La Sportiva N.A. Inc.
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Industry: Outdoor Industry
A little perseverance goes a long way and can be the ingredient that leads to bigger and better things, La Sportiva North America President Jonathan Lantz said.
“Perseverance breaks down obstacles and opens doors to opportunities that you never thought existed,” he said. “By continuing to set goals and maintain focus on those goals through challenging situations you can surprise yourself with the success you can achieve.”
La Sportiva’s mission is to bring customers the best technical products to explore the outdoors. “Everyday the mountains surround the people who handcraft our products. Being mountain based and family-run allows us to draw on eight decades of experience handed down through the generations,” the company said. “With this heritage, we can focus on the future and meld new technologies, ideas and innovation with our rich knowledge of manufacturing to give you the most amazing products on the market. Products that let you go where you dream to go, do what you dream to do and live how you want to live.”
Lantz worked his way up from warehouse packer to distribution and logistics manager and eventually to marketing director before taking over as president of La Sportiva North America in 2007. He took over that role just as the Great Recession hit, and the company surged as people turned to the outdoors for recreation and mental and physical health improvement.
“Building a company that has stayed true to its roots has been my sole focus for 27 years,” Lantz said. “Keeping the company on track through numerous hurdles over the last two decades has been a challenge that has been exciting, engaging and extremely rewarding.”
In the next five years, La Sportiva aims to expand in the core categories of footwear, apparel and hardgoods. Climbing, hiking, mountaineering, trail running and backcountry skiing will continue to be the main focus of the brand.
Since Lantz took over as president of the company, La Sportiva has grown over 500%. There have been new category launches to help with that revenue expansion. In 2013, the company expanded into outdoor apparel and ski goods as well.
In 2010, Lantz was awarded the Sporting Goods Business 40 Under 40 Award, which acknowledges some of the brightest young stars in the industry. Lantz has also spoken at several panels at outdoor industry events and in the Denver area about everything from challenges around importing goods, distributing in omnichannel marketplaces or the ups and downs of currency challenges. In 2015, Lantz sat on a small business panel that visited the White House and met with the U.S. trade ambassador to discuss the pros and cons of the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP.
“I am the proudest of navigating the unique issues that have been presented to the company through the pandemic and increasing sales by over 50% through the last two years,” Lantz said. “This has continued the sustainable organic growth that helps to build a strong business and brand that is set up for future years of success. The multitude of challenges that have been successfully and profitably navigated in the last two years have been a stress test for the company that I am truly proud of.”
"Perseverance breaks down obstacles and opens doors to opportunities that you never thought existed."