STX has signed a contract with English Premier Hockey League player Sam Ward, in a first-of-its-kind deal.
Global sporting goods company STX, based in Balitmore, in the US state of Maryland, inked the deal with Ward, which will extend beyond the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero.
The Beeston forward recently made his international indoor hockey debut for England in the Tri Nations competition in Brussels, scoring four goals in his first four appearances for his country. He also leads the scoreboard in the English Premier League at the mid-point of the season with 15 goals.
Ward, who has also played for England under-21’s outdoor team, will be closely involved with STX in the development, feedback and testing of the company’s new field hockey sticks. STX are active in field hockey, lacrosse, ice hockey and golf.
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"I am very excited to work closely with STX in developing products that will perform at the very highest level for international competition," said Sam Ward.
STX's director of marketing Ed Saunders said: "Sam's on-field achievements speak for themselves, but just as important, he has demonstrated all of the qualities that we stand for as a brand off the pitch as well. Sam Ward exemplifies the STX core values, and we look forward to extending our reach globally with Sam at the fore."
Ward won the London Telegraph 2013 Hero of the Year award after his efforts to raise money for Leukemia Research on behalf of his friend and team-mate Martin Scanlon. With the support of his hockey club Beeston, Ward pledged a donation for every goal he scores this season.