The New York Times has an interesting article on the Freedom Group, including a link to this blog pointing to an article we did a few years ago when George Kollitides ran for the NRA Board. I think they are suggesting there is more controversy here than there actually is. We’re not really all that worried about what the Freedom Group is busy doing with the firearms industry, so much as we just had concerns as to what exactly George Kollitides was going to bring to the NRA Board.
I’ve never really been able to figure out what Freedom Group’s strategy is, short of being able to take advantage of economies of scale by consolidating what has generally been an inefficient cottage industry into something more lean and profitable. But what innovation has Freedom Group really bought to the industry? I think some of the biggest factors holding the industry back, namely marketing to younger shooters, is just as bad as it’s even been.
4 thoughts on “New York Times Article on the Freedom Group”
I guess this is what I get for ignoring the NYT email since I really didn’t have anything else to say on the issue. I don’t view the guy as an “industry interloper.” The only part of the post that really could be construed as such an attack was actually just mocking their failed PR campaign in regards to the bad press of the bailout crap. Bloggers on both sides of the aisle were mocking it at the time.
Really, the big reason why I chose to speak up on his candidacy was because my own observations would be that he would be another empty seat on the board with no real interest in supporting NRA as an organization. When I saw AR15.com backing him so vehemently, yet they appeared to have no idea he was skipping out on at least some of his committee obligations, I thought it was time to say something. Add in the wild NRA magazine advertising spending spree he went on to promote himself for the position, and it just didn’t quite site well since he couldn’t be bothered to even give a courtesy excuse to his committee chair about his absence.
It’s funny because my comments really came from somewhere deeper about my own philosophy about the role a board of a non-profit should play in helping to advance a mission. I’m all for industry – gun or non-gun – people serving on the board if I think they might contribute something that helps to serve that mission.
It is my belief that Cerberus Capital Management, L.P, is buying companies to service the defense, intelligence, law enforcement and security markets and Freedom Group plays into the strategic plan, including the acquistion of Mountain Khakis to develop a tactical line of gear to compete with 5.11 Tactical.
Lets look at the Cerberus holdings in this sector:
Freedom Group – World’s leading innovator, designer, manufacturer and marketer of firearms, ammunition and related products for the hunting, shooting sports, law enforcement and military markets.
DynCorp – Global government services provider in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives, delivering support solutions for defense, diplomacy, and international development.
GeoEye – International information services company serving government and commercial markets. The Company is recognized as one of the geospatial industry’s imagery experts, delivering exceptional quality imagery products, services and solutions to customers around the world.
AerCap – Worldâ€™s leading independent aircraft leasing company. AerCap also provides engine leasing, aircraft management services, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services and aircraft disassemblies.
IAP World Services – International contractor providing global mission support for commercial industries, the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies. The company operates in three lines of business: Global Operations and Logistics, Base Operations Support Services, and Professional and Technical Services
“But what innovation has Freedom Group really bought to the industry? I think some of the biggest factors holding the industry back, namely marketing to younger shooters, is just as bad as itâ€™s even been.”
Well, they’re moving towards some lifestyle-type marketing with their acquisition of AAC, which appeals greatly to the kids. I don’t know if that counts.
Mythbusters has got to be the best asset we have today to marketing towards new shooters. I smile every time these San Franciscan-ites show that when handled responsibly, guns are fun. That is something I think has been lost among the debates about individual rights and firearms for self defense.
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