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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who will be the next equipment company to move to lax? Part 1

For years the sport has been dominated my smaller companies specializing in lacrosse - Warrior, STX, Cascade, etc. Then mainstream sports companies like Adidas and Reebok entered the fray a couple of years ago. The reception of their equipment has been mediocre to the hardcore laxers, but I highly doubt that was their target audience anyway. To me, it seems that a mainstream company like Adidas would only venture into an expanding sport like lacrosse with the intention of grabbing new players. This makes sense because most newbies in any sport will move towards brands they know rather than unknown quantities like Scorpion.
Now the world's largest sports manufacturer, Nike, has entered the fray. Although STX makes their equipment, the Swoosh is still on everything making it easily identifiable as Nike. There is no doubt in my mind that newer and younger lacrosse players will gravitate towards Nike. Hockey players converting to the sport may also prefer the Swoosh based on the strong sales and quality of ice hockey gear. Reebok could see a surge of these as well.
Now that the big three (and New Balance) are involved in lacrosse, who will be next? My predictions are: Under Armour, Puma, Easton, Louisville, and Mizuno. This series will explore the reasons why I think each of these companies will move into the lacrosse world and how they will do so. Yes, Under Armour already makes bags, shoes, and uniforms for lacrosse, but I am referring to going whole hog and producing sticks, heads, and pads. As the game continues to grow and spread, I feel that more of the mainstream equipment companies will enter the fray and make an impact.

Continue to Part 2

Tribe 7