Friday, January 27, 2012
We're Coming to Pittsburgh!

We get a LOT of people emailing us and putting stuff on Facebook and Twitter about where we should open stores. Basically, according to hockey players, we should have at least one store in every state! We wish we could! But it's more complicated than just popping a sign up and stuffing gear in the store. We could go on for hours about this, but you'd be bored stuff.

The point of today's post is pretty exciting - we ARE opening new stores in 2012 and the first announcement is a big one - we're bringing our huge hockey stores to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In multiple locations. And we are super-excited about it. Not only will we get to finally see the Consol Energy Center (hey, it's ok to be a little selfish!), but it also means Pure Hockey, Pure Goalie and Commonwealth Lacrosse are setting up shop in what we believe is a fast-growing hockey market STARVING for a first-rate hockey store. If you're from Pittsburgh and you are reading this, click here to see what's in store for you. We are currently taking applications and resumes for people to work in the stores (just go to our careers page and fill out the online form) and we'll have announcements forthcoming shortly on specific locations. Suffice it to say, we've done our homework.

Here's the Press Release:
 

Franklin, MA,  January 25, 2012

TSG Enterprises, LLC announces that its individual and unique specialty stores, Pure Hockey, Pure Goalie and Commonwealth Lacrosse (“ComLax”), will each open a retail store in multiple locations in the Pittsburgh, PA area. The stores will represent TSG Enterprises’ first retail stores in the state of Pennsylvania and opening is scheduled for Spring 2012. Standard promotional activities and giveaways are planned. The separate entities have had customer demand for locations in Pennsylvania and are the largest hockey equipment and lacrosse equipment stores in the U.S.A.

David Nectow, President of parent company TSG Enterprises, LLC., commented, "We are very excited to be establishing a multiple-store presence in the Pittsburgh metro area. The reason we are coming to Pittsburgh is that we see a hockey and lacrosse rich community there and feel that there is demand for specialty stores that offer a unique shopping experience - a large format along with a very broad level of product and service offerings. We've been successful in the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island markets and know that this will translate very well in Pennsylvania. We are confident that the new stores in the area will be great additions to our expanding retail portfolio.”

About Pure Hockey: Pure Hockey sells hockey equipment from all major brands such as Bauer, CCM, Reebok, Warrior, Easton, Vaughn and Brians (plus many more) and designs and markets fashion-forward and custom made apparel for its online and retail shoppers. The Company offers stick & skate buyback programs, a low-price guarantee and has seven retail locations in Massachusetts, including Berlin, Braintree, Danvers, Franklin, Kingston, Medford and Needham, along with three stores in New Hampshire, including Nashua, NH, Dover, NH and Exeter, NH. Pure Hockey also operates stores in Warwick, RI, Norwalk, CT and Fairfield, NJ.

About ComLax: Comlax sells lacrosse equipment from all major brands such as Brine, STX, Maverik, Reebok, Warrior and many more and also designs and markets fashion-forward and custom made apparel for its online and retail shoppers. The Company has eight retail locations in Massachusetts, including Berlin, Braintree, Danvers, Framingham, Franklin, Kingston, Medford and Needham, along with additional stores in Dover, NH, Nashua, NH, , Norwalk, CT and Fairfield, NJ.

About Pure Goalie: Pure Goalie sells hockey goalie equipment from all major brands such as Bauer, CCM, Reebok, Warrior, Vaughn and Brians (plus many more). The Company offers stick buyback programs, a low-price guarantee and has six retail locations, including Berlin, MA, Braintree, MA, Dover, NH, Warwick, RI, Norwalk, CT and Fairfield, NJ.


 

If you have any questions or want to talk to us about advertising or anything else related to our store openings in Pittsburgh, PA this spring, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via our Customer Service group at 866-PURE-HOCKEY.



0 Comments Posted at 11:10AM on 01/27/2012

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Pure Hockey TV Commercials, Part III

By Jeff Copetas, VP Of Marketing & E-Commerce

Well, when we left you last, we told you all about how the script got written, working with a production company and the day we shot the first commercial with the Devils David Clarkson. I think it's pretty interesting to now let us explain how we casted the commercials.

First off, we didn't do any casting. What, you ask? NO casting? Well.....nope. Hey look, we don't have the money to be holding multiple casting sessions for professional actors. We were gonna wing this one! So we simply had almost the entire staff of our Fairfield, NJ store show up the morning of the shoot and we MADE them audition. That's right - we had each employee stand in front of the camera at 8:30 am and read cue cards and I relied on the Neoscape production crew to pick who would be the best. Boy, did they hit a home run!

The "store manager" role is played by Lou D'elia and the "assistant store manager" role ended up being played by Brian Rossman. We knew after shooting the first scene that morning that we had made the right decision. Both guys are funny, nice dudes and have wildly unrealistic expectations for thier New Jersey Devils team this year  - and much to our surprise and delight, they were absolutely terrific on camera. We had visions of a young Jay & Silent Bob - and we were in the right state for it! Anyway, these two guys not only were good on camera, but pretty much nailed every scene. We did do some multiple takes where we had them saying slightly different things, but there were pretty much no outtakes or bloopers. 

But don't let me get bogged down in excessive verbosity - let's hear from the lead actors as they answer a few of the same questions:

Lou D'Elia - "store manager"



How did you first discover Pure Hockey down there in New Jersey and how did it compare to other stores in the area?
My friend Josh took me. He told me "you have to see the size of this place!" There still is no other store in the our area (Tri-State) that comes close to Pure Hockey.
 
Did you have any inkling at all (or desire) to actually have the lead role in one of our commercials?
I was told I was going to be a background character in the commercial. I might have one line. The morning of the shoot I was informed that I would be the co-lead with Rossman.  
 
What was the most surprising thing about filming a real television commercial?
How supportive the film crew was.  They were very easy to work with and helped me with everything. The Director (Rodrigo) was so easy going and made me feel relaxed because I was extremely nervous (editors note: he didn't seem nervous at all).
 
Have any strangers said anything to you about seeing you in the commercial?
No strangers yet but my friends and fellow season ticket holders have either mentioned it or called me.

What was the last thing you laughed really hard at?
Brian Rossman can make anyone laugh.
 
What is your realistic prediction for the Devils this year?
Stanley Cup Champions. Marty for Conn Smythe (editors note: ummmm......uhhhhh.....cough.......hack)


Brian Rossman - "assistant manager"



How did you first discover Pure Hockey down there in New Jersey and how did it compare to other stores in the area?
At the time I was working at a local pro shop when I heard the Pure Hockey was opening. My buddies were looking for jobs and I suggested applying there. I took a ride down with them to the store to check it out for myself. When I walked in I was beside myself, never in my life had I seen such a large selection of hockey equipment! When I saw the goalie section (me being a goalie), I was just in heaven. I recognized one of the managers (Ray Tanis) and he suggested that I apply for a job….and the rest was history.
 
Did you have any inkling at all (or desire) to actually have the lead role in one of our commercials?
When I heard that Pure Hockey would be filming a commercial and that staff would have a chance to be in it, I was very interested. I thought it would be a cool experience and even cooler to be on TV. In high school, in addition to being on the hockey team, I was also an “A.V. nerd”, I knew the in’s and out’s of producing high school programming, but it was especially cool to work with a professional film crew.
 
What was the most surprising thing about filming a real television commercial?
The most surprising thing about filming a real television commercial was how easy going the film crew was. I thought they were going to be super serious and make it a stressful experience - but I could not have been more wrong. The film crew were very laid back and made the whole experience fun.

Have any strangers said anything to you about seeing you in the commercial?
In addition to close friends and family, I have been very surprised as to how many people recognize me. People I haven’t talked to in years have contacted me saying they saw me on TV, and many customers in the store recognize me as well.

What was the last thing you laughed really hard at?
My trip up to Braintree with Lou D’elia, nonstop laughter (editors note: they were so good, we made them come up to Braintree, MA for the Brad Marchand commercial)

What is your realistic prediction for the Devils this year?
Legit cup contender, we’re a good team with little identity - after last season teams might underestimate us. If we play to our true potential then we’ll be taking the cup this year. (editors note: no you won't)


In all seriousness, we could have been up the proverbial creek if Lou and Brian hadn't been so awesome. We thank them and the fact that they're both really awesome, funny guys made it all the better.

Next time we'll walk you through the circus that was the Brad Marchand TV commercial shoot and we'll interview the Director, Neoscape's Rodrigo Lopez.



0 Comments Posted at 04:30PM on 01/17/2012

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Pure Hockey of Fairfield, NJ

By Jeff Copetas, VP of Marketing & E-Commerce

We'll get back to writing about those TV commercials soon. But one thing we'll do a little more of here in 2012 is introduce you to the people behind our business. There's no better place to start than our stores and our store managers. I started here in March of 2010 here in Marketing and before that, I've largely held internet/marketing jobs. I hadn't worked in a retail store since 1993, when I stocked frozen & dairy food at the local Supermarket while I was in college in Kent, Ohio. I'm not sure that even counts as retail. If you want to talk TRUE retail, you'd have rewind it back even further to 1989, when I worked in a record store at a mall in Central Massachusetts.

So I haven't necessarily forgotten what working in a retail environment was like, but it had been a while - and Pure Hockey is a totally different retail animal than anything I've ever seen before. These are not $9.99 albums or eggs and milk. We're talking about hundreds - and sometimes thousands - of dollars of people's money here.

Anyway, long-story-short, I've developed a huge respect for the guys and gals out there who manage and work in our stores. It is a hard job. Yes, there are slow periods, as with any retail store, but when you see it enough and even experience it, you can't help but have a deep appreciation for what these guys endure and go through.

Anyway, we want to open the doors and introduce you to some of our staff. We're gonna start as far south as Pure Hockey goes (right now), down in Fairfield, New Jersey. Our newest store, the Fairfield shop is roughly 15,000 square feet and opened in July of 2010. I'm only speaking for myself here, but I believe the Fairfield store is our best looking store in the chain. This can be attributed to our Manager of Store Operations, Marc Pino, who you'll meet in a later blog post. He had a fairly blank slate to build in that space and he chose wisely - nice floors, good colors, excellent lighting and fine touches all around.

You can see some pictures of our Fairfield store right here.

The New Jersey crew is a rock solid gang of hockey nuts and New Jersey Devils fans (our sympathies, hehehhee) and the store manager down there is Joe Carlino, who has managed the opening of the store (complete with inevitable setbacks) and its superb growth for the last year-and-a-half. We took a few minutes to ask Joe some quick questions about his experience at the store, what gear he wears and some other stuff too. Enjoy.

1. How did you first get into the game of hockey?
I've been involved in hockey since I can remember. I wish I could give a specific incident that made me love the game as much as I do, but I can't remember one.

2. What’s the biggest difference for you regarding hockey equipment from when you were a kid vs. the gear available today?
The technology and performance of the gear today is light years ahead of where it was when I was a kid. The composite stick is a great example.

3. What are you using for gear these days? Anything you’re dying to try out?
I skate out sometimes, but I usually play goal. I also own way too much hockey equipment, but this is what I'm using most of the time:

Goalie Bag:
- Brian's Subzero pads, gloves, blocker
- Vaughn 7600 c/a and breezers
- One80 skates
- Promasque XDK,  Hackva, or Eddy Custom Kevlar mask.
- I usually use a 9950 (p41, 26") stick, but I've been trying out some composites to see if I can get used to them.

Player Bag:
- Vapor XXXX pro stock gloves
- Unidentifiable CCM elbows, shins, and breezers (I've had them for the better part of a decade, and I can't find a logo to give you a model- they wore off)
- CCM U+ pro shoulder pads
- CCM V08 Helmet
- Oakley half shield
- One80 skates
- I am currently using an Easton RS  and an S19 (Iginla 100)

One of my favorite parts of the job is getting to see the new gear before it hits the stores. I love the opportunity to demo anything, but I'd really like to try out some Reebok goalie gear.

4. What was your first impression of Pure Hockey when you first saw a store?
Haha...I hadn't seen anything like it! When I went for my original interview, the New Jersey store was still under construction. I couldn't believe a store that size could be just for hockey equipment. When I went up to Massachusettes to be trained and walked into the Berlin store for the first time, I think I realized this was definitely the right job for me.

5. What was the last thing you laughed really hard at?
The Devils game last night - they let up 6 goals on 14 shots. Sometimes, you have to just have to laugh!

Thanks Joe!



0 Comments Posted at 08:00PM on 01/11/2012

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Thursday, January 05, 2012
Easton E700 Hockey Helmet

By Kyle Stevenson (Pure Hockey Marketing)

While working here at the Pure Hockey office, I’ve had a unique chance to try out some equipment I might not have necessarily tried out or bought otherwise. The latest example was that I got home with an early Christmas gift back in December - a chance to test out the new E700 hockey helmet from Easton Hockey. Let me start by saying that I have been wearing the Bauer 4500 (the timeless classic!) exclusively since I was in middle school. Never even bothered to look for an alternate.

Some people have the misconception that Easton has only been in the helmet business for a few seasons and therefore probably aren’t the best option. This thought actually couldn’t be further from the truth. While Easton may have recently jumped into the hockey helmet business, Easton Bell sports is the largest and one of the most trusted helmet makers in sports. The company produces helmets under several brands, all of which are highly popular within their respective sports. Bell Helmets are one of the most popular motorcycle and dirt bike head protection makers, while Riddell is one of the most widely worn football helmets available. Giro makes high performance and highly popular bicycle helmets, and Easton is one of the most prominent Baseball/Softball helmet producers out there.

That’s all fine and dandy, a glowing review and brag sheet for Easton Bell sports, but what differentiates them from many other companies is the way they manage to apply their innovations to each product across multiple sports. There are obviously very different demands for a bicycle racing helmets and  hockey helmets, but Easton has broken down products to more basic technologies and found ways to apply new technologies across the board.

The first thing I noticed when I picked up the E700 was the weight. This helmet is just silly light. I pulled it out of my bag and it definitely drew some glances - and eventually ended up being passed around the room for all to see. And the lightness of the helmet was the most commented on feature by everyone in the room.  Another thing I noticed was that the helmet is very well balanced; it wasn’t too heavily weighed in the front or the back so as to make my head lean or uncomfortable.

The biggest worry I get when I see or hold a really light helmet is protection, when a helmet feels light like that, it tends to feel pretty weak and not all that safe. The E700 is a huge improvement in this department. The helmet feels very sturdy, which I did not think was the case with the S-19.  The E700’s ventilation wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t really a problem either. I put my Oakley visor on it and it fit well with no issues getting it on. My only real issue that could potentially stop me from wearing it is an extremely shallow one, even though I do love the design itself - so sleek -  and the matte black is just filthy looking and the helmet is relatively high profile. It appears pretty large on your head.  

I thought that the S-19 Helmet was pretty rough sitting on my head, it created some pressure points and I didn’t find the padding particularly comfortable. The E700 is honestly one of the more comfortable I have put on in recent memory. The comfort padding really offsets the hardness of the EPP foam, a feat I find rare with EPP foam helmets. The Giro Fit system does a great job of getting under the back of your head and really contouring to keep the helmet in place. Fitting the helmet is effortless, literally, just put it on and the Giro Fit holds it in place. I think this is a huge improvement over the S-19’s baseball cap style fit system, which was annoying to change and tough to get perfect.

All in all, I thought Easton’s E700 Helmet was a great all around option. One of the first helmets to make me seriously consider bailing on the 4500. At $149.99, it is a higher quality, and more comfortable option than its predecessor the S-19, and for a lower price. You can get yourself one of these helmets by clicking right here.



0 Comments Posted at 10:00AM on 01/05/2012

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