Jason Spezza, of the Ottawa Senators, was one of the last NHL players to use a wood hockey stick. Spezza is now using a custom designed stick from Reebok.
From the Canwest News Service comes an article titled “Reebok family opens its arms to Spezza”. Key quotes from this article:
Why Jason and why now?
It started this past summer when the Senators’ 25-year-old centre went looking for a new stick after learning that Sherwood would no longer be manufacturing his familiar wooden sticks in Canada. He met with Reebok staff to talk shop. Both sides saw the marketing potential in doing something together. Ultimately, Reebok designed a stick for Spezza with a graphite shaft and wooden blade, but with the look of a one-piece. Spezza will use Reebok gear, while providing the company with input and feedback.
Spezza likes the heavier wood blade for handling the puck. And Reebok likes Spezza.
“He’s a Canadian, from the most important hockey market in the world, you could argue,” says Len Rhodes, general manager of Montreal-based Reebok.
Not a lot of money is changing hands in this partnership between Spezza and Reebok. There is no specific term of contract, simply an understanding that this mutual admiration could lead to a long-term relationship.
The Canadian Press has their own article “Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza signs on with Reebok’s team” (NOYE: Original link is no longer active). This article contained some additional information of interest…
In addition to wearing and marketing the company’s gear, Spezza will be involved in “future development and insight into how we design products,” said Len Rhodes, general manager of Reebok-CCM hockey.
In the new year, he’ll also be part of Reebok’s global marketing campaign entitled Your Move, which currently features athletes such as NHLer Alexander Ovechkin, soccer star Thierry Henry and tennis star Jelena Jankovic.
Spezza was one of the last proponents of wooden sticks in the NHL and his deal basically signals that he’s joined the composite brigade, although not without careful deliberation.
“I was just real comfortable and I don’t like change too much . . . but I had some problems with my sticks a little bit last year and nobody seemed to really want to make high-end wood (sticks) anymore,” said Spezza, who experimented with a one-piece model in the summer, but has since reverted to a wooden blade on a composite shaft. “I could never even go to that jump before.”
Reebok Hockey issued a press release regarding Spezza joining their hockey family. From the press release…
“Our relationship with Jason Spezza extends beyond a traditional endorsement partnership,” states Len Rhodes, GM of Reebok-CCM hockey. “Not only is Jason an exceptional competitor, but he’s an athlete committed to high quality and innovation in the products he uses, both on and off the ice. As such, we are excited to work with Jason, not only on marketing initiatives, but also on the research, design and development of future Reebok Hockey equipment.”
Today’s announcement aligns Spezza with other world-class NHL stars, including Sidney Crosby, Pavel Dastyuk, Roberto Luongo, and Martin Brodeur