He’s one of Colorado’s bad asses, and one of the ski industry’s “6 Most Charismatic Icons.” And if you talk to any journalist at OR or SIA, they’ll agree: Eric Henderson has long been one of our industry’s favorite PR dudes for his walk-the-talk product knowledge and the unwaveringly positive attitude and enthusiasm he brings to everything he does.
It’s for all of these reasons—and more—that we’re thrilled to have Hende join the AIM Outdoor Group as Sales Development Director (SNEWS is one of the titles that Hende will work on). “All the AIM Outdoor Group brands are experiencing an overwhelming transformation in how we talk to our audience, especially through digital methods,” says general manager Kent Ebersole. “Having Eric on board adds a laser beam focus to the goal of creating a more impactful marketing experience for the brands we work with and the people who consume our content.” Hende starts his new gig on March 28.
Hende started his career in the outdoor industry in 2001, as an athlete, ski designer and guide. He later worked with Chris Denny at Denny Ink, he was Communications Manager at Dynafit/Salewa for 2+ years, and was most recently a Senior Account Executive at Backbone Media, working with Smartwool, Yeti, and TGR.
As you would expect from Hende, he’s fired up about his new gig. We sat down with him over a few pints to get the scoop.
SNEWS This ain’t your average PR job. What made you decide to move in a new direction?
EHI have small addiction to gear and the people that come with it. I started sneaking on to the Outdoor Retailer show floor in 1999. The opportunity to work with SNEWS, Backpacker, SKI, Climbing, Skiing and all the AIM (Outdoor) titles is a fitting progression for someone with my addiction. This decision to move away from traditional PR and amplify AIM’s online presence combines all my favorite activities and passions into one job.
SNEWS So, what will you be doing in your new role, besides spreading the stoke?
EH Beyond spreading the outdoor stoke from the mountain to the trail, I will be a conduit for ideas, tools, and assets for growing content, sponsorship, and client relations. I plan on working with the senior staff to develop rich editorial, plus create a new dynamic and informative gear platform, while developing a video content hub. In a nutshell AIM Outdoors is open for business and if you want your brand to grow authentically in today’s digital landscape, let’s talk.
SNEWS Through the years, what’s motivated and inspired you?
EHI don’t know—it’s not all the money in the outdoor world. Skiing, climbing and hiking has made my life what it is today, so I feel an incredible level of drive to expose this world to the younger generations. I remember being inspired to get outside and take chances by reading early issues of Backpacker and SKI Magazine. Now I have the ability to help inspire others. I’m just old enough to relate to the older buyers and pioneers that shaped the industry, yet young enough- in spirit - to hang with today’s young bucks. Lastly, one of my personal goals is to highlight minorities in the outdoors and build awareness around special needs athletes that are climbing, skiing and backpacking.
SNEWS What’s on your personal bucket list?
EH I’ve been fortunate enough to travel, explore and recreate around the world. My bucket list consists of sharing the natural world with my family [wife , Megan, Selah (12), Maite (5), Judah (3)] and planning some big expeditions with friends. When the timing is right, there’s a ski expedition in Asia that I am destined to complete.
SNEWSWhere can people find you at this summer’s OR show if they want to give you a high five?
EHYou can find me in trenches where all the magic happens, or sneaking the next young kid onto the show floor.