Nielsen Sports Group promoted Kenji Haroutunian to the new show director for the biannual Outdoor Retailer trade shows, where he will manage strategic planning, staff, sales, marketing and budgeting for the biannual event. Haroutunian will work closely with the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) to encourage growth opportunities for core partners and explore relationships with new markets. He fills the vacant position most recently held by Peter Devin.

“Kenji has cultivated exceptional relationships with many groups within the outdoor industry, especially with our partners at the OIA which I feel will greatly benefit all of our customers and the industry,” said Joseph Flynn, vice president, Nielsen Sports Group. “He is already tuned in to the needs of emerging and established manufacturers, chain retailers, specialty retailers and industry influencers, so we are confident he will hit the ground running. As the Outdoor Retailer shows continue to grow, we look forward to Kenji’s expert leadership and dedication.”

Haroutunian has been a member of the Nielsen Sports Group team since 1999, most recently as a senior account executive for the Outdoor Retailer and FlyFishing Retailer trade shows. He was instrumental in producing the acclaimed Backcountry Base Camp event at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market and also helped to develop Outdoor Retailer’s Green Steps program, an environmentally-conscious business model now being adopted by other Nielsen events.

“I am thrilled and honored to lead the Outdoor Retailer team,” commented Haroutunian. “The challenge of representing Nielsen’s integrated business solutions to the markets we serve is one I’m looking forward to meeting head on. For over 20 years I’ve been advocating for people to get outdoors, and I hope to continue my work from this new post, serving the industry with the same mission. It’s really exciting to see the energy out there for youth involvement, for preserving our natural resources and promoting an active, healthy lifestyle.”

Prior to his time with Nielsen Sports Group, Haroutunian spent 14 storied years at Adventure 16, where he ascended from salesperson to store manager. He has spent more than a decade teaching climbing and advanced outdoor skills through the American Mountain Guide Association and has worked with Outward Bound, Big City Mountaineers and Summit Youth Adventures, among others.

Haroutunian also served as president of the Friends of Joshua Tree, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historical tradition of climbing in Joshua Tree National Park. “Kenji understands the outdoor community’s needs and is passionate about our industry,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of the OIA. “Given Kenji’s excellent reputation and his expert knowledge of trade events, he will have the full support of the OIA in his new role. We congratulate him and look forward to working with Kenji and his team.”