by: KP, Warrior Hockey Marketing
Well, it’s July! Now begins a month where the words “Quick Release” will be repeatedly blasted in your social media feeds. Well, if you follow Warrior and Bauer Hockey it will. But the question remains, who really owns Quick Release?
I (and we at Warrior) like to think that we do. The Covert QR line of product launched in September of 2014. We set out to simplify the way we market, design and promote product by concentrating on the benefit of the product to the player. Not some technical mumbo-jumbo that sounds good at a meeting inside our conference room. Players don’t understand what Dagger Taper (an aggressive lower hosel taper) means, but they sure do enjoy ripping a shot so quick that a goalie didn’t even see it. So Quick Release (QR) was born.
The next year, Bauer released their Vapor 1X. Speaking in terms consumers understand must have been a good idea in one of their conference rooms too, because they called their aggressive lower hosel taper, Quick Release Taper Technology. They and we sold a lot of sticks on this simple premise and it seems like we’re going head to head again in 2016.
On July 13, we release the Covert QRL. It is our lightest, quickest releasing stick to date. On July 15, the evilB will release their Vapor 1X. Their lightest, quickest releasing stick to date. Now, I can make a joke and say that our release (to market) is quicker – so that makes us the winner…but I won’t. Wait. I just did…
But seriously, what is a consumer to do? Go with the re-hash of the Vapor 1X, or the new Covert QRL? Well, maybe I can help sway the decision.
Head to Head comparison – from the cheap seats.
Which stick is lighter?
If you follow us on Snapchat (WarriorHKY – go ahead, I’ll wait)
You’ll know we pulled some covert maneuvers and weighed a 2016 Bauer 1X a couple weeks ago (can I just pause here and complain about it having the same name as their 2015 version? So confusing!)
Here’s the result:
First we weighed an 87flex P88 Bauer 1X:
Then we weighed a QRL 85flex W88
If this is the best Bauer can do, we beat them. I know, it’s only 4g, but I’ll take wins when I can get them.
If you read the blog by our R&D manager on how QRL was developed – You’ll know that the QRL actually came out lighter in the process and that he had to add weight back in to find the optimum balance and load weight for our testers. So that’s why we don’t push weight as our single best feature story.
So I guess what it really boils down to is – which one looks better?
I used to be the stick product manager, and one thing Warrior always prided ourselves on was having unique graphics. Yes, I was responsible for the “unique” Dolomite Dragon graphic (there, I said it). But seriously…we always pride ourselves on not being the same as fas as how our brand graphics are designed. That brings us to Covert QRL – we kept our iconic blue/orange color combination but the graphics team, as JS explained in his blog post, did an amazing job of differentiating it from the QR1. This is, I think, one of our best graphics yet…it’s H-O-T.
The other guys? Well…I think they mailed it in. Can you tell which one is the Vapor 1X and which one is the Vapor 1X? Plus, I’m not a fan of silver sparkle tint on blades or shafts for that matter. We did it on the Dolomite Dragon – and yes, again, I was the product manager then.
Does the QRL release quicker than the 1X 2.0? I don’t know for sure. Have I put them on our quick release measuring device? No. But we did measure the QRL and it’s faster than our QR1 and the Covert models before it. It loads faster and releases that energy quicker.
How do we know it works for players, well just read what Joe Pavelski had to say about it. He felt that Quick Release was Quicker the moment he got the first prototypes on the ice.
“The puck was really hot, coming off hotter than normal.”
That’s enough for me…but is it for you?
I know, it’s a much harder sell. Why give up on always buying your (insert other brand here) sticks when you know they already work. But do they? Is there something better? Are you really pushing the performance limits? This is the question that our NHL pros always ask themselves since the game pushes them to be better.
It’s the reason Joe Pavelski talks to Logan Couture, and Logan switches. It’s the reason Max Pacioretty walks over and whispers to our pro rep in the room and hands over one of his blades to copy. It the reason Max then talks to Brendan Gallagher and suggests he switch sticks. It’s the reason Henrik Zetterberg mentions our sticks over a casual golf round with Nicklas Backstrom. Notice a pattern here?
Warrior Quick Release might be the best kept non-secret in the NHL…so what’s stopping you from checking it out?
Listen, in the grand scheme, Warrior is not Bauer. I’m very well aware. They’ll likely sell more units to the hockey player base that they already own and are too comfortable using their familiar product. Heck, I suspect that’s why they even named the product the same.
But consider this: David had a quicker release, and we all know how that turned out for Goliath.