With the tagline “Fueled by Innovation,” KastKing is transforming its brand and product line from an online provider of entry-level rods and reels to a high-tech, performance fishing brand accessible online or through traditional brick-and-mortar retail. A huge step into that brick-and-mortar space is the recent partnership with Frontier Sales & Marketing, based in Katy, Texas.
The enthusiasm from KastKing CEO Al Noraker was apparent as he spoke from Bourgeois Fishing Charter & Lodge in southern Louisiana, where Noraker and his team were detailing the new KastKing rods and reels with the Frontier rep group.
“We had a great day going through the entire KastKing product line in a classroom setting, as well as on the water,” said Noraker. “Frontier Sales & Marketing has been around since 1999 and they’re a very experienced group, particularly in bass and inshore saltwater fishing. They’ve represented some very strong rod and reel brands in the past and the timing was perfect because they were without a factory rod and reel provider and were looking for a strong partner in that respect. We were looking for the same thing. It’s just such great timing, as we needed them and they needed us.”
“We are very excited to join the KastKing team,” said Denis Breaud, sales and business coordinator for Frontier. “The recent Southeast expansion by our agency has made this an ideal partnership. We were blown away by the quality of their products and the tremendous value they offer to the fishing consumer. This should be a fun ride!”
“Their presence in this retail market is so extensive, which is why we’re very fortunate to be partnered with them,” said Noraker. “Their many retail efforts include big retail chains like Academy, which has such a powerful retail presence in this geography. Of course, KastKing has an extensive lineup for all species of fish but we’re predominantly bass-focused. If you’re talking about those 15 states from Texas to Florida, you can’t be more bass-focused than that.
“The folks at Frontier will help us dive deep into the dealer market in the 15 southern states they cover. We look forward to continuing our efforts to launch our product lines further into retail and see our presence grow in those retail accounts. While we have great existing distribution through our distribution partners (Pitman Creek and Big Rock Sports, specifically), we needed a rep group that would be able to get on-hand training and product information to the dealer network. We found that Frontier was exactly that group. These guys are dealer-focused and spend a lot of time in front of the various dealers out there.
“This partnership is going to serve our customers very well. That’s the bottom line. It’s not always just about selling. Our position of strength is to make sure our ‘sell through’ is as strong as the initial ‘sell in’ to these retail locations.”
That philosophy is reflected in Eric Knickerbocker’s role at KastKing. Noraker created the title, “national sales strategist.”
“Eric is not there to ‘manage’ sales,” said Noraker. “His role is to make sure our customers are supported after they purchase our products, whether it’s via social media, marketing efforts, product knowledge, you name it, we intend to make sure they love KastKing as a leading brand in their stores and have as much success as possible with our products.
“The unique technology and innovation in all the new ‘master class’ retail products we’re bringing to market require face-to-face training to properly explain those details so Frontier can then properly explain and educate the retailers for us. The new iReel is a great example, where they can see the reel in action as it’s providing real-time casting metrics such as retrieve speed, casting distance, and so forth. That’s something we can explain in a meeting room, but one needs to experience it in person by making casts and hearing it provide real-time casting metrics, as well as seeing how it controls overruns. I think it was pretty impressive for them to experience.
“I want people to understand that KastKing is not just an entry-level line of fishing gear. We are truly a technology company and, with our ‘Fueled by Innovation’ slogan, that’s truly what we’re all about.”