Thursday, February 22, 2024

Otter Hockey: Behind the brand, from life savings to Project Re-Use

Otter, founded by Kyle Maroo in August 2018 while he was a student, is one of the up-and-coming brands in hockey equipment and apparel. As an increasingly recognised face on the hockey scene and in particular the BUCS circuit, Maroo is a man on a mission to make quality equipment for everyone, while also going beyond sales to help those who can’t afford sticks through his favourite project, Project Re-Use. 

Here, we take a look at the Otter story and some of their key initiatives.

The mission statement

“Otter exists to make sure you have access to the same high quality 95% carbon sticks that other brands produce, but at a more affordable price point, saving you up to £100 compared to some brands.”

Otter Hockey has recently helped a Ghanaian community replace their old sticks

Timeline

August 2018: University of Reading student Kyle Maroo invests his life savings into founding Otter Hockey.

Spring 2019: Kyle graduates from university and intends to close the company. In Elon Musk style he puts the question to the people, asking ‘Should we close the company?’ The answer is a resounding ‘no!’. The first drop of 200 sticks sells out in 14 days.

Spring 2020: They launched Project Re-use, addressing one of the most significant global issues of our time – sustainability. So far, they have donated over 1,000 sticks to various organisations and charities. As a result of their excellent work, they have been invited to Ghana by the hockey federation.

Summer 2020: They sign their first senior international players, such as Andy Bull, of Scotland, and South African Sylvia Van Jaarsveldt. Their sticks are now being used in the Pro League, EuroHockey Championships, and World Cup.

Spring 2022: A visit to the Otter factory to develop some new concepts.

Project re-use

“As well as championing sustainability and re-use, this project improves access to hockey for those with barriers to entry,” says Maroo. “This grows the game we all love, while enabling those that benefit from the equipment to be involved in organised sports for free.”

How can you help? Have you got perfectly useable sticks or balls that are gathering dust & haven’t been used in years? This is what they are collecting! Get in touch with Otter, details below.

Sustainability initiatives

Otter take this issue very seriously, and it’s fair to say, it’s woven into the very heart of the company. Some other initiatives include:

Tree-hugging: for every stick someone buys, they plant a tree! The goal is to be carbon neutral by 2024, they are almost there. 

Packaging: they only use plastic where required, such as stick heads and handles.

Manufacturing: all playing kits are made from 100% plastic (they make clothes too), where possible, factories use solar energy for production, emissions offset through tree-planting

Day to day company operations: their strict policy ensures they use public transport or walk where they can, the Otter car is very economical and averages 55 miles per gallon.

The Otter car! It is a Seat Leon, chosen for being affordable and as economical as you can get with a petrol car.

Partners

Otter work with a variety of organisations but most notably The Hockey Dreams Foundation, Hope HFS, Beyond Nottingham, Hockey is the Reason & the Ghanaian Hockey Federation. 

If you’d like to contact Kyle to find out more, buy a stick, talk partnerships or just chinwag about hockey in general, you can do so here.

Special offers

The Hockey Paper readers can use code thehockeypaper for 20% OFF anything on the site. Code is valid until March 31st 2023.

Where did the Otter Hockey name originate?

“Otters are small, fast & highly intelligent, much like hockey players.” 

Why should readers try out Otter Hockey?

“By coming to Otter you will have equipment you can trust to improve your game, but most importantly, by supporting Otter you are indirectly supporting the environment and those in the community with less than yourself.” 

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