Outdoor Prolink Manifesto 2.0


Last year, we released a manifesto about our commitment to responsibility and authenticity. Now, as we expand our business with the launch of Pursuit Prolink, we feel it is essential to share a manifesto 2.0 to reflect and celebrate our 20-year history, as we look to what’s next with the growth of this new business vertical for the hunting and fishing industries (watch the launch video here).


The Outdoor Prolink story began in 1999 when Gareth Richards left a faculty position in Outdoor Education at Prescott College in Arizona and started working for PlanetOutdoors.com, an early specialty-outdoor website that tried but sadly failed to launch into the early outdoor retail ecommerce world. The Outdoor Prolink story began in earnest in 2004 in a basement in Boulder, Colorado. At the time, Gareth, our founder, had been working as the Director of Sales at various outdoor brands. That gave him 50-percent of his inspiration for Outdoor Prolink. The other 50-percent, possibly the most important part, came from his background as a Mountain Guide, Kayak Guide and Outdoor Educator.

The vision: Gareth believed there was a connection to be made between outdoor professionals and brands to ensure they were equipped with the very best gear, tailored to their roles in the outdoor industry. Additionally, he saw the need for brands to get their products into the hands of these influencers (though nobody called them that at the time he founded the company, there’s no doubt that’s what they are today). Over the years, Gareth continued to see the writing on the wall; the important opportunity to be the "link" between these core groups.

Outdoor Prolink’s mission from day one has been to outfit stewards of the great outdoors with high quality, affordable gear so they can develop deep connections with the wild places we love. We believe outdoor professionals are chief protectors and promoters of nature and lead by example in so many ways. They dedicate their careers to getting more people outside, and because of that, we believe they have earned pro-deal discounts on quality outdoor gear they rely on for their jobs.

In September of 2021, Outdoor Prolink took its next step on its journey, expanding into Canada. To date, brands available on Outdoor Prolink Canada include BadFish, G3, Helly Hansen, Mammut, Mountain Hardwear, NOBL Wheels, Red Paddle, SMRT Tent, and Thule. The entire team takes their responsibility very seriously with this growth and continues to honor their unwavering commitment to authenticity when approving pros while supporting the brand’s growth and go-to-market strategies.


Last August, Outdoor Prolink welcomed Melissa Hess as the new Business Development Manager for Pursuit Prolink. Hess has been instrumental in helping launch the new business vertical, bringing on some of the most respected hunting and fishing brands in the industry into the Pursuit Prolink shop, such as Vortex Optics, Mystery Ranch, BOGS, SOG Knives, onX Maps, Darn Tough, Athlon Optics, Adamsbuilt Fishing, ALPS OutdoorZ, Loon Outdoors, Midland Radio, MTN OPS, ZOLEO, Rhino Rack, Sherpa Equipment Co., Slumberjack, Tenkara Rod Co., Tenkara USA, and Voormi.

Hess is no stranger to the industry. Hess states, "I’ve always been an avid adventurer and lover of the outdoors. It's where I can let everything go, get lost, and fuel my soul. I grew up just outside of Seattle, and when I was 28, I moved to Montana because I was looking for something new, in search of exploration, growth, and looking to detach from the hustle and bustle of the city. I left behind a two-hour commute, a concrete jungle of chaos, and a fast-paced lifestyle.”

"One thing that has forever changed who I am is being introduced to hunting when I moved to Montana. Hunting is so much more than an activity, it's a lifestyle. I remember the first time I went hunting with some friends in eastern Montana. It was like hiking but with an added element of finding high points, glassing for animals in the early mornings to afternoons, and then doing it again in the late afternoon until dark. What you see through your binoculars is a whole different world: coyotes, elk, deer, and moose all living their lives so close to each other and so aware of their surroundings. It was so special to watch. I had a new appreciation for wildlife and how beautiful yet brutal their lives are. These animals live insane lives, always in survival mode,” said Hess. “Hunting teaches you so much about yourself. You learn to embrace the suck, push forward, and stay positive. The wilderness will test you, and you have to learn to adapt to challenges and obstacles that come your way, but most of all, it teaches you patience.”

Hunting and fishing share so much in common with what we at Outdoor Prolink have historically labeled ‘outdoor recreation.’ Hunters and anglers protect and promote the wild places and habitats we dearly love. They are the driving force behind many of our nation’s conservation efforts and have contributed over $14 billion in federal aid through the Wildlife Restoration Act since its inception in 1937 (source).

Like outdoor professionals, hunting and fishing pros use their platform to advocate for their industries and introduce products to new customers. Most importantly, they are a critical mouthpiece of conservation efforts for wildlife, waterways, oceans, and public lands.

Therefore, our entire team is excited to introduce Pursuit Prolink, launching Outdoor Prolink into a multi-store marketplace.


Creating a new pro purchase program for the hunting and fishing industries didn’t come without much deliberation. However, as outlined above, we believe the hunting and fishing industries are a natural expansion of the outdoor industry and the Outdoor Prolink business. As such, our commitment with the launch of Pursuit Prolink is always to uphold the highest standards of responsible hunting and angling:

  • We will work with only the highest-quality hunting and fishing gear manufacturers
  • We guarantee to our brand partners that our members are true verified professionals
  • We will partner with key industry nonprofits - to start, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers - to raise funds and support conservation efforts and responsible recreation
  • We will never sell or market guns or ammunition on Pursuit Prolink
  • We will always use imagery and marketing content that respects animals and promotes responsible hunting and angling practices


You may have noticed we have a different, more sophisticated look today. As part of our 20th anniversary celebration, we are also excited to share our elevated brand identity, furthering our growth as a business. In partnership with award-winning creative agency and production company WHEELIE Creative, we recently rolled out a brand refresh which includes a new contemporary logo design, a refreshed brand identity, a central overhaul of the user-centric website to allow for seamless navigation between the two sites, and a name change for the Outdoor Prolink blog from “Dirtbag Dreams Blog” to “The Link.”


As we head into 2024, we feel the same way we did 20 years ago regarding our commitment to being the most responsible pro purchase program. The three-pronged approach starts with the strict verification process of our professional membership base. Brands are also integral to the equation, leveraging Outdoor Prolink’s network of professionals as a dynamic extension of their marketing strategy. Finally, specialty retailers play a pivotal role in this ecosystem. A meticulously crafted and responsibly managed program aims to facilitate sales and drive them at full price to the end consumer, strengthening the bonds between pros, retailers, and brands.

With the creation of the new multi-store shopping experience, qualified members can seamlessly transition between Outdoor Prolink and Pursuit Prolink, accessing a wider spectrum of offerings tailored to their specific industry and job function. This updated website structure allows the Outdoor Prolink team to control member access while creating a streamlined user shopping experience.

One exciting change that comes in tandem with the launch: Pursuit Prolink will now also be available to active duty service members and veterans.


Our pro purchase program operates with three components - the pro purchase program (us), the brands that offer discounted gear to pros, and specialty retailers. A responsible, well-executed pro purchase program fosters a relationship between local shops and pros. It educates pros on their responsibility to be an ambassador for the brands they buy and their local retail shop. Specialty retail is a critical channel for our brand partners, so supporting and growing that channel is central to our purpose.

We care deeply about contributing to the health of the retailer segment and want to keep our country’s retailers thriving. We believe it’s our responsibility to educate our pros on using their influence to drive traffic to brick-and-mortar stores. A pro’s experience provides a credible assessment of gear quality - they are, after all, elite, trusted, and highly influential user - and when a pro believes in a brand or gear, their clients listen.

We are committed to holding our pros accountable for following our pro code of conduct, and if they are caught violating these terms, or abusing their privilege in any way, they are booted from the platform. We ask them to respect retail employees’ time and be discreet about their discounts. If they get questions about their gear, we ask them to direct people to their local outdoor specialty store. That way their dollars will stay in their community and keep the outdoor industry thriving.

On the brand side, we operate as a marketing arm within a broader sales and marketing strategy, and we need to be clear and upfront about that with the brands on our platform. Together, we use our deep knowledge of our member base to craft and execute a marketing strategy that achieves our brands’ retail sales growth goals.

Our team is incredibly proud of our business model and the high standards we adhere to. We are dedicated to changing the narrative and working to create a world where all pro purchase programs in the industry are responsible and upstanding. We have always had an unwavering commitment to being the most responsible pro purchase program out there, and we will continue to remain true to that mission.


Connection with the outdoors makes people come alive. Nature heals, challenges and inspires us. These experiences should be equally accessible and welcome to all people. Our membership base of outdoor professionals is the leading edge of the outdoor industry and outdoor recreation. They impact the makeup of participation in outdoor recreation and are the core technical consumers that outdoor brands design products for. It is imperative that outdoor professionals represent a broad, intersectional coalition that reflects the beautiful and diverse country we live in. Careers in the outdoor industry should be accessible to everyone, not just white, cis-gendered, able-bodied and privileged Americans. We know that Outdoor Prolink can be a key driver of this shift towards a more diverse and inclusive outdoor employment and recreation landscape.


Giving back to the community is a foundational value at Outdoor Prolink, and one we take to heart. Each year, we select nonprofits focused on our brand’s core values, including climate change, conservation, and sustainability. We ask each member to give a micro-donation at checkout when making purchases on the outdoorprolink.com store. New for 2023, we choose a different non-profit partner each month throughout the calendar year for professionals to donate to checkout. We also match donations made by our pros on Giving Tuesday. At the end of 2022, Outdoor Prolink and our members finished off the year by raising more than $82,000 dollars, which went to our five non-profit partners; American Whitewater, Boulder County Wildfire Fund, The Conservation Alliance, PridePads Africa, and Protect Our Winters.

With the launch of Pursuit Prolink, Pursuit members will also have the opportunity to support Outdoor Prolink’s newest non-profit partner, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers at checkout on the new store.


Our evolution into the hunting and fishing industries is not a detour, but a natural progression of a mission rooted in supplying and inspiring those who champion wild spaces. Marking our 20th anniversary isn't just about celebrating the past; it's a gateway to our future. As we unveil Pursuit Prolink, this milestone moment signifies two decades of trust, evolution, and our unwavering passion for the outdoors, paving the path for the exciting journey ahead. Through the creation of this new multi-store marketplace, Outdoor Prolink and Pursuit Prolink will continue to protect and support the relationship between brands, pros, specialty retailers, and consumers.

We believe the world is a better place when people go outside. When authentic pros are outfitted with high-quality, affordable gear, they influence others to develop a connection with nature and outdoor adventure, which in turn helps protect and promote wild places for all to enjoy. At Outdoor Prolink, we value full transparency and accountability and are dedicated to setting the bar for responsible pro purchase programs in the ever-expanding outdoor industry.