competitive sport, many players will pay a premium for equipment they think will give them an edge. Also they have great brand loyalty. I will not buy another brand of sticks, skates, gloves or helmets and many other players are similar. Another strength of theirs is support from NHL players. Fans of all ages (especially impressionable kids) see the best players in the world using Bauer and want to wear the same equipment that they do. One possible weakness for the company would be its dependence on growing markets. Bauer has invested a lot of money in lacrosse and womens hockey, because they see these as untapped markets. If these markets dont continue to substantially grow, then Bauer could lose on those investments. However, these two markets are also Bauers best opportunities as they can gain market share and brand loyalty in segments that are predicted to expand. Bauers biggest threats would be their competition. Easton and Reebok (who owns CCM) are the other two large companies in a market where there are only 3 big competitors.
While Bauer is first in the total market, skates, helmets, protective gear, and goalie equipment, they are second in sticks. A category in which Easton holds the #1 spot. Easton was the first company to introduce a composite stick 2001 and has held the lead in the market since. The composite stick was much lighter than its predecessors and delivered a harder shot. All stick brands, including Bauer, now have similar technology, but trail Easton in market share.
II. Target Market Selection
The target market Id like to focus on is boys aged 12-16 that are defined as “hockey crazy kids” by Bauer. They classify that term as kids who play hockey at least 30 times a year. This group of kids usually play select hockey for a