Free Idea: Broken Sticks For a Cause

Since most NHL players switched to graphite sticks, there’s been a bit of a plague of broken sticks. Rarely do I watch a game where at least one stick isn’t broken.

Here’s a simple idea for a charity campaign: every time an NHL player breaks his stick in a game, he donates the value of that stick to a particular charity. Maybe a group of charities get together, and the player can choose the one he wants to support.

How often does a given player break a stick in a game? It feels like there’s, maybe, two broken sticks a game. There’s 40 players in a game, so the odds of breaking a stick are 1 in 20. So does the average player break four sticks a year? If so, that’s $1200 a year. Multiply that by roughly 600 active players, and you get $720,000. Not an insignificant sum.

But the real money would be if they promoted and extended the program into recreational hockey. Maybe beer league players each agree to donate $20 per broken stick. According to Wikipedia, there are a million registered players in North America. That’s a lot of potential cash.

Actually, I take back the ‘player chooses the charity’ model. Using the Nothing But Nets model, I’d pick a very specific charity, something that I could clearly associate with the whole stick thing. Maybe something around planting trees? Of course, 95% of professional players use sticks made out of graphite, not wood, but the gist is there.

Written by dbarefoot

Darren Barefoot is an author, speaker and digital strategist. He’s the co-founder of Capulet Communications, and co-author of “Friends With Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook”.

4 comments

  1. The only downside to this plan re: rec hockey is that when we break a stick, we’re already looking at shelling out between $59-$200 to replace it…so we’re likely not going to be feeling particularly generous at that point. The pros’ sticks are all provided – so I definitely think that’s a great idea!

  2. I was going to say something along the lines of Jeremy’s comment: most rec. players I know are much more careful with their sticks than the pros, because the have a much higher stickcost:salary ratio than the pros.

    I do think it would be a great idea if the pros donated based on broken sticks. Adding to that, if there isn’t already, there should be an effort to put plastic ends on those broken shafts and donate them to kids hockey programs.

  3. An alternative idea would be to get the NHL players to sign the broken stick and then someone auctions it. No cost to anyone – at the moment the broken sticks probably go in the dumpster after the game. Probably easier to get buy-in from the teams for that rather than the individual players.

    Something I think a lot of fans might be interested in bidding on – be fun to keep the recording of the game & and you can show all your friends the moment in the game when “your” stick got smashed.

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