Sports Tape: KT wants to bring it to the next level
Steve’s breakdown: When companies talk this big when hiring a CMO, I love to call them out on it. “Okay, you want growth, let’s do growth.”
LINDON, UT: KT Health, LLC, parent company to KT Tape and the leading producer of kinesiology tape and related sports medicine products in the retail market, announced today that marketing veteran Russell Schleiden has joined the company as Chief Marketing Officer.
Schleiden joins KT Health with a wealth of experience in branded marketing on behalf of several Fortune 500 companies including Kraft Foods, Hostess Brands, Miller Brewing Company and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Marketing at Talking Rain/Sparking ICE where he created its brand strategy, vision, product innovation and grew sales of the beverage brand from $80 million to $500 million. He also led all aspects of marketing including brand marketing; customer marketing; trade marketing; field marketing and events; customer service and new product innovation. Prior to that role, he served as Director of Marketing for Hostess Brands where he led the development of a new Hostess Direct business that created a new direct-to-market operating business for Hostess Brands.
In his new role, Schleiden will be responsible for developing and driving the brand’s marketing strategy along with growing sales both domestically and abroad. He will also manage the brand’s partnerships with current athlete endorsers Kerri Walsh-Jennings and James Harden, look to increase endorsers and oversee the field marketing team which includes all events and trade shows where the brand will have a presence. Additionally, he will work with and expand the brand’s stable of retailer partners and oversee a roll out of new products in 2016.
“As an athlete, I have always been familiar and interested in KT Tape,” said Schleiden. “I am very excited to join such a growing and fast-paced organization that is already the kinesiology tape category leader. With my 25 years of brand marketing experience, I look forward to working hand in hand with CEO Greg Venner in providing our customers with the best kinesiology tape on the market and have athletes of all types, from weekend warriors to professional athletes making KT Tape a part of their everyday training routine. 2016 will be a very exciting year for the brand, and I am looking forward to being a part of it.”
Venner added, “Russ brings with him a great history of building strong, successful brands. To grow a brand 1000% in four years like he did with Sparkling ICE is remarkable, and we look forward to having him lead our marketing efforts here at KT Tape.”
A West Point graduate, Schleiden spent six years in the United States Army as an Army Officer, and helicopter pilot. He is an avid sports enthusiast and has two daughters.
ABOUT KT TAPE
KT Health (dba KT Tape), based in Lindon, Utah, is the category leader in sports medicine taping products — providing pain relief solutions and support for hundreds of common sports-related injuries. Used by professional athletes, Olympians, and every day athletes, KT Tape products have been adopted in nearly every sport. Following the 2008 Beijing Olympics, KT Tape experienced accelerated growth as its products became widely available in retail channels. Currently, KT Tape products are sold in over 35,000 retail locations in the U.S. and 70 countries worldwide. KT Tape’s broad distribution covers sporting goods, food, drug and mass retail channels, as well as clinicians, online retailers, and the company’s own e-commerce site, kttape.com. KT Tape empowers consumers with a wealth of educational resources, including a vast library of online videos and on-site demonstrations at more than 150 athletic events each year. KT Tape’s official athlete endorsements of three-time NBA All-Star James Harden and international volleyball star and three-time Olympic gold-medalist, Kerri Walsh-Jennings continue to create visible awareness for the brand. With new innovations and an expanding product line, KT Tape continues to strengthen its global presence. For more information, visit www.kttape.com.