First Lite’s inclusion in SCHEELS retail locations marks an important new era for the Hailey, ID-based conservation-minded brand, which has focused exclusively on its own ecommerce channel for the last several years. Through placement in SCHEELS stores nationwide, outdoor enthusiasts have the opportunity to experience First Lite’s technically-enabled, lightweight, and durable gear in person to appreciate why it’s a brand of choice for those seeking comfort and performance, especially in western big game, whitetail, and waterfowl pursuits. Customers will also be able to shop FHF Gear’s technically advanced and proudly American-made outdoor gear for hunters, anglers, and servicemen/women.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with Steve Rinella, First Lite, and the entire MeatEater team both in stores and out. At SCHEELS, our vision, core values, and commitment to conservation are closely aligned with the MeatEater brand ethos and we are honored to represent that mission as the presenting sponsor of Season 12 of the flagship MeatEater series, ” said SCHEELS Chief Marketing Officer Marcus Thornton. “Today, with the addition of First Lite and FHF Gear to our current brand offerings in the hunting category, we are now able to offer SCHEELS customers the full breadth of the very best in hunting apparel and gear on the market.”
The MeatEater x SCHEELS expanded partnership builds on Steven Rinella’s successful 8-city tour at SCHEELS stores where he was able to connect with more than 10,000 SCHEELS customers as part of his Catch a Crayfish, Count the Stars: Fun Projects, Skills, and Adventures for Outdoor Kids book launch this past spring.
“I was blown away by the expertise and professionalism from the staff and the passion and knowledge of the SCHEELS customers that I experienced at every location I visited,” said Steven Rinella. “I could not be more pleased to have SCHEELS as the presenting sponsor for the 12th season of our flagship show, and I have no doubt that current and future customers of our five brands will benefit from being able to touch and try on First Lite and FHF Gear with the help of SCHEELS best-in-class sales associates.”
The partnership expansion with SCHEELS supports MeatEater’s mission to inspire and equip individuals around the country to get outside and foster a deeper connection to nature. By tapping into the strong network of dedicated outdoor enthusiasts who rely on SCHEELS to outfit them for their outdoor pursuits, MeatEater is able to connect with more like-minded individuals who value outdoor adventure and the protection of our world’s wild places.
The addition of First Lite hunting apparel and FHF gear joins the existing assortment of Phelps Game Calls, Dave Smith Decoys (DSD), and MeatEater merchandise and books currently available in SCHEELS stores nationwide.
MeatEater Season 12 presented by SCHEELS will premiere on MeatEater’s website, YouTube channel, and to-be-announced major ad-supported video on demand platforms on October 12, 2023.
Three acres of potatoes were the seed for the first SCHEELS store in 1902. Frederick A. Scheel, a German immigrant, used the $300 he earned from that first harvest as the down payment on the first SCHEELS, a small hardware store in Sabin, Minn. Over the years, SCHEELS opened in surrounding communities including Fargo in 1930, where the Corporate Offices are located. Customer interest grew and sports lines were added to the product mix.
SCHEELS is now a 31-store operation with stores in 13 states including North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Nevada, Illinois, Utah, Kansas, Colorado, and Texas. Currently, Steve D. Scheel, the great grandson of SCHEELS founder, is the company’s Chairman of the Board, and great-great grandson Steve M. Scheel is CEO. Todd Anderson serves as President and oversees SCHEELS daily operations of more than 10,000 associates.
About MeatEater, Inc:
MeatEater, Inc. is an outdoor lifestyle media and commerce company founded by renowned writer, TV, and podcast personality Steven Rinella. With the belief that a deeper understanding of the natural world enriches our lives, MeatEater brings together leading influencers in fishing, hunting, wild foods, and conservation to create premium content, experiences, apparel, and equipment. MeatEater, Inc. is the parent company of First Lite, FHF Gear, Phelps Game Calls, and Dave Smith Decoys. MeatEater is based in Bozeman, Montana.
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