169: Gareth Richards bridging the gap between outdoor industry professionals, brands and specialty retailers

“Our business model is based on trust and that’s a big statement, right? …So many credible brands trust us with the authentication process that we have, the employees that we have to have their best interests at heart. And then we do it”

– Gareth Richards


  • By sticking to their original business model, Outdoor Prolink offers exclusive membership to active industry professionals
  • Hear how guides are the original influencers bridging the gap between brands and consumers
  • With a database of over 130,000 members, Outdoor Prolink still provides a customized experience for their members


For specialty brands and businesses, referrals and recommendations from industry pros are a make it or break it tool and ultimately, a channel in and of itself. I invited Gareth Richards, CEO of Outdoor Prolink on the podcast for this episode to offer insight into the Outdoor Prolink membership, and how the members continue to drive the relationship between brands, specialty retail stores and consumers. 

Outdoor Prolink was created to connect outdoor industry professionals directly with brands. Through a handbuilt approach for accepting applicants and monitoring members, they’ve grown immensely over the years and now have a database of over 130,000 industry professionals. They have never wavered from their original business model and still require proof of employment and annual verification to continue membership.

Influencer marketing has existed since the dawn of time, though it hasn’t always been known as it is today. Guides, along with specialty retail associates, were the original influencers offering advice for newcomers in the sport on which gear and equipment they used and put full trust in to keep them safe. What Outdoor Prolink does is continue to build the relationship between brands and outdoor industry professionals through a tech driven platform, which eventually drives consumers to independently owned retailers. 

With a quickly changing landscape, brands and retailers should be focused on consumer centricity now more than ever. The members of Outdoor Prolink offering third-party testimonials continue to drive consumers directly to retail and master their channel.


Gareth Richards

Gareth Richards is CEO and owner of Outdoor ProLink. He has a demonstrated history of working in the sporting goods industry and is skilled in retail, sales, event management, team building, and sporting goods. He is a strong business development professional with a MA focused in Experiential Education from University of Colorado at Boulder.


Outdoor prolink, outdoor influencers, newcomers to outdoors, the consumer ecosystem, connecting brands with consumers, automation, COVID-19 and the outdoor industry


“The power of the outdoor educator or the guide, their word, his or her word is incredible. Right? So what we told, what I told him and what I’ve told hundreds of people since – Hey, go get these rock shoes, go get these approaches, go get this water filter, go get whatever you want. They go buy whatever or whatever their client list that tells them to go by.”

“So we have these rubrics that are tried and tested, and we revisit these rubrics every quarter, every six months to make them better. So the people, the pros who are getting access, getting a membership to Outdoor Prolink, truly are professionals in the outdoor industries. And, and we check every single person, making sure that they are legitimate…”

“…Outdoor Prolink is all about sharing stories and helping advise people buy the right gear for the right adventure.”

“Our business model is based on trust and that’s a big statement, right? …So many credible brands trust us with the authentication process that we have, the employees that we have to have their best interests at heart. And then we do it. We do a great job with our marketing team in reviewing product, telling stories about our members, of our guides, instructors and sharing that on social media, on a website and, and on the blog. And it’s really imperative that we do a job that is just insightful and trustworthy. And I think that’s, that’s all we can ask.”




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