VAN NUYS, Calif.– Easton Sports today announced the hiring of Duke Stump as Senior Vice President of Culture, Creative and Brand Innovation. Additionally, the company appointed Mike Zlaket as Executive Vice President and General Manager; named Matt Arndt as Senior Vice President Product Management; and tapped Doug Appleton as General Manager of the lacrosse division. The four will work to advance the Easton Sports brand banner that includes hockey, baseball/softball and lacrosse.
“This marks the beginning of an exciting turning point for the brand. Duke, Mike, Matt and Doug are dynamic leaders whose expertise will be essential in connecting with our passionate consumer bases,” said Chris Zimmerman, President of Easton Sports. “As we look to redefine the company’s messaging into one singular voice, having these experienced executives working collaboratively is crucial in the rebirth of the Easton brand. They have an enormous responsibility for extending our heritage in groundbreaking product.”
Renowned as one of the top branding architects, Stump will be integral in the development and design of Easton products, along with managing the brand’s storytelling and consumer facing communications. Prior to joining Easton Sports, Stump was the Principal and Chief Architect at The Northstar Manifesto where he focused on cultivating and nurturing positive systemic change-makers within organizations. He also spent almost 20 years fostering possibility and innovation at two luminary brands.
Stump was previously Chief Marketing Officer for Seventh Generation, responsible for leading a gifted team focused on brand, product innovation, design, communications, corporate responsibility and consumer insights. While at NIKE he enjoyed a variety of senior executive leadership roles in brand, product and sales spanning 15 years. As Vice President of Product Marketing he was key in revolutionizing the NIKE Bauer hockey brand. His leadership experience at NIKE was instrumental in framing his core beliefs and principles around culture, the power of the human spirit and the artistry of insights. He also played hockey for the University of Vermont and professionally in Sweden.
An experienced leader with nearly 20 years at the company, Zlaket has managed both the Easton Baseball/Softball and Riddell brands. As Executive Vice President and General Manager, Zlaket will build upon his long, successful track record of maximizing value for the company’s retailers and consumers through a combination of innovative product, pricing, margins, and service. His guidance and steady hand in building solid partnerships have created strong equity and trust as the brand looks to expand and drive core categories for the future.
Matt Arndt has been with the Easton brand for 19 years and in that time he’s developed a variety of groundbreaking products for baseball, softball and hockey. In his new position, Arndt will drive product management working closely with the brand’s research and development division to transform the team sports marketplace. He will work closely with Stump as they look to connect with consumers via innovative products that meet the demands of today’s athletes.
Doug Appleton brings a lifetime of experience to lacrosse as a player, coach and equipment developer. In 2005, his passion led to the founding Talon Lacrosse, a designer and developer of lacrosse equipment. In January 2010, Easton Sports acquired Talon Lacrosse, where Appleton is charged with overseeing the expansion of the Company’s newest division.
About Easton Sports
Easton Sports is a developer, manufacturer, marketer and distributor of baseball, softball, hockey, and lacrosse equipment for both sports professionals and enthusiasts. Easton Sports focuses on its ability to innovate and create products of unmatched quality and performance including the #1 bat in the College World Series®, Women’s College World Series®, Little League World Series®, and Slow-Pitch Softball, as well as the #1 stick and #1 glove in the National Hockey League. Headquartered in Van Nuys, Calif., Easton Sports employs over 1,200 people worldwide and maintains facilities in Utah, California, Mexico, Canada and Asia. For further information, please visit the company online at www.eastonsports.com.