Registration Now Open for the 2021 Winter Specialty Virtual Market
Registration is now open for both the 2021 Winter Specialty Virtual Market! This Virtual Market will be held from January 11-30, 2021. Registration deadlines for this Virtual Market are approaching quickly so if you are planning to participate in the Winter Specialty Virtual Market, please navigate to the NBS Member Website or the NBS Vendor Website to register now!
Registration Now Open for the 2021 Spring Semi-Annual Virtual Market
Registration is now open for the 2021 Spring Semi-Annual Virtual Market! This Virtual Market will be held from February 22-26, 2021. We are excited to announce that we are launching a new Virtual Market platform for this Virtual Market that is different from the platform utilized for the 2020 Fall Semi-Annual Virtual Market in August. If you are planning to participate in this Virtual Market, please navigate to the NBS Member Website or the NBS Vendor Website to register now!
Len Hale, Owner of The Sportsman's Headquarters, Passes Away at 77 Years of Age
Our dear friend and long time Member Mr. Len Hale, owner of Walter Craig's Sportsman's Headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, passed away on December 15, 2020, at 77 years of age. The Sportsman’s Headquarters has been a Member of NBS for 15 years. Len served on the NBS Board of Directors as a member of the Executive Committee and District 2 Director since 2012. Len also served on the NBS Shooting Committee for numerous years, lending his considerable expertise to the benefit of the entire Membership.

Len’s career started as a district manager in the mass merchant business. From there, he went into the wholesale distribution side of our industry starting with J. W. Murchison. He developed one of the first telemarketing sales departments in our industry, which under his realm more than quadrupled in sales. In 1990, he became the executive vice president of Ellett Brothers and again used his skills in developing new sales, negotiation, and purchasing successes producing massive sales growth in four short years. In his career as President of Blount, he was responsible for all of their shooting sports manufacturers, including CCI, RCBS, Weaver, and was key in negotiating the purchase of Federal Cartridge and Simmons.

After leaving Blount, Len worked as a consultant in the manufacturing and distribution business helping several companies successfully identify and implement sales and revenue growth potentials. This led him to Walter Craig Sportsman’s Headquarters in 2000, where he took over the reins of their distribution and retail operations. In 2003, he purchased the company and moved the retail operation to Montgomery, Alabama, where it has become the leading independently owned shooting sports store in that area. In addition, he served on the NSSF Board of Governors and the SAMMI Board. Len received the Nation’s Best Sports Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. He received many other awards for his excellence in business over his more than 65 years in the industry.

Throughout his career, his commitment to Nation’s Best Sports, our industry, and hunting remained strong. He believed in serving as a leader and passing on leadership to the next generation. He was often in leadership roles with professional business groups and volunteer groups such as the Boy Scouts. 

Len is survived by his wife of 59 years, Sherrie Hale; his son L.C. "Bo" Hale, III and wife Allison; his daughter Deeanna "Dee" Hale-Holland and husband Tony; and his daughter Tiffanie Carroll and husband Sean; and two grandchildren, Caitlyn and Spencer Hale.

The family will plan a celebration of life later in the new year. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Len’s memory to a charity of your choice.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hale family during this difficult time. We here are NBS will miss this kind, gentle man who was instrumental in the success of Nation’s Best Sports and an icon in our industry. To read Len's obituary, click here.
Outdoor Retailer's Second All-Digital Trade Show Prepares for Launch
After debuting its first all-digital trade show this summer, learning from industry feedback, and making tweaks to the format, Outdoor Retailer is ready to go forward with its second iteration of the online show in just a few weeks. A replacement for January's traditional Snow Show, "OR Winter Online" will open to registrants on January 6 and run for more than 10 weeks, through March 19. | For More...
Sportsman's Warehouse to Join The Great American Outdoors Group
In an effort to better serve its loyal customers, Sportsman’s Warehouse has entered into a definitive agreement to join the Great American Outdoors Group, parent company of Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, White River Marine Group, and a collection of nature-based resorts. The Great American Outdoors Group will remain a private company with a long-term view to do what is best for its customers, team members, and conservation initiatives. As part of the agreement, Sportsman’s Warehouse will be acquired for $18.00 per share in cash. | For More...
NPD Reports Sports Equipment Sales Surge in Thirds Quarter
According to NPD Group, categories tied to the outdoors as well as home fitness equipment continue to post double-digit gains in the third quarter. Matt Powell, VP and senior industry advisor, sports at NPD, wrote in a blog entry that the home fitness equipment business “continued its torrid growth” in Q3 with sales up nearly double over the same period last year and "every major category showed robust growth with cardio devices leading the way." | For More...
NPD Reports a "Blizzard in Backcountry Sales"
Backcountry-related equipment sales in the U.S. grew a staggering 76% in the opening months of this year’s snow season (August through October 2020) compared to the same period last year, according to The NPD Group. Nordic and alpine touring equipment, splitboards, snowshoes, and backcountry accessories including beacons, probes, skins, and avalanche shovels, saw sales grow in the high double- to triple-digits to kick off the season. | For More...
Head/Tyrolia Appoints VP of Sales
Head/Tyrolia, USA announced that Rob Mignon has been named vice president of sales, a new position for the company. Starting January 1, 2021, he will assume sales management for all Head Wintersports products in the U.S. | For More...
Smith & Wesson Authorizes $50 Million Stock Repurchase Plan
Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $50 million of the company’s common stock through December 14, 2021. The amount and timing of any repurchases will depend on a number of factors, including price, trading volume, general market conditions, legal requirements, and other factors. | For More...
Adidas Assesses Strategic Alternatives for Reebok
Adidas AG said it has begun a review of whether to sell its underperforming Reebok brand. Adidas said Monday it will announce a decision on March 10 when it presents its new five-year growth plan. | For More...
Poll: Majority of Sports Fans Say Don't Play Indoors as Coronavirus Surges
An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll with the Center for Sports Communication at Marist College reveals 56 percent of American sports fans believe people should not be participating in indoor team sports such as basketball. | For More...
New & Expanded Project Childsafe Brochure Provides a Comprehensive Resource on Gun Safety
Project Childsafe, a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), now offers a new digital publication that provides easy access to its key educational resources on firearm safety and suicide prevention. The enhanced digital resource is one of the most comprehensive guides on gun safety available to the public today. | For More...
Instagram Shares Insight into the Most Popular Holiday Cookies Across the U.S.
Want to know what the most popular holiday cookies are across the US? This week, Instagram has shared some new insights into the most popular cookie types, based on Instagram usage data, which may help in your marketing strategies in each specific state. | For More...
What if Facebook Had Never Bought Instagram & WhatsApp?
How different would the tech industry be if Facebook hadn’t bought them in the first place—whether because the FTC didn’t allow it, someone else struck a deal first, or their founders simply chose to remain independent? | For More...
Do You Know Any Independent Retailers That Would Be a Good Fit For NBS?
In case you are not aware, NBS provides a stipend to those who refer and actively assist in our recruiting effort. For more information, or to discuss possible leads, contact Julie Cerza via phone at 817-605-2212 or via email at jcerza@nbs.com.
If your company has anything to share with NBS, please contact Catherine Rash via email at crash@nbs.com or via phone at 817-605-2223.