Gear Coop appointed Craig Levra, former CEO of Sport Chalet, as president. Levra will partner with Gear Coop founder and CEO Terry Lee to drive its next leg of growth.

Starboard Value LP, the hedge fund, nominated two additional directors to the board of Newell Brands, bringing its total nominees to 12 as the activist investor seeks to replace Newell’s board and CEO.

Newell Brands announced that Kevin Conroy has resigned from the Newell Board of Directors for personal reasons.

Helinox, the Korean-based leader in high-performance, collapsible furniture, has announced plans to launch a U.S.-based subsidiary, Helinox USA. The initiative will be led by industry veterans Sally McCoy and Ted Ganio with McCoy serving as the executive chair of the board and Ganio as CEO.

Deckers Outdoor Corp. said in a regulatory filing that, after nine years of valuable contributions and dedicated service to the company, Thomas A. George will be stepping down as chief financial officer of the company to pursue other interests.

Accell North America announced that it has appointed W. John Short as its new chief executive officer. Short will oversee all Accell Group operations and investments in North America and will report to newly-appointed Accell Group global CEO and management board chairman Ton Anbeek.

VF Corp. announced the appointment of Velia Carboni, formerly at Fidelity Investments, to the new position of chief digital officer.

Cascade Designs announced that company founder and chairman of the board, John Burroughs, will be leaving his post after 46 years of company leadership.

Outdoor Research hired Roger Barton as head of finance and operations. Barton was most recently at Newell Brands Technical Apparel, which include the Marmot and ExOfficio brands.

Fitbit announced that Brad Fluegel has joined the Fitbit, Inc. board of directors. Fluegel recently retired as senior vice president, chief healthcare commercial market development officer for Walgreens.

Moody’s Investors Service assigned a B3 Corporate Family Rating (CFR) to Boardriders Inc. At the same time, Moody’s assigned a B3 rating to its proposed $450 million Senior Secured Term Loan due 2024 and a B3-PD Probability of Default (PDR) rating. The rating outlook is stable.

Moody’s Investors Service placed Brunswick Corporation’s debt ratings on review for downgrade. This follows the company’s announcement today that Brunswick will spin off its Fitness business.

Ortlieb Sportartikel GmbH, manufacturer of waterproof outdoor products, announced the hire of Jürgen Siegwarth as the company’s CEO and the addition of senior staff members Jeff Scully and Martin Esslinger to its managing board.

Dr. Stefan Jentzsch, member of the Supervisory Board of Adidas AG, announced his resignation from office as of the conclusion of the company’s Annual General Meeting on May 9, 2018.

Wolverine World Wide announced Greg Tunney will be joining the company as president of Hush Puppies, reporting to Todd Spaletto, president of the Outdoor & Lifestyle Group. Tunney formerly ran RG Barry.

The NBA is considering ending the “one-and-done” age limit rule for players who want to enter the NBA draft in wake of the pay-for-play scandal roiling college basketball, according to a report from ESPN.

Vail Resorts was able to deliver earnings and sales that were basically flat with year-ago levels despite historically low snowfall across the western U.S. this winter.

Casa Grande High School becomes the first team in California to equip their football roster with the VICIS ZERO1 helmet. Originally introduced to NFL and NCAA teams, the ZERO1 is now available to high school programs for the 2018 season.

Compass Diversified Holdings (CODI), owner of 5.11, Crosman, Liberty Safe and a number of other middle market businesses, priced a $100 million public offering of 4 million of its 7.875 percent series B fixed-to-floating rate cumulative preferred shares

WHOOP, the human performance company, announced a $25 million Series C financing round led by UAE71 Capital with participation from the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), Durant Company, Thursday Ventures and existing investors including Two Sigma Ventures, Accomplice, Mousse Partners, Promus Ventures and NextView Ventures.

RYU Apparel announced the appointment of Cesare Fazari, founding partner in Northwood Developments, to the Advisory Board and the grant of stock options.

A special committee of Nordstrom’s board rejected a roughly $8.4 billion offer, amounting to $50 a share, from the founding Nordstrom family to buy the company, saying the price was too low.

In an e-mail to members, Rich Harper, manager of international trade for the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), wrote that the Trump administration’s move to raise tariffs on steel and aluminum imports “would lead to higher costs for outdoor products produced domestically that utilize steel and aluminum imports, like camping stoves, tent poles and skis and snowboards.”

The National Retail Federation (NRF) called President Trump’s move towards new tariffs on steel and aluminum “a tax on American families. When costs of raw materials like steel and aluminum are artificially driven up, all Americans ultimately foot the bill in the form of higher prices for everything from canned goods to electronics and automobiles.”

President Donald Trump’s announcement that he plans to order new tariffs on steel and aluminum isn’t likely to impact sporting goods or outdoor gear suppliers because most industry manufacturers import finished products into the U.S., and the potential tariff only applies to bulk steel imports, according to initial analysis by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA).

For more than five years, over a quarter of the U.S. population has indicated they were inactive. However, the 2018 Physical Activity Council Participation Report also indicates a moderate rise in participation for many sports and activities, including fitness sports, outdoor sports and winter sports.

The University of Massachusetts Boston will be launching a new Sport Leadership program with the help of a $5 million gift from New Balance and its chairman, Jim Davis, representing the largest gift in UMass Boston history.

The Skechers Foundation celebrated its ninth record-breaking Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk for children last week at the Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach, California–presenting more than $510,000 to The Friendship Foundation in support of kids with special needs, and over $1 million for education foundations.

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) reported that the 19th annual National Health Through Fitness Day on March 7 featured Herschel Walker, Pat LaFontaine and other elite athletes, encouraging Congress to pass the bipartisan HSA reform, which includes the PHIT Act.

In response to inquiries from asset manager BlackRock Inc. on its commitment to gun safety, American Outdoor Brands, the parent of Smith & Wesson, wrote in part, ”We must collectively have the courage to ensure any actions are guided by data, by facts and by what will actually make us safer—not by what is easy, expedient or reads well in a headline.”

According to analysis from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence, Dick’s Sporting Goods’ overall net favorability has remained fairly stable since its announcement on February 28 that it would tighten restrictions on gun sales.

A 20-year-old from Oregon sued Dick’s Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart for discrimination because both retailers moved to restrict gun sales to adults 21 and older in the wake of the Florida high school massacre, according to the Oregonian.

L.L. Bean became the latest retailer to announce that it will no longer sell guns or ammunition to customers younger than 21.

Rocky Brands announced that its board of directors has approved a new share repurchase program of up to $7.5 million of the company’s outstanding common stock.

Johnson Outdoors announced approval by its board of directors of a quarterly cash dividend of 12 cents per class A share and $0.1091 per class B share–a 20 percent increase from the previous dividend rate announced on December 8, 2017.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reported that February 2018 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was down 2 percent versus the year ago.

Schutt Sports announced a multi-year extension to their agreement as the Official Base Supplier to Major League Baseball. The company manufactures the Jack Corbett Hollywood bases, a version of which has been on the field for every MLB game, including World Series and All-Star Games, since 1939.

TYR Sport plans to support The Mac Crutchfield Foundation and all of its initiatives to develop pro-swimming programs and promote health, fun and safety in the water.

Ultimate Direction, the maker of hydration and wearable gear, announced its official partnership with Carmichael Training Systems (CTS), a specialist in endurance training, sports nutrition and performance coaching.

Photo courtesy Gear Coop