The main reason why kids want new hockey sticks is not because they sticks are too damaged to play with or because the stick got too small. They want new sticks because they like new colours, and new patterns. Having the ability for kids to change the looks of their hockey stick quicker, without having to change the complete stick could help in getting attached to the stick. The possibility to change a product is also in line with the circular design strategy design for adaptability and upgradability. The stick will not get damaged any longer on the stick itself, but first on the sleeve. This will ease the maintenance of the stick.
As mentioned earlier, the sleeve has two main advantages. Not only are the kids able to quickly get new looks on their stick, the stick also gets extra protection against wearage.
The business model that will be used with the sleeve is a hybrid business model. The hockey stick is not involved in this model. That will be a product that still needs to be bought, but will not wear off quickly anymore, so no new rebuy is necessary. The hope is that the sleeve will protect the hockey stick completely, so no new stick is needed to buy at all if the size stays right. Normally in a hybrid business model will the durable product be made cheaper, but as the hockey stick is not sold from the same company as the sleeve, this will not count for this version of the business model.
The sleeves will be the fast-cycling consumer good. That will last until it got too damaged due to wearage, or if the kid wants a new colour. The price of the sleeve is estimated around €12,95. This price is based on costs, store margin, packaging, investments, what people might be willing to pay for it and prices of junior hockey sticks. Investments that have to be made to start producing this product are the sleeve material, hook shaper to get the material around the curve and if necessary a printer. The time to market of this product could be relatively low, as there already could get started with standard models, and customisation can come later.
Customisation gives multiple opportunities. The sticks could be customised for kids on trends and fun. Teams and clubs could make their ‘team-stick’ or companies could sponsor sticks. Other functional opportunities could be by putting a kid their name on the stick, so when the stick gets lost it can be returned to the owner.
The wraps could be made of a material that is similar to Krimpkous. Krimpkous is a material made from PVC with a mixture of polyesters that will shrink if you heat it. When reheated PVC is not the best material to use, therefore for this product will be looked at a material that has the same characteristics as krimpkous but is better for the environment.
Due to the sleeve, the hockey stick can be used for a longer technical and usage life. The stick will not get damaged, only the sacrifice material of the sleeve will. This material will be collected at the store, as people will come back to the store to remove their old sleeve and get a new one.