For the second year in row, the Coach & Connect program, co-sponsored by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association International and the Sporting Goods Agents Association was a jam-packed event, attended by sales agents who were given the opportunity to network with top manufacturers, retailers & industry executives.

The eight “mentors” who sat at individual round-tables and shared their expertise and advise were:

  • CEO Julie Nimmons, Schutt Sports
  • CEO Bob Mang, Galyan’s
  • VP Steve Wheeler, MJ Soffe
  • Editor Michael Pallerino, Sports Edge Magazine
  • President Pat Battle, Collegiate Licensing Co.
  • Chairman and CEO Craig Levra, Sport Chalet
  • President Jim Chick, Chick’s Sporting Goods and
  • Brent Charles, RPMS – Rep Profit Management Systems

Facilitator of Coach & Connect was Rusty Saunders, SportsOneSource, who chaired the event during the first day of The Super Show in January in Las Vegas. SGMA International and SGAA are committed to developing educational programs that strengthen the rep-principal-buyer relationships and are already working on next year’s session which will take place in Orlando, Florida when The Super Show opens there in January 2004.

Immediately following the close of the one and one-half hour program, the SGAA’s Annual Meeting was opened and first on the agenda was the awarding of the Sales Rep of the Year, presented by SPORTS EDGE magazine to Dave Newton, Crown Sports Sales Inc., Richmond, VA and to Larry Hartford, Hartford Sales Group, Laguna Niguel, CA.

SGAA’s president Norm Lamming, Sports West Sales Inc., Brea, CA turned the gavel over to newly elected head of the Association, Gary Niland, Gary Niland & Associates Inc., Waltham, MA who introduced Ben Borsellino, RBC & Associates, New York, NY as the appointed vice president of this 69 year old trade group.

Lifetime Sales Achievement Awards were given to long-time rep members Kearney Leger, Sunbelt Sports Inc., Lafayette, LA and Richard Krenzien, Krenzien, Krenzien & Associates, Northbrook, IL, and Bob Minihane, Bob Minihane & Associates, Inc., Waltham, MA was honored with the SGAA’s Hall of Fame.

All inquiries on Coach & Connect or SGAA can be directed to Lois Halinton, COO, at or phone 847-296-3670.

Other Agent Notes:

  • SalesTech Associates has been appointed by Riddell to take on the New England area for their consumer products division for all NFL and NCAA helmet sales, according to President Seth Cook.

    In addition, The Peter David Line of Licensed Pins was added to their portfolio for the states of MA, CT, RI, NH, ME, VT & NY.

    Majestic Athletic awarded SalesTech the coveted “President’s Club” honor for their sales volume, having received the “Agency of the Year” 12 months ago.

    Cook recently added William McGovern to his associate group, along with Mariann Saulenas, newly acquired administrative assistant. Sales Tech at 508-885-7013 or by e-mail

  • Tom Bard, Tom Bard & Associates, an SGAA member since 1980 covering CA & NV, announced during the Super Show that he is officially retiring as an independent agent. We wish him health and happiness in his new endeavor.

The SGAA officers and directors have voted to meet twice a year for their board sessions, according to President Gary Niland. Following their Super Show meeting in January, the board will assemble at the NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit next May, 2003, at the new JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.