The Quidditch world was shocked today to hear that Swoosh, premium broom maker and major sponsor for the NQL , is considering dropping star Keeper Tyler Ward of the Toledo Terrors from its athlete roster. Ward has been a sponsored athlete for the brand since the beginning of his professional career and has been the primary face of the brand for nearly a decade.
This would mark the first time Swoosh has dropped an athlete due to anything but career ending injury.
The press agent for Swoosh claims that Ward has failed to honor his sponsorship responsibilities in recent months. Swoosh stated that Ward has refused to appear at several autograph signings, a charity game with a local team (the Pueblo Barn Burners) and has stopped returning calls. Swoosh representatives say that with this lack of cooperation of a sponsored athlete, their hands are tied. This press conference is the first time that the broom maker brought into the public eye a sponsorship issue, perhaps in hopes of communicating with their athlete through the public forum. Xander Roman of Swoosh was quoted, “We at Swoosh have been sympathetic to Ward’s situation. But now that the threat of Simon Drake has been removed, it is time to return to the Pitch. Simply put, the face of the company needs to show up.”
People close to Ward seem to be as troubled by the star’s lack of communication. Sources to the athlete have confirmed that Swoosh is not the only sponsor being ignored and it seems that personal connections are receiving the same treatment. There is concern in some camps about the talented athlete’s well being. Ward’s agent has been tight-lipped, saying that his client is suffering from a form of “post-traumatic syndrome” and is in a self-imposed sabbatical to clear his mind.
Several years ago, Tyler Ward was named a primary target for Simon Drake due to his close ties to Avistrum Academy and was placed in protective custody by the Auror Department. Ward is a former professor of Care of Magical Creatures and was Head of Enigmus House prior to joining the Toledo Terrors. However, it wasn’t so much Ward’s titles at the school that made him a target but his relationships with the staff.
Tyler Ward’s close friendships with many of the faculty have been well documented, such as with Sachiko Kobiyashi (ret.), Secretary Aberfoyle and notably, Headmaster Clark Dowling.
Ward and Dowling have been close since the two were on the House Team for Enigmus. During the Ward and Dowling years on the Pitch, Enigmus did not fail to capture the Quidditch Cup.
The two were a force off of the field as well. When Clark Dowling first became the Headmaster over ten years ago, Tyler Ward was the first to join his side. Ward was also rumored to be a core member of Dowling’s vigilante group, the Dark Hunters.
It was perhaps this, more than anything that made Tyler a focus for Drake’s regime.
In 2009, Ward was taken into a secret location by the Auror Department. He remained in protective custody until the defeat of Simon Drake at the Battle of Avistrum.
According to Auror officials, Ward was released on October 25th, 2012.
He has not surfaced to the public eye since then.
Ward made a name for himself in the National Quidditch League in his first year with his unorthodox, slashing style and uncanny reflexes. His stock rose even more with his back to back MVP awards, a first for a Keeper in the modern Era. In the 2006 season, Ward had an astounding 98.9% blocking percentage. In a match against the Salem Saints of the 2007 season, 63 shots were made on his goalposts and not one was allowed through a hoop. It was games and seasons such as these that lead to another nickname, “The Shield”. His noteriety expanded to the world when he wowed our European brothers and sisters in the World Cup.
Ward’s inevitable partnership with Swoosh as their marquee athlete revitalized the brand in recent years, making his way onto billboards, toy broom adverts, and his own branded broom polish.
Ward’s work with numerous charities and making time to visit fans in need (particularly children) is well known. With this stellar reputation, it is understandable why friends and family of Tyler Ward are concerned.
He also is the primary cause for a style revolution in the sport by bringing back the “traditional” British high boots and 3 buckle gauntlets on the field. Sports historians, who roundly disagree on everything Quidditch related, all consent that he is without a doubt the finest Keeper in the last century. Sports analysts accross the United States and abroad often attach the title of ‘future Hall of Famer’ when mentioining his name.
Swoosh has asked that if any witch or wizard has information that can help in their communicating with Ward, they contact the Swoosh press office at Flu 345, junction 12, Detroit MI.