Two-Minute Drill: Easton, NLL/Under Armour, Stahls’

Bat Digest (formerly Just Bat Reviews), which operates the largest online baseball and softball bat reviews site in the world, recently announced that Easton Diamond Sports has received an industry-leading 17 awards for its 2020 bat line. This is the first year of the Bat Digest Awards, a program that is one of the first of its kind —being conducted by an independent third-party organization. The Bat Digest Awards recognize premier innovations in baseball and softball bats, for all levels of competition.  Among its 17 total 2020 Bat Digest Awards, Easton’s ADV 360 BBCOR and Maxum 360 BBCOR baseball bats earned Diamond medallions. Also receiving a Diamond medallion was Easton’s ADV 360 USA baseball bats which also garnered 2020 Youth Bat of the Year honors for its -11 model. A Diamond medallion was also awarded to Easton’s Ghost Double Barrel fast-pitch bats, which also claimed the 2020 Bat Digest High School Bat of the Year award. Easton’s Fuze 360 Hybrid BBCOR and Alpha 360 baseball bats won Platinum medallions, as did Easton’s ADV 360 USSSA and Maxum 360 USSSA baseball bats which have been taking the travel ball world by storm.

The National Lacrosse League is extending its partnership with Team 22, the supplier and licensee of Under Armour lacrosse gear. Under Armour has supplied NLL teams with apparel, footwear and equipment since 2013.  The announcement is notable given Under Armour’s decision to cancel several other long-term contracts and leases in recent years amid a restructuring plan. (In 2018, the sportswear company announced it was pulling out of a deal with Major League Baseball that would have made it the official outfitter for the league.) The terms and length of the NLL deal were not included in an announcement released by the league. Through the partnership, NLL players will wear Under Armour gear in the league’s regular 2019-2020 season.

Josh Ellsworth has been promoted to senior VP–dealer and enterprise sales at GroupeStahl. Ellsworth, who started with Stahls’ in 1998, has moved up in the company as his experience and knowledge has grown. His most recent position was as VP–sales, dealer channel and prior to that he served as the general manager for Stahls’ CAD-CUT Direct.

Hibbett Sports has named Michael Longo as the company's new president and CEO. He will succeed Jeff Rosenthal, who announced plans to retire earlier this year. Longo previously served as CEO of Memphis-based retailer City Gear LLC, which Hibbett acquired in 2018. He established City Gear in 2006 and grew the company through a series of acquisitions. Prior to that, he held several leadership roles with AutoZone Inc. He also served on the board of directors for Heniff Transportation Co. and Exide Technologies. Longo is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and has an MBA from Harvard.

Dan Arment, president and CEO of Riddell and BRG Sports, has been elected as the new Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) chairman of the board for a one-year term. In addition, two new directors were elected, and five members were re-elected, to the SFIA Board of Directors for three-year terms. New additions to the board include: Ray Hilvert (New Balance) and Roman Oben (National Football League). In addition, the following board members were re-elected to three-year terms: Melissa Dawson (Molten USA), Rawleigh Grove (PING Golf), Scott McDonald (Body-Solid), Neil Morton (ATA International) and Marco Zambianchi (Technogym USA).