Ken Hammond, Founder

and Director Emeritus

The Hammond Group

With over 40 years of experience in the sporting goods and outdoor products industry, Ken Hammond was the founder and is now the very active Director Emeritus of The Hammond Group.


 Ken started out in the sporting goods distribution business after attending Baylor University in Texas and began his training with the world's largest distributor of outdoor products, both to the retail market and the U.S.  Military.  He quickly moved through the ranks from sales rep to National Sales Manager and ultimately Vice President General Manager of U.S. Tackle of Chicago, a division of B.C. Recreational Industries.

In the late 1970's, Ken decided to go into business for himself and joined Doug Gleason & Associates as an independent sales rep.  Two years later, he purchased the company.  The name changed to The Hammond Group in 1985, at the same time the company moved to a new corporate headquarter facility  just outside of Chicago.

While building the business, Ken was also involved as a partner in a number of retail and manufacturer ventures and, at the same time, utilizes his expertise within and outside of the industry as a member of numerous boards of directors and as a business consultant and speaker.  Ken has been an active board member of CPC for many years.  He also serves on the board of Benchmade Company.

Ken has served two terms as president of T.S.S.A. and is a lifetime member of their board.  He has served on product development councils of many manufacturers that THG represented over the years.


RBFF (Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation) recently announced...."Returning to the Board is Ken Hammond of The Hammond Group, an independent sporting goods and outdoor product sales company. Hammond was a member of RBFF’s Board of Directors from 2003 until 2016, when Jeff Marble took over his role as Chairman of the Board. Ken once again brings over 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the fishing and outdoor recreation industry to the table. Through initiatives like “Hook a Kid on Fishing” and others, Hammond has worked to keep youth out of drugs and in school. In addition to RBFF’s Board, Hammond has served on several fishing and boating industry boards, including the American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association (AFTMA), the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Sport Fishing Institute (SFI)."

This year Ken was honored to be inducted into the coveted "Rapala Hall of Fame" in recognition of his many years of service, commitment and unending hardwork for the brand and the outdoor sporting goods industry as a whole.

In 2016, Marc Smith and John Foley purchased The Hammond Group from Ken.  They continue the legacy of excellence in sales and marketing that has been the hallmark of The Hammond Group for over 40 years.

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