Hobie promoted Joel McBride to VP of sales and hired James McBeath as marketing director. With over 70 years of combined experience in adventure sports, the company reported that McBride and McBeath bring “a wealth of industry knowledge and a dynamic vision to Hobie’s leadership team.”

The company expects the appointment of McBride and McBeath to “mark the start of a new era for Hobie, one that sees the deepening connection of a legendary outdoor brand to today’s outdoor marketplace. These changes reportedly start with evolving sales programs and dynamic, modern marketing tactics,” Hobie reported.

Company president Marty Pathak said, “We’re thrilled to welcome Joel and James to the Hobie family. Their combined experience and innovative thinking will be instrumental in driving our sales and marketing efforts to new levels. They bring a fresh perspective that aligns perfectly with our mission to deliver the best adventure products to our customers.”

McBride is reportedly a paddle sports veteran with over 35 years of industry experience. He started his career at Wave Sport, a whitewater manufacturer, and worked to help the business “become a market leader.” He then went to work for Confluence, managing sales for all brands and reportedly “one of the top sales professionals in the industry.” At Confluence, where he worked for over 17 years, McBride played a key role in “popularizing Confluence’s Tarpon series of kayaks.” According to a Hobie release, McBride went to work for Pelican International in national accounts and “propelled the company to market dominance.” McBride worked for the company for over ten years. Since joining Hobie two years ago as sales director, McBride has focused on “enhancing Hobie’s presence in the fishing and recreational markets.”

“I’m excited for the changes being made at Hobie. Our goal is to strengthen our organization to provide increased dealer support and connect with our consumers as well,” McBride commented. “Hobie struggled with the post-pandemic slow down and, as a leading manufacturer, we have a long hill to climb. We are going to rebuild our sales force and our marketing program to bring Hobie back to the forefront of the outdoor markets. I look forward to working with our team to achieve these ambitious goals.”

McBeath also brings over 35 years of experience focused on outdoor sports marketing. His career began with leading marketing agencies and professional sports teams, including the Montreal Canadians, The Carolina Hurricanes and USA Hockey in the late 1990s. Transitioning to paddle sports, McBeath worked in marketing for Liquid Skills Kayak School, Heliconia Press, and, in 2003, “led the World Kayak initiative.” In 2007, McBeath became Jackson Kayak’s first marketing director, driving the brand to “dominate the whitewater market and spearheading its kayak fishing growth.” McBeath’s expertise reportedly “spans customer support, brand management, product development, and more, making him a well-rounded lead for Hobie’s marketing team.”

McBeath shared his vision for Hobie’s marketing direction, “Joining Hobie is a tremendous opportunity. My focus will be on increasing brand awareness and engaging the marketplace with modern, consumer-reaching tactics. We have a strong foundation to build on, and I am eager to bring Hobie’s story to a wider audience.”

Image courtesy Hobie