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Lefevre going solo


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Was I posting in Russian? Shit, I have to stop drinking vodka when I post. Or else it was Russian hackers. Either way it's bad news. Wait, why am I wearing an Adidas track suit and black leather dress

Vaughn doesn't really promote who designed the pads in the way True will rely on the "by Lefevre" brand. If Vaughn was bought by Walmart and fired Mike, most goalies probably wouldn't know Any L

I see it as a little arrogant, but at the same time good business sense. He is not a "nobody" or new to the game, he shrewdly kept his name on the CCM/KOHO pads for decades in case this day would come

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MEMPHIS, TN – MONTREAL, QC – TRUE Sports, a leading developer and manufacturer of hockey, golf, baseball and lacrosse products, has announced the acquisition of QC-based goalie equipment manufacturer, Lefevre Inc. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the acquisition will add exciting, innovative technology to the company’s advanced R&D portfolio, as well as expand TRUE Hockey’s reach into the goalie equipment market segment.

“Working with Lefevre is something our entire team is looking forward to,” Chris Considine, President & CEO of TRUE Sports said. “At TRUE Sports, our commitment to improving the player experience has never wavered, and we knew from our first meeting with Lefevre that this was the right move to make. This next chapter will help us continue to be the fastest growing hockey brand in the world, and it will generate additional partnerships with distributors, professional players, and influencers.”

As part of the agreement, TRUE Sports will continue to manufacture Lefevre goalie equipment in Canada. All Lefevre employees will be retained and will be moving forward with the business.

“We are thrilled to be starting this endeavor with TRUE Hockey,” Michel Lefevre, President of Lefevre said. “It was important to us that we continued with a company that’s as eager to improve the player experience as we are. It was vital to us that our team be able to retain their current positions, while aligning with one of – if not the most – innovative hockey brand to date. It’s been a natural progression from the start and we’re eager to see what the future holds!”

Both TRUE Hockey and Lefevre currently distribute their hockey product lines globally and are used by elite level hockey players around the world, including a wealth of NHL goaltenders.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Lefevre family,” said Steve Sutherland, TRUE Hockey Vice President & General Manager. “As a brand rooted in the continuous enhancement of the goalie experience, the Lefevre acquisition is a sign of our commitment to the game and a step forward in our mission to become the most innovative hockey brand in the world.”

In the coming weeks, TRUE Hockey will be rolling out a detailed strategic plan to its valued retail partners and consumers for the Lefevre Goalie line, which will include a very exciting retail consumer experience with select TRUE Hockey retail partners in 2021.

https://www.true-hockey.com/true-sports-acquires-iconic-goalie-company-lefevre-inc/?set_loc=en&doing_wp_cron=1601404322.3385770320892333984375

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Worst kept secret for a while!! 🤣

Surprised that True have acquired Leferve though and not just a partnership. 

I thought Leferve would have made retail products with the True name and had their own stuff branded True for any pros (if True pay the NHL fees) and the beer leaguers could still buy Leferve direct or from retailers. 

If True have bought Leferve.....maybe not?!

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1 minute ago, StevenC said:

Worst kept secret for a while!! 🤣

Surprised that True have acquired Leferve though and not just a partnership. 

I thought Leferve would have made retail products with the True name and had their own stuff branded True for any pros (if True pay the NHL fees) and the beer leaguers could still buy Leferve direct or from retailers. 

If True have bought Leferve.....maybe not?!

I'm sure that Lefebvre just doesn't have the man power or pockets to truly compete in the market. Their name does carry a certain pedigree, but I don't think it would carry them enough for them to grow to the same degree that the RBK/CCM partnership did.

By aligning with True, they're able to ensure a certain amount of longevity as well as being able to leverage True's current market power to help boost their reach.

And I'm sure True is seeing this as an easy in to the actual goalie gear market as they get to piggy back on the Lefebvre current gear offering/following.

Pretty win/win as far as I can tell. Though I'm curious how much True shelled out for the exclusivity.

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If True pays for the NHL, what effect does that make to CCM? Lefevre wasn't a real competitor in the customer markets without brand visibility in the NHL and missing the SR/int/jr lines. Interesting times coming right up. 

And will True now come out with a full gear for goalies? C/As, pants, etc...

Edit: fixed some missing text, dang mobilephone.

Edited by ArdeFIN
Some text added..
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Lefevere is entrenched in the NHL. As we see from the last few months, there's still  alot of pro goalies lining up to buy Mr.Lefevre's product. If True doesn't pony up the dough to get their brand name in the NHL it would be really strange. Why else buy a product/brand with such high visibility if you don't capitalize on it? 

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True is absolutely paying the NHL licensing fee... That is sort of the point

Lefevre Solo:

  • No NHL Licensing fee
  • No budget to endorse goalies like Carter Hart
  • No Sr or Jr line - This is what sells at retail and makes the most stable sales for everyone
  • Summary: Lefevre solo is very cool, but it's a very tough business

True Solo:

  • Starting a goalie line from scratch
  • No brand recognition as a manufacturer of pads, gloves, blocker 
  • Summary: Anyone remember Warrior pre-Smith?

True Acquires Lefevre:

  • Pays the NHL licensing fee
  • Endorses Hart, Freddy, Hellebyuck, and more to come?
  • Lefevre gives True instant credibility for setups and masks
  • Lefevre provides their experience with setting up an offshore version of their gear for a Sr and Jr line
  • True now has to head to toe to compete with Bauer, CCM, etc (Spoiler, we will see a chesty and pants eventually)
  • True has tremendous access to NHL goalies via the pro reps because so many goalies use their skates. This creates a synergy of selling Lefevre gear at Pro
  • True's main pro rep used to work at Vaughn and knows gear

 

 

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10 minutes ago, TheGoalNet said:

True is absolutely paying the NHL licensing fee... That is sort of the point

Lefevre Solo:

  • No NHL Licensing fee
  • No budget to endorse goalies like Carter Hart
  • No Sr or Jr line - This is what sells at retail and makes the most stable sales for everyone
  • Summary: Lefevre solo is very cool, but it's a very tough business

True Solo:

  • Starting a goalie line from scratch
  • No brand recognition as a manufacturer of pads, gloves, blocker 
  • Summary: Anyone remember Warrior pre-Smith?

True Acquires Lefevre:

  • Pays the NHL licensing fee
  • Endorses Hart, Freddy, Hellebyuck, and more to come?
  • Lefevre gives True instant credibility for setups and masks
  • Lefevre provides their experience with setting up an offshore version of their gear for a Sr and Jr line
  • True now has to head to toe to compete with Bauer, CCM, etc (Spoiler, we will see a chesty and pants eventually)
  • True has tremendous access to NHL goalies via the pro reps because so many goalies use their skates. This creates a synergy of selling Lefevre gear at Pro
  • True's main pro rep used to work at Vaughn and knows gear

 

 

Great summary.

Quote

Summary: Anyone remember Warrior pre-Smith?

*Shudders*

15 hours ago, Mike24 said:

Gotta love the ever changing goalie gear landscape!!!!!   My playing days are done but it’s still entertaining as hell.  

Hey, any time there is an added amount of gear to speculate and drool over, the better.

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9 minutes ago, TheGoalNet said:

I have a feeling Vaughn could be the big loser in all of this

Why? If Lefevre moves from the CCM umbrella to the True umbrella, how does that affect anyone else? Except CCM I guess. Vaughn has been sliding downhill for a few years now, due to lack of innovation*, nothing to do with Lefevre tho.

 

* Magnet strapping excluded ;)

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2 hours ago, ser33 said:

Lefebvre most innovative brand? are they serious? lol

Hmmm, good point, they don't even have magnet straps, LOL. So why does Vaughn get a bad rap for keeping the Velo pretty much unchanged, while Lefevre get nothing but praise for offering up the same warmed-over design year after year?

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15 minutes ago, estogoalie said:

Hmmm, good point, they don't even have magnet straps, LOL. So why does Vaughn get a bad rap for keeping the Velo pretty much unchanged, while Lefevre get nothing but praise for offering up the same warmed-over design year after year?

I don't think anyone gives Lefevbre a free pass. I think many just choose to look the other way since they're arguably the most popular brand.

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2 hours ago, estogoalie said:

 Vaughn has been sliding downhill for a few years now, due to lack of innovation*

You answered your own question.

There is more strong competition than ever. Vaughn has the least compelling product. It's a game of musical chairs and Vaughn could end up without anywhere to sit.

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1 hour ago, estogoalie said:

Хммм, хороший момент, у них даже магнитных ремней нет, LOL. Так почему же Вон получил плохую репутацию за то, что сохранил Velo практически без изменений, в то время как Лефевр получил только похвалу за то, что из года в год предлагал один и тот же теплый дизайн?

it has been said many times that Vaughn is a good manufacturer but very poor marketing. IMHO, the popularity of outdated Lefebvre models is nothing more than excellent marketing tied to professionals and the NHL. I myself played Premier 4 until recently and yes they are good. were about 5 years ago

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4 hours ago, TheGoalNet said:

You answered your own question.

There is more strong competition than ever. Vaughn has the least compelling product. It's a game of musical chairs and Vaughn could end up without anywhere to sit.

Would you care to elaborate on your opinion regarding your comment saying it's the least compelling? I don't inherently disagree, but I feel like that is kind of their thing.

My opinion is that Vaughn definitely doesn't push the envelopes, but are really entrenched with a lot of goalies when it comes to less visible gear (C/A and pants). I also think they could really push the SLR3, assuming it's a thing, to make it one of the most desirable pads on the market with just a couple of changes, strapping (weight, thinning the top, giving flex options) especially since the SLR2 has great.

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Vaughn has been on a starting goalie in the Stanley Cup finals for 7 of the past 8 STRAIGHT years of the Finals. Only a "powered by Lefevre" gear comes close to that success at the highest elite level on our planet. They are doing just fine....

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6 hours ago, keeperton said:

Would you care to elaborate on your opinion regarding your comment saying it's the least compelling? I don't inherently disagree, but I feel like that is kind of their thing.

My opinion is that Vaughn definitely doesn't push the envelopes, but are really entrenched with a lot of goalies when it comes to less visible gear (C/A and pants). I also think they could really push the SLR3, assuming it's a thing, to make it one of the most desirable pads on the market with just a couple of changes, strapping (weight, thinning the top, giving flex options) especially since the SLR2 has great.

Personally, I was a Vaughn guy from V2 to V6.  Aside from a brief foray into the small market manufacturers with Kenesky, I've pretty much favored a Lefevre designed product since then (588 RPM, Eflex 1, Eflex 4, 20.1). 

I'd say my gear preferences have changed a bit...but really, the Vaughn gear doesn't excite me anymore.

Personal opinion here -

The core issue is that Vaughn gear is designed and built to have great "off-the-shelf" appeal.  Meaning, the glove closes easily.  Pads, pants, and chest/arm units flex effortlessly and everything moves extremely well with the body.  The gear is great for a reactionary Jonathan Quick type athlete and the weekend warrior goalie for these exact reasons.

However, this design philosophy does not mesh well with most pro clients, and I believe it breaks down as such:

  1. As the position has become increasingly technical, most pro customers pursue gear that performs the same out of the box until the end of its lifetime - ie. input x = output x.  And when that equation is no longer true, a new set is being popped out of the box at practice.
  2. This is in direct opposition to how the product is designed for retail, which in turn opens the need for customization off the retail base. 
  3. As a result, any time you have an amount of extra work going in, there is potential to lose the consistency and feel from set to set...A pro's set used in September to October may be absolutely dialed in, but someone else at the factory assembled his October through November set and the feel is off.

I'd also be interested to hear how Vaughn sells at stores from the guys working retail...

@ULTIMA, @Puckstopper, @ZeroGravitas

 

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In response to your comment I bolded above - reminds me of how Brown disappeared from the league.  The gloves and pads fell off and he was only building C/As and pants, then gone from the league entirely.

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I can sum up Vaughn sales in our store pretty quickly:  Vaughn isn't a brand very many people who aren't already wearing it come in to look at, but they're a fairly easy sell IF the person isn't fixated on buying Brand X because Goalie Y wears it.  Vaughn did themselves a big favor by including QuickSlide at the senior price point on the SLR2 and stole a few sales from Brian's and CCM because of that.  

The other thing is that Vaughn (and to a certain degree some Brian's stuff as well) have a feel that some people are very comfortable with.  I've had several people who were in Vaughn currently come in to buy something "more modern", try on everything I have from Bauer, CCM and Warrior and end up walking back out the door with another set of Vaughns. 

They are innovative, but they resist slapping fancy names on every change they make like some of the other companies do and it hurts them.  

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