Backcountry Announces Executive Leadership Changes
Backcountry, the premier online specialty retailer of premium outdoor gear, accessories and apparel, announces today that its board of directors has named Melanie Cox chief executive officer, effective immediately. Additionally, Sarah Crockett will join the executive leadership team in the newly created role of chief marketing officer, effective June 15. The new leadership additions to Backcountry signify a new epoch for the brand moving forward.
Prior to joining Backcountry, Cox served as interim CEO at rue21 where she successfully led the national fashion retailer and prepared it for its next phase of growth. Cox brings more than 25 years of executive and senior-level experience in the retail industry, ranging from moderate to luxury fashion, as well as home goods, beauty, and toys. She has served in senior leadership roles at Wet Seal, Scoop NYC, and Urban Outfitters. She is also the founder of MBC Consulting, where she advised private equity and corporate clients on retail industry trends, identifying opportunities in the market, risk assessment and strategic direction, among other things.
“Backcountry is a phenomenal brand with an important position in the outdoor space and I am delighted to be joining the talented and hard-working team,” says Melanie Cox. “The strong fundamentals and terrific leadership team position Backcountry to capitalize on the growing interest in outdoor experiences and the tailwinds behind the e-commerce space. Backcountry was founded on the notion that by providing people with the best gear and expertise, it can connect people with the outdoors, and I see great potential for the brand by focusing on this opportunity.”
Cox was appointed to Backcountry’s board of directors in the first quarter of 2020 to advise on the company’s long-term business strategy. As the brand enters a new era with consumer habits increasingly shifting to e-commerce in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cox sees tremendous potential for the brand to engage new and existing customers and leverage meaningful relationships beyond purchasing gear and apparel.
“Melanie brings deep, extensive retail industry experience that positions her to accelerate Backcountry and solidify its position as a best-in-class e-commerce retailer and the next generation’s favorite outdoor retail brand,” says Blythe Jack, managing director, TSG Consumer Partners, Backcountry’s financial and strategic partner, and member of Backcountry’s board of directors. “She has an impressive track record of developing brands in many stages of their life cycles across different industries, and we firmly believe that under her leadership Backcountry will be best positioned for the long-term. We want to thank the previous CEO, Jonathan Nielsen, for his significant contributions and look forward to continuing a great partnership with the entire Backcountry team.”
Also joining Backcountry’s executive team, Sarah Crockett will serve as chief marketing officer. In this newly formed role, Crockett will lead marketing efforts for Backcountry and its portfolio of brands, including Competitive Cyclist, Motosport.com, Bergfreunde and Steep & Cheap. Crockett will be responsible for the growth and evolution of the brand by leading sales and marketing initiatives to ensure effective sales management, customer engagement, new business partnerships and product development. Prior to Backcountry, Crockett served as CMO at Burton Snowboards, where she oversaw creative and marketing for the global organization for two years. She previously served in leadership roles at Vans, REI and Lucky Brand Jeans.
“I’m elated to join the team at Backcountry and make the move to Park City with my family,” says Sarah Crockett. “Backcountry is a brand that stands for something bigger than the products it sells, and I am excited to fully unlock the unique value that it can offer to the modern outdoor segment. I’m confident that I can help lead the talented teams that are in place to realize the brand’s full potential and achieve meaningful milestones for both our business and the greater outdoor industry.”
Backcountry.com is the premier online retailer of outdoor gear for snow sports, hiking, camping, paddling, biking, climbing, fly fishing, and more, including a wide selection of premium apparel. Backcountry’s mission is to connect people to their passions by supplying customers with the gear, knowledge, and inspiration necessary to find their backcountry. Backcountry does this by curating the biggest and best assortment of premium outdoor products, personalized Gearhead expertise, inspirational content, and fast fulfillment. The Backcountry family of companies includes Competitive Cyclist, MotoSport.com, Steep&Cheap, and Bergfreunde.de, based in Germany.
About Backcountry Gear & Apparel:
Backcountry Gear & Apparel builds upon the brand’s 23 years of retail and product expertise, as well as insight gained from interactions between its in-house expert team of Gearheads™ and customers. Since 2018, Backcountry has released collections in winter pursuit, mountain biking, climbing, lifestyle, and more. Brand partnerships have been a cornerstone of Backcountry’s product lines, including collaborations with Burton, Black Diamond, GORE-TEX Technology, DPS Skis, and more leading outdoor brands.
About TSG Consumer Partners LLC:
TSG Consumer Partners, LLC is a leading private equity firm focused exclusively on the branded consumer sector. Since its founding in 1987, TSG has been an active investor in the food, beverage, restaurant, fitness, beauty, personal care, household, apparel & accessories, and e-commerce sectors. Representative past and present partner companies include Backcountry, SweetWater Brewing Company, Power Stop, Duckhorn Wine Company, Planet Fitness, IT Cosmetics, REVOLVE, BrewDog, Canyon Bicycles, Dutch Bros, Pabst, vitaminwater, thinkThin, popchips, Stumptown, Smashbox Cosmetics and e.l.f. Cosmetics. For more information, visit tsgconsumer.com.