Shooting Sports Industry News: Savage Teams Fired Up; NSSF Launches New App

In the latest shooting sports industry news, the Savage Pro Shooting Team is ready to get into action in 2019 competitions.
Shooting Sports Industry News: Savage Teams Fired Up; NSSF Launches New App

Here are some updates and the latest shooting sports industry news:

The Savage Pro Shooting Team, which includes three new members, is set for the 2019 competition schedule.

“We are thrilled to have such strong shooters on our team,” said Beth Shimanski, marketing director for Savage. “Not only are these guys incredible competitors, but they are strong ambassadors for our brand. They also provide great research and development for us, as they are using our products day in and day out. They help us make our products even better.”

Savage’s F-Class Team, which has been shooting together for over a decade, is taking a break in 2019. Warren Dean will remain team captain and bring on new members for the 2020 season. In 2019, he will shoot with the US F-T/R Team in all team matches at the F Class Nationals and Southwest Nationals through February 2020.

Stan Pate, an original member of Team Savage, will shoot more PRS and practical rifle matches this season. He also plans to shoot some regional F-Class matches and teach classes to military and law-enforcement shooters. Mike Miller, a team member since 2013, plans to teach more in the precision-rifle and AR-based platforms, and compete in PRS, F-Class and 22 LR competitions. Monte Milanuk plans to shoot several F-Class matches in 2019 and will be an instructor at a precision rifle clinic.

The 2019 Pro Shooting Team is comprised of F-Class, PRS and 3-Gun shooters, including Dean, Pate, Miller and Milanuk. Other members include Patrick Kelley, the “king of heavy metal,” from Moses Lake, Wash., who has been a team member since 2016. He’s been shooting since he was 6 and has shot competitively since 1987. In addition, Larry Houck, of Louisburg, Kan., joined the team in 2018. He’s a nationally recognized top-level competitor in multiple disciplines spanning more than 25 years.

New 3-Gun Team Members

Also, the team features three new 3-Gun shooters, who also shoot in other disciplines. Josh Eernisse, a police officer from Leota, Minn., competes in USPSA, 3-Gun, NRL and clay-target sports. Logan Toland, also of Minnesota, received a 22 pistol for Christmas one year and fell in love with shooting. He is the youngest team member, at just 14 years old. Ryan Bartsch, of Denzil, Saskatchewan, is a 3-Gun shooter and pro-staff hunter.

“We are excited to see how the team performs this year,” Shimanski said. “We have a strong pipeline of products focused on competitive shooters and are eager to continue to grow our team.”

The squad’s 2019 schedule includes PRS, F-Class, long-range and 3-Gun matches throughout the country. Team members compete under the Savage name and use Savage products — sometimes stock from the factory. Competing in shooting events also lets the group interact with consumers and the shooting public.

Cole Joins Blue Heron Communications

Daren Cole has been named Partner and General Manager with Blue Heron Communications, a full-service, outdoor-specialty marketing agency based in Norman, Oklahoma.

The move is part of Blue Heron's strategic organizational changes designed to ensure the agency's continued thought leadership, exceptional client marketing, and eye on the future of outdoor public relations.

Daren Cole joins Blue Heron Communications in Oklahoma as Partner and General Manager.

"Our agency has always been about passion and proficiency," said Gary Guidice, Blue Heron Communications founder and owner. "Daren Cole is an exceptionally qualified leader and mentor. Our shared values and vision for Blue Heron Communications made this a tremendous opportunity to collaborate, building on both our history and our excitement for what is to come."

Cole will oversee Blue Heron Communications' expanding Norman office and provide strategic counsel to clients, spearheading the growth of the agency's work in hunting, fishing, tactical and shooting sports, conservation advocacy, boating and other outdoor recreational categories.

Cole has 27 years of experience in marketing and public relations in increasingly senior roles at leading outdoor companies including B.A.S.S., ESPN Outdoors, Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Marine. He most recently served as Global Marketing Director for Navico, currently the world's largest marine electronics company and the parent company to Lowrance, Simrad Yachting and B&G.

Cole currently serves the outdoor industry as board member and Treasurer/Secretary to the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. Cole also volunteers on the Take Me Fishing brand task force for the Recreational Fishing and Boating Foundation as representative of the Discover Boating initiative and National Marine Manufacturer's Association.

Established in 1987, Blue Heron's clients include Ranger Boats, Benelli USA, FoldAR, Boone & Crockett Club and a host of other industry-leading outdoor companies and brands.

NSSF Launches ‘My NSSF’ Mobile App

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry, has launched its “My NSSF” Mobile App.

“Smartphones and tablets have streamlined commerce and customer service for thousands of businesses. Providing such efficiency to our members through the new ‘My NSSF’ Mobile App is in keeping with our commitment to delivering the services and information our members need in the best possible manner,” said Mike Vrooman, NSSF Managing Director, Member Services.

The new app is available for iPhones and iPads through the Apple Store, and for Android devices through Google Play. The download is free, and once installed, NSSF members can log in and access the NSSF Store, the association’s comprehensive industry research offerings and a wide array of resources relating to store security, and OSHA and ATF compliance.

Users also can renew their membership, coordinate company contacts to ensure all staff members are receiving NSSF communications, and request assistance from NSSF staff.

“My NSSF” is available to all professionals in the firearms industry, and those who have not yet joined NSSF are encouraged to download the free app and explore the many resources the organization has to offer, including the NSSF Store, and learn how membership with the association benefits the firearms industry as a whole. New membership applications can be submitted directly through the app. For more information, visit

Adams Joins RubLine Marketing

Bo Adams has joined RubLine Marketing as Marketing Director for its portfolio of brands.

Bo Adams joins RubLine Marketing as Marketing Director.

Adams spent the last several years working for Drift Media Productions. Prior to his time there he worked as the Marketing Director for Campbell Cameras. Through those roles and others, Adams brings more than 13 years of industry experience to RubLine Marketing.

“Having worked extensively with the entire RubLine Marketing team in previous roles, we always knew one day we would work under the same roof,”Adams said. “With the company’s dramatic growth over the last several years the stars have aligned, and this move made sense. I am very excited for what the future holds and look forward to being a part of this powerhouse team.”

Adams will oversee content creation and media management and will play a vital role in the company’s business processes.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Mr. Adams to the team,” said RubLine president Chase Rohlfsen. "He will be responsible for go-to-market strategies and media creation for RubLine’s represented brands, and brings an experienced new skillset to our team.”

Bob Ward's Named Top Styrka NBS Dealer for 2018

Bob Ward's Outdoors & Sports received the 2018 NBS Dealer of the Year award from Styrka Optics at the 2019 Nation's Best Sports Show in Fort Worth, Texas.

Headquartered in Missoula, Montana, Bob Ward's is a full-service retailer with five stores in Montana and a strong customer base of hunters and recreational shooters.

"We've worked with Bob Ward's for a year-and-a-half now, and they are an extremely professional organization," said Brad Gross, Styrka's national sales manager. "They provide their customers with the full line of Styrka binoculars, rifle scopes, spotting scopes and red dots, and the staff at Bob Ward's really knows their optics. We couldn't have the success we're experiencing at Styrka without great dealers like Bob Ward's."

Bob Ward's was originally launched as a watch-repair shop in 1917. Ward was a well-known gunsmith, and a few years after opening his store he also began taking in firearms for repair and customization. From there, the business grew into today's store, an icon among Big Sky hunters, anglers and back-country enthusiasts.

Established in 1956, NBS is a buyer's group that provides independently-owned retailers the ability to effectively compete through aggressive purchasing, marketing and service opportunities. NBS is comprised of  more than 350 independent retail members representing more than 1,200 store fronts across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. NBS hosts six different buying market shows each year.

Sightmark Congratulates Kazanskis

Competitive shooter Marius Kazanskis, who is sponsored by Sightmark, was named Lithuania’s Top Rifle Shooter for 2018 after placing first in the Lithuanian Ranking 2018 – Rifle Semi-Auto Open division.

Sightmark competitive shooter Marius Kazanskis of Lithuania

Kazanskis earned the ranking after four ranked matches and a local season-closing match. Marius also placed second in a PCC division match on Christmas Day.

“I am very proud to be sponsored by Sightmark because they are a growing company with great value and quality balance in their product,” Kazanskis said, “I am very happy with my cooperation, communication and support that I get from them.”

In 2017, Marius asked for Sightmark’s support as part of his new project in the Baltic Region – Rifle/Carbine Competitions. Since then, Marius has won major Lithuanian IPSC events in pistol-caliber carbine competitions.

For being the No. 1 ranked Semi-Auto Open Rifle Shooter in Lithuania, Kazanskis has been invited to represent his country in the Rifle World Championship 2019 in Sweden. Kazanskis has competed on the world stage in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016 in European and World Handgun Championships.


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