In an effort to better emphasize and leverage its portfolio of team sports brands, Russell Corporation has created an integrated Russell/Spalding Team Sports Group to manage all team dealer efforts for the Russell Athletic, Spalding, Huffy Sports, Bike Athletic, and Dudley brands. The new group, which will report directly to Russell Athletic CEO Calvin Johnston, will focus on consolidated sales and marketing efforts for the brands while product development will stay within the current brand management structure.
John Sabol, who had previously been focused on Bike Athletic marketing, has been named director of marketing for the new Russell/Spalding Team Sports Group. Gary Barfield, who has been VP of team sports for Russell Athletic, will assume the same role for the new Group.
Mr. Sabol told SEW that the new Group will still have separate warehousing and distribution for now, but the sales team has been fully integrated. The new sales team is comprised of about 45 sales execs, with a mix of both Russell and Spalding reps filling the roles. The team is reportedly more heavily weighted towards Russell reps due to the heavy apparel focus for the Group.
The retail business for Russell Athletic and Bike Athletic will continue to report to Mr. Johnston in his role as Russell Athletic CEO, while the retail component of the Spalding, Dudley and Huffy Sports business will continue to report to Scott Creelman, CEO of Spalding.