YardRink's mission to bring the joy of backyard hockey to families across North America is taking a big step forward with the addition of Dan Touhey as Vice President of Business Development. Dan’s vision for the industry and passion for helping families create personal "ice time" aligns perfectly with YardRink's mission, and his leadership will be instrumental in driving the company's continued growth and success.
As the fastest-growing backyard hockey rink kit company in the country, YardRink is thrilled to welcome Dan to the team. A veteran of the sports merchandising industry for over 20 years, Dan has played an instrumental role in the growth and development of innovative brands such as Spalding, Under Armour, and Reebok. He's incredibly excited to bring that expertise to his role at YardRink.
Keep reading below to hear Dan’s thoughts on the backyard rink industry, his goals for YardRink, and what the future holds for the company.
Q: What drew you to join YardRink?
What truly drew me to YardRink was the people behind the brand. There is amazing talent within this team and so much potential to change the backyard and outdoor hockey industry. The technology behind YardRink is extremely compelling and delivers performance far above the competition. For generations, individuals and families have invented ways to create backyard skating experiences – some successfully, some not as much. With YardRink, the patented design is purpose-built for both the setting up and playability of the hockey and skating experience. I’m excited to be a part of this industry-disrupting team and am looking forward to what we can do together now and in the future.
Q: What sets YardRink apart from other backyard hockey rink kit companies?
The biggest differentiator is that YardRink’s tarp is on the outside of the rink. This creates an ice surface that ends at the walls of the rink versus a tarp and creates a truly authentic playing experience where the puck can travel around the walls just as it would at an indoor rink. In addition to that, our rink walls are filled with water that when frozen, creates an incredibly solid foundation. I can’t think of a better design to mimic an actual hockey rink that can be enjoyed in the comfort of someone’s backyard.
Q: What is special about being involved with skating and hockey families?
I had the opportunity to play hockey, both on ponds and indoor rinks, so I know what it feels like to wake up at 4:30 am to get to practice. The bond between hockey players and hockey families is very real. It’s like you share a secret and celebrate that secret together. So, one thing I know to be true is that the only way to improve as a hockey player is to improve one’s skating, stick handling, and puck skills. That’s proven to be hard in traditional environments, so having the opportunity to play outside regardless of the type of rink can have such an impact on a young skater’s stills.
Q: Have you ever been involved with a season-specific type of business like hockey?
While every sport may have a seasonality aspect to it, for the diehards and fully committed, hockey is year-round. The same can be said for the team at YardRink, as everyone has a shared passion for supporting the growth of the game regardless of the time of year. Hockey is perceived as a winter sport to many, but our customers and partners have this activity top of mind year-round. Yes, the actual use of the YardRink may be seasonal – in the way driveway basketball hoops and trampolines are – but that doesn’t make the love of the sport seasonal!
Q: Do you have a history of playing hockey or skating? What about your family?
Growing up in Central Massachusetts, it’s no surprise that the key winter-time activity was pond skating and pond hockey. On top of just having fun skating outside with my family and friends, I played in hockey leagues and on teams for most of my youth. I believe that Boston has always been a mecca of hockey, and when I was very young, Bobby Orr was the toast of the town. So much so that his legacy is still felt by me and my peers even to this day.
Q: What is your favorite sports moment?
Is there anything better than Team USA beating the Russians in the 1980 Winter Olympics? Miracle on Ice!
Q: What’s your favorite part about the winter season?
Aside from my own skating and hockey memories, I love spending time outside with my family in the winter – even if that answer is a little cliché!
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