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Ice Hockey Equipment Market Will Be Driven by the Change in Rules of Goalie Protective Gear Until 2020, Says Technavio

The global ice hockey equipment market is expected to grow at a CAGR of almost 4% during the forecast period, according to Technavio’s latest report.

In this report, Technavio covers the market outlook and growth prospects of the global ice hockey equipment market for 2016-2020. The market is further categorized into four product segments, including protective gear, ice skates, sticks, and others, of which the protective gear segment dominated the market with nearly 40% of the overall market share in 2015.

The market is dominated by key players such as Performance Sports Group and Adidas and these companies hardly leave scope for new entrants. Top vendors are expanding their business by acquiring leading manufacturers. For instance, Performance Sports Group expanded in the market by acquiring Easton Hockey in 2016,” says Mantri Charan Kumar, a lead research analyst from Technavio.

National Hockey League (NHL) changed the rules regarding the length of a goalie's leg pads for the 2013-2014 season, making them shorter, so they do not obstruct a significant part of the five-hole between the legs. According to the new rule from the 2013-2014 season, that coverage would be 45%, so the same goalie would now wear a pad that goes no higher than 9 inches above the knee. This change in the rule was made to increase the goal scoring. Not only pads, but reductions will also be made regarding upper body protective gear as well.

From the 2016-2017 season, goalies will be required to wear equipment like chest guards, catch gloves, and blockers that are better suited to their body size. Such change in the rule will require goalies to switch to gear matching their body sizes rather than using the standard oversized gear, thus helping the market grow.

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Technavio’s research study segments the global ice hockey equipment market into the following regions:

  • Europe
  • North America
  • ROW

Ice hockey equipment market in North America


The ice hockey equipment market in North America was valued at USD 470.9 million in 2015, and will likely reach USD 579.9 million by 2020, posting a CAGR of 4.25%.

Canada and the US are the biggest markets for ice hockey in the region. The participation in these countries is growing significantly, which is the main reason for the growth of the market. Also, these two countries accounted for more than 65% of ice hockey players globally in 2015. The increasing number of players is driven by the presence of a strong professional career in ice hockey. North America has NHL, a professional ice hockey league, which is composed of 30 clubs — 23 from the US and 7 from Canada. This league is considered to be one of the biggest professional leagues, and also has many players from outside of North America. The 30 clubs in the region are very popular across the globe, and a large number of fans follow the clubs by attending the sports events.

The region is seeing an increasing number of participants in NHL, compared to Europe and APAC. The growing popularity of ice hockey in these two regions is also driving many players to migrate to the top hockey league in North America. Participation from Canada in NHL is going down as non-North Americans, especially Europeans, are increasingly participating,” says Mantri.

Ice hockey equipment market in Europe

The ice hockey equipment market in Europe was valued at USD 190.9 million in 2015, and will likely reach USD 227.4 million by 2020, posting a CAGR of 3.56%.

Europe is becoming an important market for ice hockey, as many countries are increasingly participating in the sport, which is resulting in a rise in the number of ice hockey tournaments and clubs. Participation from countries such as the Czech Republic, Russia, Finland, and France is growing significantly. The promise of a successful career in ice hockey in Europe and North America is increasing participation in the sport. However, many European players still aim to get listed in NHL clubs, as the salaries in the NHL are the highest among all ice hockey leagues. NHL offers the third-highest average salaries among major sports leagues, after NBA and Major League Baseball (MLB).

Tournaments in this region are becoming popular, especially in the Nordic region, Russia, and the Czech Republic. New tournaments like Champions Hockey League, which was launched in 2014 by 26 founding clubs, six leagues, and IIHF, is becoming popular with more teams and increasing attendance. Another popular tournament that is driving the market in Europe is Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), which is considered to be the second-largest hockey league in the world, next to NHL. However, higher salaries offered to players in NHL are encouraging many European players to move to the US and Canada. This migration of top players out of Europe has a negative impact on the European market.

Ice hockey equipment market in ROW

The ice hockey equipment market in ROW was valued at USD 16.48 million in 2015, and will likely reach USD 17.7 million by 2020, posting a CAGR of 1.44%.

The market in ROW is expected to report the lowest growth over the next five years, as the region has fewer ice hockey players and ice rinks and lack of infrastructure. Japan and Kazakhstan have the maximum number of ice rinks, which has led to growth in the number of players. Most countries, except for South Korea, China, and Australia, have less than 10 ice rinks. Maintaining an ice rink is difficult in this region, as most of the countries have a warm climate, which is not suitable for the rinks. Keeping an ice rink’s temperature below 32°F in this region, where the average temperature is above 50°F, is a challenge and requires expensive infrastructure.

The region is registering a trend of synthetic ice hockey rinks. Synthetic ice is a strong polymer material intended for skating using typical metal-bladed ice skates. Arenas are developed by interlocking boards. Synthetic ice rinks are also used as an alternative to artificial ice rinks because of the general expense, and the lack of requirement of any refrigeration hardware,” asserts Mantri.

The top vendors in the global ice hockey equipment market highlighted in the report are:

  • Adidas
  • New Balance
  • Performance Sports Group
  • Sher-Wood

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About Technavio

Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. The company develops over 2000 pieces of research every year, covering more than 500 technologies across 80 countries. Technavio has about 300 analysts globally who specialize in customized consulting and business research assignments across the latest leading edge technologies.

Technavio analysts employ primary as well as secondary research techniques to ascertain the size and vendor landscape in a range of markets. Analysts obtain information using a combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches, besides using in-house market modeling tools and proprietary databases. They corroborate this data with the data obtained from various market participants and stakeholders across the value chain, including vendors, service providers, distributors, re-sellers, and end-users.

If you are interested in more information, please contact our media team at [email protected].

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