Kevin Lonergan (left) with Rob and Scotty Bowman
The Buttendz Story
December 2008 - Identify the Problem!
My teammate “Kronch” and I were having coffee, working on tearing shards of tape off our sticks. Our fingers were sore and were literally sweating, cursing our situation while we fought through this tedious task.
Once your stick is finally ready to be freshly taped, you have to exactly match the previous feel, or it will feel like a different stick. There had to be a better way to protect and maintain the most important piece of equipment you own. Let the problem-solving begin….
January 2009 - Focus the Search!
I started exploring options that would replace the taping method, and after consulting manufacturers, patent attorney and hockey teammates, a similar theme emerged: Most guys did not like the status quo, but there was concern about cost effective solutions to replace taped knobs.
I began investigating golf grip manufacturers and realized that the golf industry had it right. No serious golfer would dare use sticky, soggy tape to enhance the grip of their Driver or 9-Iron. Why not apply the same technology used in golf to enhance the hockey stick?! Let the innovation begin …
January 2013 - Create. Test. Edit.
While working in NYC, I started collaborating with a Chinatown designer to mass-produce what would be our final design. We worked on color studies, logo design and were ready to approach a manufacturer. For my product to be successful, it needed to give the player better performance, with added style.
And, that is when we discovered Natural Rubber as an essential material, and a manufacturer in Xiamen, China that specialized in molding it. As soon as I felt the ORIGINAL GRIP sample, I felt confident this material would give us the edge we needed. We tested our prototype, suggesting some tweaks before it was ready to be a product for sale.
December 2013 - Buttendz is Born!
Finally, the day arrived when our revised FLUX Grips arrived in the mail. I eagerly tore open the package to examine the finished product. I knew instantly that we had what we needed. I applied the Grip to my stick and went on the ice.
I can’t describe the feeling; using a product I created - and it performing better than I expected - was something I will never forget. Shot after shot, pucks were jumping off my stick with a snap and velocity that I had never experienced. The Buttendz FLUX Grip was born. Now, the hockey market is about to be disrupted! Stay tuned …