After reaching the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars won the … [+]
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The culture of hockey has traditionally put the team before the individual. That didn’t make things easy for a cocky character like Tyler Seguin when he joined the NHL 11 years ago.
“I always love to have personality and I love to be myself,” said the 29-year-old, who launched his lifestyle brand Nine One in November to capture part of that personality.
“At the beginning of my career, it was sometimes looked down upon – being a little more unusual, not quite following the example and being the typical hockey guy who answers typical questions with the same answers. You know, “Get pucks in depth, get into the pre-exam,” that stagnant background we have.
“I was that guy – when I was 16 I got my first tattoo. Now I have two sleeves and I love to wear my heart up my sleeve, be artistic with it and just be myself. ”
Seguin is currently recovering from hip replacement surgery in November and has yet to land on the ice for the NHL Dallas Stars this season. In addition to rehabilitation after the procedure that is expected to take him out of circulation for five months, he was also busy launching Nine One.
The brand name is a match with the shirt number that Seguin chose among the Stars in 2013.
“Wherever you are, wherever you go, I think it’s a code to live by and it speaks of who I am,” Seguin said. “Of course my jersey number is 91, but Nine One means more to me than that.
“What you see from me on the ice is what you get from me from the ice in my everyday life – whether that is desire, passion, loyalty, perseverance, friendship, honor, community and strength. Those are big messages in my tattoos too and really the foundation of who I am. Nine one is a symbol that represents these things. “
Every startup faces a number of challenges. The coronavirus pandemic added more.
“Covid – it has been difficult for any person and any company,” Seguin said. “We have seen what other companies have seen. However, this had to be done for security reasons, whether it was delayed production times or warehouse closures, cross-border shipping difficulties and figuring out the best way to bring the brand and certain products to market entirely digitally.
“There were hurdles like everyone else. It was also more fun to find solutions to everyday problems. “
When the NHL paused between mid-March and mid-July, Seguin made the business tangible. This goes on now as he rehabilitates.
“In the sense that I get even more involved and really just understand more about the business side of all of these things, I’ve had the opportunity to really learn more and have so much free time,” he said.
Of course, no athlete goes alone in such a company. “It really is a collaboration between me, my general manager John Walters, who works for The Will Sports Group, and my marketing and PR agency, SBX Group,” said Seguin.
“SBX has really been a major player in lifestyle and entertainment for marketing, PR, social content, and the joint venture perspective. They worked with me on several deals that will come out later this year so this will keep moving. I’m very excited. “
Currently, the Nine One website has two main collaboration products, a line of men’s socks developed in collaboration with DeadSoxy of Dallas, and a hockey training line associated with HockeyShot that includes a shooting set and balance board.
“It looks like the balance board is completely sold out and is now entering its third round,” said Seguin. “The shooting set will be sold out next month.
“I really loved working on this one. We even based this balance board design on my tattoos. You can see the wolf and the CN Tower – things are on my arms that are really related to my story. “
In recent years, opportunities to support hockey players have increased, but Leader Connor McDavid’s valued $ 4.5 million portfolio lags far behind top athletes in other sports. Not a single NHL star has cracked Forbes’ 2020 list of the highest paid athletes in the world, some of whom saw Seguin as a role model in putting together Nine One.
“You start with the guys who are so successful, guys you have never seen before,” Seguin said. “Tom Brady or LeBron James or someone I was close to in my Boston days, Julian Edelman, and how they structured their brand.”
As a rookie, Seguin won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Bruins in 19th place. With this number, withdrawn by the Stars Organization in honor of the late Bill Masterton, Seguin was determined to start over after his trade with the Bruins in Dallas in 2013.
“I wanted to change something,” said Seguin, “even with my number. I decided to flip it over and do 91. “
In his seven seasons in Dallas, Seguin has scored 223 goals and 291 assists for 514 points in 538 games. That was the ninth-highest score in the NHL during that period and tied him for the tenth time in Dallas, Minnesota franchise history. Last summer, Seguin sustained multiple injuries and scored 13 points in 26 games as the Stars reached the sixth game of the Stanley Cup final before falling on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In September 2018, Seguin signed a $ 78.8 million contract renewal that will run him through the end of the 2026-27 NHL season.
Having played in every game for the past four seasons, Seguin has seen his team play remotely this year is a new experience.
“I’ve missed a handful over the years,” he said. “But I’ve never seen much on TV. I was still on the rink and watched the games live from above.
“Now that I’m where I am to get back to the line-up, it was a little harder just because I’m still trying to figure out my routine by watching the game and checking my emotions and stuff like that.
The stars have shown no signs of a playoff hangover and started off strong with a 5-1-1 record through February 3rd.
“When you win games, it’s a lot easier. That way it was fun. “