Industry News 10/18/2016

K2 Sports Ramps Up Marketing Staff, Solidifies Organizational Structure


After a flurry of corporate news that brought into question K2 Sports’ future, the company made a statement about its health and longevity this week by naming multiple new hires within its marketing ranks. Valerie Long was named Marketing Manager – K2 Skis & Skates, Dan Mayers was promoted to Marketing Department Coordinator, and Adam Harkness stepped in as the new Social and Digital Media Strategist.

Valerie brings more than 20 years of marketing communications experience to K2 having previously worked on the agency and client side for multiple non-profits and major consumer brands. She will be responsible for overseeing the overall K2 brand message for ski and skate, trade shows, DTC strategy, campaign creation, influencer management, co-op marketing and creative management and communication. Valerie is an avid outdoor and winter sports enthusiast who gained her appreciation for the colder months while launching her career in the Northeast after college. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va. 

Dan Mayers, who previously worked in dealer services for K2 Sports, will manage all the behind-the-scenes work for the marketing department from direct consumer responses on social media to POP item fulfillment and marketing demo inventory management. Prior to K2 he worked as an instructor at Mammoth Mountain and served as a park ranger for the U.S. Forest Service in the Inyo National Forest around Mammoth Lakes. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geography/GIS from Utah State University and a business and marketing certificate from the University of Washington.

Adam Harkness joined K2 in September as Digital & Social Media Strategist to oversee the brand’s online presence. Adam most recently worked as the Email & Social Media Specialist for Full Circle in Seattle and as the Content Marketing Specialist for the Institute for Corporate Productivity in Seattle. He holds an MBA from the University of Alaska, Anchorage and a bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University.

The latest hires round out K2 Sports’ organizational structure formed in 2016 driven by several top influencers in the winter sports industry. Robert Marcovitch returned to the company as President earlier this year after helping elevate Coleman to new levels of success. During his previous tenure at the helm of K2, the company achieved eight consecutive years of steady, profitable growth in an always challenging environment. 

“I am pleased to say that K2 has quickly improved to a much healthier situation than it has experienced for the last few years.” Marcovitch said. “The new marketing team will give us the bandwidth to further establish K2’s brands as leaders in each of our disciplines, strengthen long-held relationships with our dealers and most importantly build excitement with our consumers.”

Alex Draper, who has worked with K2 Sports in product management and operational positions for 21 years, was named Global Vice President of Marketing responsible for marketing and product line management. He has been a member of K2 Sports’ executive team for the past seven years with responsibilities across its hardgoods, apparel, and footwear programs. 

“For K2, the foundation of great marketing is great product,” Draper said. “In keeping with K2’s pioneering legacy, we have aligned our organization and resources to fuel the next generation of exciting innovations. Our staff of seasoned vets and fresh-eyed newcomers are deeply connected with our customers and highly motivated to build participation in our sports. The energy and enthusiasm in the group is at an all-time high as we build the next wave of K2’s success.”

Hunter Waldron, an 18-year K2 veteran, is the new Global Brand Director for K2 Skis, Snowboards and Skates with responsibility for marketing vision, strategy, and execution. Valerie and Dan report to Hunter under the new marketing structure as well as Nick Meilleur, Marketing Specialist – Digital & Social, and Kjell Ellefson, Marketing Specialist – Athletes, Partners & Influencers. Nick has six years in professional video production and an Audiovisual Communication master’s degree from Stendhal University in Grenoble, France. Kjell is a former pro freeride telemark skier, digital media expert and, most recently, the photo editor for Freeskier.

Additionally, K2 brought back on Hayter Communications as its public relations agency of record. Agency founder Ryan Hayter was instrumental in building K2’s editorial presence as the company’s first in-house PR representative in the late ’90s and his agency later went on to manage consumer PR and strategic communication development for K2 Sports through 2012.

About K2 Sports

K2 Sports, based in Seattle, WA, has achieved unparalleled success through innovative product offerings and great customer service. The company operates 10 brands and is globally renowned for its non-traditional advertising, graphics, and high performance products throughout its portfolio. With wholly-owned subsidiaries in Canada, Central Europe, Japan, and Scandinavia and distribution in more than 60 countries, K2 Sports continues to assert its position as a global leader across multiple categories of sporting goods. For more, visit: http://www.k2sports.com