Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Elects 2018 Class, Three Outstanding Contributors to be Inducted

Contact: Katie Bruce, Director of Marketing & Communications
kbruce@nsga.org
(847) 296-NSGA (6742), ext. 1070

MOUNT PROSPECT, ILLINOIS (October 10, 2017) – Three inductees will join more than 165 others in the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame in May 2018. The 2018 class includes the late Arthur Gochman of Academy Sports + Outdoors, Stan Jurga of All-Star Sporting Goods and Barbara Longstreth of Longstreth Sports. They have made significant contributions to the industry and will be inducted with the distinguished honor during the 54th Annual NSGA Management Conference & 20th Team Dealer Summit in Bonita Springs, Florida.

“The 2018 inductees have helped build the industry and provide solid foundation for future success in very different ways,” said Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Committee Chairwoman, Cathy Pryor (Hibbett Sports). “I look forward to presenting this honor next May at the NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit.”

Gochman, Jurga and Longstreth will be honored at the Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony on the evening of Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

More about each inductee: 

Arthur Gochman
Former CEO, Academy Sports + Outdoors

Arthur Gochman attended the University of Texas School of Law and served in the Army. As he was finishing up his military service, his father Max Gochman implored him to join his Army-Navy store, Academy Surplus. The store originally started as Academy Tire Shop in 1938. For quite some time before he entered the world of sporting goods, Arthur practiced law in San Antonio, focusing on antitrust and civil rights. Gochman was extremely active in the civil rights community and in the 1950s and 1960s he helped desegregate several establishments. In addition, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, Arthur brought the landmark school funding case San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, in which he argued that school funding based on property taxes was inherently discriminatory against poor and minority children.

In 1973, Arthur Gochman bought Southern Sales, six Army surplus stores in Houston that were much like his father’s store in Austin. He closed two of the stores and renamed the remaining four Academy Surplus. His theory was because Houston was home to many University of Texas alumni, people who had shopped Max’s stores as students in Austin would recognize the name and continue to shop them in Houston. Sales in 1973 were around $1 million. Academy continued to grow.

In the 1980s, Academy gradually switched its inventory mix from military surplus to sporting goods. Eventually the name was changed to Academy Sports + Outdoors. Arthur Gochman believed the strategy for his stores was heavy sales and low prices. In the late 1980s, he began centralized distribution, a system by which Academy shipped inventory to its stores every day from its warehouse in Katy, Texas. Gochman remained active in the company in various roles until his death in 2010. Academy Sports + Outdoors has more than 230 stores in 16 states, supported by more than 23,000 team members throughout the South, Southeast and Midwest. 

Stan Jurga
President & CEO, All-Star Sporting Goods

Stan Jurga has led All-Star Sporting Goods from a small manufacturing company to a leader in baseball, softball and football equipment. He is an innovator in the sporting goods industry. His company sells products for all ages - little leagues to Major League Baseball (MLB) players. Stan holds five patents in protective equipment for catchers. The most prominent is for hockey style catcher's headgear, which revolutionized the baseball protective market. He was the first to offer full team colors in catcher’s protective gear to MLB catchers and the first to offer MLB team color equipment in youth sizes for all ages. Other innovations include, over the shoulder molded foam and plastic extended padding on chest protectors, neck padding on chest protectors with a plastic insert for better throat protection, wrap around contoured shin plastic for leg guards and chest protectors with low rebound “wedged” foam for protection and better control for catchers. Through his association with Major League catchers he was able to develop the CM3000 catcher's mitt which is the most popular mitt used today by professional catchers.

Other equipment he developed was I-bar steel for both standard face masks and headgear as well as for batter’s face guards, PVC molded tabs for elastic baseball belts, resulting in zero returns for defective tabs in over 15,000,000 belts sold and he designed the most popular catcher’s mitt in all of MLB, the CM3000. In 1992, All-Star Sporting Goods became the first official supplier for MLB catchers gear and field equipment.

Stan joined George Frost Company in 1972 as Assistant Plant Manager. George Frost Co., founded in 1869, was the parent company of All-Star Sporting Goods, which was started in 1960. He became the National Sales Manager of All-Star Sporting Goods in 1977 and was promoted to Vice President of Sales in 1980. Dave Holden and Stan Jurga purchased the All-Star Division of George Frost in October of 1988 under the corporate name of Ampac Enterprises Inc. Stan became President of All-Star in 1993 and the CEO title was added with the passing of Holden in 2011. Stan continues to serve as President/CEO of All-Star Sporting Goods and is active in the sporting goods industry. While continually growing, All-Star still remains a substantial family operation. Stan is proud to have his two sons, Stan Jr. and Brad working along with him and his wife Carol and all the employees who are part of the All-Star family.

Barbara Longstreth
Founder and CEO, Longstreth Sporting Goods

Barbara Longstreth grew up in suburban Philadelphia in one of the few areas of the country that provided sports for girls in the early 1950s. She played field hockey, basketball and lacrosse in high school and at Beaver College (now Arcadia University). During her career as a player she was named to two US Field Hockey Teams and to 10 US Women’s Lacrosse Teams, going on touring teams to Europe in both sports.

Before moving to California to coach field hockey, she attended a clinic where people were selling a new brand of stick and it was then she decided to sell them. Longstreth began selling sticks out of the trunk of her car and became friends with 1972 Olympic triple jumper Mohinder Gill, who was doing the same. Gill had the resources for importing field hockey equipment from abroad and Longstreth had sales contacts across the country. They produced a small catalog in 1977 and Longstreth Sporting Goods was born.

During her time in California she coached field hockey at Stanford University, as well as the club lacrosse program. In 1981 Longstreth and her family moved back to Pennsylvania and she became Athletic Director at Springside School, selling field hockey and lacrosse equipment out of her home. The business grew and she enlisted the help of her brother Richard (Dick) Heylum, a teacher and Wharton School graduate from the University of Pennsylvania. They purchased a barn an hour west of Philadelphia to establish a small warehouse, business office and retail space. In 1986 the pair devoted themselves full- time to Longstreth Sporting Goods, with Barbara as President and Dick as Vice President.

Longstreth Sporting Goods continued to succeed and serve a “niche” female market for the next 30 years under Barbara’s leadership. The core business was (and still is) nationwide mail order to schools, colleges and individuals, along with a destination store that has attracted customers from around the United States and other countries. Barbara and Dick sold the business in 2007, but Longstreth still exists today. Barbara has accumulated numerous awards and continues to serve her community.

About the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame

The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) created the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame in 1955 to honor sporting goods pioneers, innovators and leaders, while recognizing and encouraging continued excellence in the industry. Since the first induction in 1956, more than 160 men and women have been inducted. Inductees for the Hall of Fame are nominated, and then selections are made by the Hall of Fame Committee, which is made up of representatives from all segments of the industry – manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers/dealers, agents and news media.

For more information on the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame, please visit nsga.org/halloffame.

About NSGA
The National Sporting Goods Association has served as the leading voice for the sporting goods industry since 1929. NSGA’s mission is to support its members’ efforts to grow their business and to advocate on their behalf. NSGA develops industry research and publications, while also providing discounted business services and hosting the annual NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit. For more information about membership or NSGA’s products and services, please visit www.nsga.org.