The Sportsman's Guide
|Industry||Internet & Retail|
|Headquarters||South St. Paul, MN, United States|
|Area served||North America, South America, Europe & Asia Pacific|
|Products||Clothing, outdoor gear, ammunition, shooting supplies|
|Parent||Northern Tool + Equipment|
The Sportsman’s Guide is a privately-held direct marketer and internet retailer of hunting gear, fishing gear, military surplus, ammunition and outdoor sporting goods. The company was founded by Gary Olen in 1970, and the first Sportsman’s Guide catalog mailed in 1976. As of 2012, The Sportsman’s Guide employs about 700 people.
The Sportsman’s Guide was founded by Gary Olen, getting its start in his basement in the winter of 1970. The first product, a patch for hunting jackets detailing the previous year’s trophy success, immediately proved popular with hunters across the country.
The first Sportsman’s Guide catalog was just one page, landing in-home just in time for the hunting season opener in 1977. An immediate success, the catalog grew rapidly in size, and soon became “Gary Olen’s Hand-picked, Field-tested Outdoor Gear at Ridiculously Low Prices!” Produced by outdoorsmen for outdoorsmen, the catalog maintained a “pull no punches/shoot straight from the hip” style that was well-received by the customer base.
In 1991, the company trademarked the term “The Fun to Read Catalog”, a phrase that has appeared on almost every catalog since.
By 1992, The Guide was mailing eight outdoor gear and clothing catalogs annually. 1994 saw the first mailing of the Government Surplus catalog. The inaugural ammunition and shooting catalog followed in 1995, along with initial mailings of footwear and clothing, deer hunting, and cutlery catalogs. The camping and outdoor living catalog first mailed in 1997, as did the gift catalog. In 2010, the company mailed its first Work Wear Savings catalog, and in 2011 the first Boating Savings catalog reached homes. As of 2012, The Sportsman’s Guide mails 63 catalogs annually.
Though it began as a hunting company, The Sportsman’s Guide has, over time, expanded its range to include ammunition, shooting supplies and accessories, clothing and footwear, camping gear, items for home, garden & patio, electronics, optics, gifts, sports & recreation, and truck & ATV items.
The Sportsman’s Guide headquarters is located in So. St. Paul, Minnesota. The Sportsman’s Guide catalog and website, WorkWearSavings.com, TruckMonkey.com, and a retail store all operate from the 330,000-square-foot building located on Farwell Avenue.
The Sportsman’s Guide started as a hunting gear company, first offering bragging rights hunting patches that hunters could sew onto their hunting clothing, via space ads in magazines. Since that time, the company has greatly expanded the product lines it offers, and mails several specialty catalogs besides the monthly main catalog…including HQ Military Surplus, Shooter’s Ammunition and Shooting Accessories, Camping and Outdoor Living, Work Wear Savings, Holiday and Christmas Gifts, Hunting, and Buyer’s Club Advantage catalogs .
The product categories on the website include: Ammo & Shooting, Boating & Fishing, Camping & Outdoor, Clothing, Footwear, Gifts & Electronics, Home & Outdoor Living, Hunting, Military Surplus, Optics, Personal Accessories, Sports & Recreation, Tool, and Truck & ATV .
The Sportsman’s Guide has two specialty websites.
WorkWearSavings.com offers name-brand men’s and women’s work clothing and footwear at discount prices. The site launched in March, 2010, and mailed its first catalog in August, 2010 .
TruckMonkey.com opened for business on November 5, 2012. The site offers an expansive selection of running boards, step tubes, grille guards, tonneau covers, floor mats, seat covers and more, from name brands like Lund, Husky, Weathertech, Curt, DeeZee, and AutoVentShade. Customers can shop by make, model, and year, and can easily find products for their specific make/model of vehicle.The site, which boasts “Thousands of Truck Accessories and Parts at Discount Prices” immediately offered users 49,000 items at the time of launch, steadily expanding the offerings since that time so that customers will find over 300,000 offerings today.
Private Label Brands
The Sportsman’s Guide also has three private label brands made up of items designed and sourced by company team members.
Guide Gear®, The Sportsman’s Guide first proprietary brand, was introduced in March 1996. Each piece of gear and clothing in the line has been personally designed by the company’s buyers, who also oversee production. One of the first Guide Gear items was a 2000-gram Thinsulate Insulation Sentinel Boot, one of the first 2000-gram boots to reach the market.
The CASTLECREEK® brand offers items for the home. The brand made its debut in the October, 2012 issue of The Sportsman’s Guide’s monthly main catalog. Its first items - an Electric Stove Heater and Microfiber Down and Feather Blanket, among others - proved popular with customers.
The HQ ISSUE® brand consists of rigorously-tested tactical gear and clothing. The line made its debut in October 2012, with a line-up of military-inspired BDU clothing, flashlights, tents, and knives.
The Sportsman’s Guide Buyer’s Club Advantage Catalog was introduced in January 1995. Club Members pay an annual fee for a year of benefits including 10% off at Sportsman’sGuide.com, WorkWearSavings.com, and TruckMonkey.com (5% off on ammunition); access to Club-only bargains and sneak previews; use of the 4-pay plan for orders of $150 or more; and exclusive ordering and customer service hotlines.
The Sportsman’s Guide Buyer’s Club Reward Visa Card is available to qualifying Club Members who get an instant, additional 2.5% discount on every order, in addition to their Buyer’s Club 10% discount, plus reward points equal to 1% back on all purchases outside The Sportsman’s Guide.
The Sportsman’s Guide has launched iPhone, iPad and Android apps, as well as a mobile e-commerce site that automatically optimized the website display to the smartphone or mobile device being used .
The Sportsman’s Guide expanded shipping to Canada in 2010, creating a website specifically for Canadian customers. Then, on July 8, 2011, the company launched the “worldwide” website in over 90 countries, making it possible to convert currencies and accept international orders.
Located at the company’s Headquarters in So. St. Paul, MN, the retail store offers clearance and overstock items at liquidation prices, plus a catalog will-call. The retail store celebrated its grand opening in October 1994. Regular hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. most of the year.
Customers can find The Sportsman’s Guide on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Linked In.
The Guide Outdoors section of SportsmansGuide.com puts a vast collection of outdoor-related news and information together in one place. Customers can find the latest articles on outdoor activities, along with tips, maps, local weather forecasts, DNR information, columns by experts, gear reviews, vacation planning, ballistics charts, local weather information, recipes…and more.
Northern Tool + Equipment, a global direct-to-consumer retailer of tools, power equipment, generators, tarps and trailers, agreed to purchase The Sportsman’s Guide from The PPR Group, a French retail and luxury group, in December 2012 .
About Northern Tool + Equipment
Northern Tool + Equipment has been a supplier of high-quality tools and equipment founded and owned by the Kotula family for more than 30 years, selling products through direct mail, the Internet and at 80 retail locations in 16 states. Along with a deep selection of hand, power and air tools, Northern Tool + Equipment carries a wide variety of products, including generators, pressure washers, air compressors, hydraulics, small engines, trailers, water pumps, tractors, welding equipment and much more. Northern Tool + Equipment also serves as the exclusive distributor of NorthStar brand equipment, which is fabricated and assembled at the company’s 250,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility located in Faribault, Minn. Northern Tool + Equipment’s corporate headquarters are located in Burnsville, Minn. 
1. Omastiak, Rebecca. “The Sportsman’s Guide Caters to Survivalists with New Products”. Twin Cities Business Magazine. 2013-4-3. Link: http://tcbmag.com/News/Recent-News/2013/April/The-Sportsmans-Guide-Launches-Survival-Gear-to-Gr (INTRO)
2. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Link: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4807:n5nh26.2.7 (HISTORY)
3. About The Sportsman’s Guide. Link: http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/main/About.aspx
5. “The Sportsman’s Guide Launches WorkWearSavings.com”. PRWeb. 2010-6-8. Link: http://www.prweb.com/releases/The-Sportsmans-Guide/WorkWearSavings/prweb4100414.htm
6. “The Sportsman’s Guide Launches TruckMonkey.com”. PRWeb. 2012-11-29. Link: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/11/prweb10185369.htm (EXCLUSIVE BRANDS)
7. “The Sportsman’s Guide Launches New Private Label Home Product Line.” PRWeb. 2012-12-6. Link: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/12/prweb10208682.htm
8. “The Sportsman’s Guide Launches Military-Inspired HQ ISSUE™ Brand”. MilitarySpot.com. 2012-12-13. Link: http://www.militaryspot.com/news/the-sportsmans-guide-launches-military-inspired-hq-issue-brand/
9. About The Buyer’s Club. Link: http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/club/ClubTour.aspx
10. About The Buyer’s Club Credit Card. https://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/checkout/adscreditcardapply.aspx?sm=1
11. Palmer, Alex. “The Sportsman’s Guide Launches Mobile Apps, e-Commerce Site”. Direct Marketing News. 2010-10-11. Link: http://www.dmnews.com/the-sportsmans-guide-launches-mobile-apps-e-commerce-site/article/180812/
12. Tode, Chantal. “The Sportsman’s Guide Ups Investment in Mobile to Reach On-the-Go Outdoorsmen.” Mobile Commerce Daily. 2011-12-9. Link: http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/the-sportsman%E2%80%99s-guide-ups-investment-in-mobile-to-reach-on-the-go-outdoorsmen
13. Brohan, Mark. “Northern Tool acquires Sportsman’s Guide and Golf Warehouse”. InternetRetailer.com. 2012-11-9. Link: http://www.internetretailer.com/2012/11/09/northern-tool-acquires-sportsmans-guide-and-golf-warehouse
14, “Northern Tool + Equipment Enters Agreement To Acquire The Sportsman’s Guide and The Golf Warehouse.” BUSINESS WIRE 2012-11-8. Link: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20121108005989/en/Northern-Tool-Equipment-Enters-Agreement-Acquire-Sportsman’s