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  1. Bauer hosted a press conference today to discuss their OD1N project; the name odin means 1 in Russian, and since this project is centered around the 2014 Sochi Olympics, it's fitting. Two Junes ago, the Bauer team got together for their product camp, which they have twice a year; where they discuss product and where it is and where it's going. All of the category teams were issued a challenge - from R/D, Product and Marketing, that if there was an absence of a budget and limitations in current production methods, what would they create that would be the highest-performing product in their category. They assembled into teams and 3 weeks later, they had to present a concept. The concept had to show how it was innovative, the core benefits of said concept, and create a "budget" for it - they discovered that by going over their current budget by 3-4x, it really got the creative juices flowing. At the end of the day, the whole idea was to learn from it and have things trickle down to future product. Mind you, Bauer already does this; they have a 3 to 5 year period in which they have been working on the next thing. This was much more accelerated, obviously. The three categories that won were skate, protective and goal. Skate - It is a brand new skate from the ground up. The Supreme MX3 weighs at 695g at a size 8. It has 5 layers of Curv composite, then foam. The OD1N skate comes in at 500g - essentially a 200g weight reduction from the lightest skate on the market currently. 3 layers of Curv, new foams, and the ankle sheet internally is Curv as well. Supreme-style tongue (but if a player, such as Ovechkin, likes his double felt, he's got that on the boot) and a newer injected facing. The skate does not have an outsole; it is integrated into the holder, which is a carbon fiber holder with a molded, thinner blade, which is sharpenable, however, not serviceable. The holder is designed to last for the Olympics, and that's it. They can get 30 sharpenings out of it; Bauer collaborated with Blackstone to build a special jig to be able to sharpen it. The players' equipment managers on their respective NHL and country's teams will have the jig. What's even more interesting is that every holder is laid up differently. They worked with every player and their equipment manager; their preferences are dialed into the holder; so for instance, if Backstrom skates with, say, a 11' radius and down forward 1/16", and likes a stiff holder, that's what he's on. If Toews likes the complete opposite, his holder comes like that out of the box. Protective - What the protective team discovered is that 54-58% of the weight the average player carries on them during a game is in protective. They took it down to the simplest of thoughts - how does a player get dressed, and what does he put on? They put on a base layer, then multiple sets of pads with multiple layers of material within said pads - up to 8 layers in some. So they shot for a 40% weight reduction without sacrificing protection, all the while making it efficient. They invested in 3d scanners and mapped out every player, and built a suit to their spec. It starts with a base layer with a new style foam as the base, integrated into the base layer. Then the team designed outer plates of Curv composite as the outer layer, which are the carbon pieces that you saw them strap on in the video. They did have to add foam on top to meet IIHF spec. They brought it down to 46% weight reduction; reducing 19% of the player's carrying weight, and an overall 35% weight reduction. Goal - I couldn't get the goal team in on the conference call, but was filled in; it's a molded foam construction, which is exposed completely. Henrik Lundqvist has been wearing it skinned as a T1 NXG pad for the past 2.5 weeks; he wanted to use them immediately after the first time he used them. They are 50% lighter than any elite level conventional pad on the market; they were able to quantify what the weight savings did for him; they calculated a 1.5" travel reduction - so, basically he gained a width of a puck in distance traveled based on the weight. Now, here's the kicker. This is for the Sochi Olympics. THIS WON'T BE A RETAIL PRODUCT. I know there's been a TON of misinformation being spread out there (and I bit my tongue) about this being a retail line. It isn't; the chances are extremely high you'll never see, let alone touch this stuff. This project was created to see what is the craziest thing that can be created, and have a purpose. It's similar to concept cars in the auto industry; you make something crazy and then throughout the years you start to see some of the concepts trickle down to retail. What Bauer discovered throughout this was that they could actually take it further than a concept and actually apply it to on-ice use, validate it and show a marked improvement in performance. Special thanks to Keith Duffy and John Davidson for taking the time to have a conference call with me today; I have an excellent relationship with them and when I talked to them in October I can tell they wanted to say more but just couldn't. I had a general gist of the project, but I knew that a lot of what was being spread out there wasn't true. And I didn't press it, because I knew that they'd do right by me when the time was right to.
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