The history of Big Rock Sports goes back more than 60 years to the founding of All-Sports Supply in Portland, OR. At that time, sporting goods was a much more personal business, and distributors knew the names of their retailers as well as their families.
Over the years, distribution companies—sporting goods and otherwise—became less concerned with relationships and more focused on the bottom line. However, Big Rock Sports still embraces the ideals of everyone who laid the groundwork for our company. We take pride in the relationships we build with our customers. And we don’t just know their names; we know their specific needs and concerns and the best ways to help them thrive.
1955 All Sports was founded by Arlo Elliott in Portland, OR. Soon after becoming a part of Big Rock Sports, the facility was moved to its current location in Clackamas, OR.
1965 Tom and Annette Carlson started a fishing tackle wagon jobber business out of their house in Brainerd, MN. By 1973, they’d moved into a 1,000-square-foot building in Sauk Rapids, MN and began operating as Carlson Sports.
1969 Dick Henry founded Henry's Tackle Company in Selma, NC. He moved the company to Morehead City in 1971 and changed the name of the manufacturing division to Sea Striker.
1979 To help meet the needs of the growing fishing industry on the West Coast, Autry’s Worm Ranch (AWR) was established in San Diego, CA. AWR supplied fishing tackle retailers with high-quality fishing baits.
1986 By 1986, Warren Avis had brought All Sports, Carlson Sports and Henry’s into the Avis family. These three distribution companies would later form the foundation of Big Rock Sports.
1991 Calcutta, originally a bait company, was born in Florida during a time when quality frozen bait was scarce. Making sure fishermen were armed with the “Best Damn Bait” was the company’s number one priority.
1996 Big Rock Sports was born when a group of investors led by Adrian Holler acquired All Sports, Carlson Sports and Henry’s from Avis. Soon Big Rock brought Autry’s Worm Ranch into the fold.
2001 MT Sports was established in Billings, MT to service the mountain states region with an extensive assortment of fishing, ice fishing, hunting, camping, electronics and optics.
2003 Big Rock Sports purchased Calcutta and expanded the brand into a variety of product categories, including fishing tools, tackle bags, sunglasses, rainwear and technical fishing apparel.
2009 Big Rock Sports opened a cutting-edge 300,000-square-foot distribution center in Hamlet, NC. The warehouse distributes a full range of fishing, hunting, shooting, camping, electronics and boating supplies.
2011 Big Rock Sports expanded its North American operations into Canada by acquiring Inland Pacific Distributors, Ltd., a Canadian sporting goods distributor.
2011 As part of a global expansion, Big Rock created a partnership with Jarvis Walker, Australia’s largest distributor of fishing tackle and boating accessories.
2012 Sea Striker and Star Rod brands came home to the Big Rock Sports family through a purchase from President and Founder Dick Henry.
2012 Big Rock Sports acquired Headquarters Taxidermy Supply, the fastest growing taxidermy supplier in North America. HQ carries the highest quality and most modern manikins in the industry.
2013 Big Rock Sports announced a major restructuring of the company in order to manage accelerated growth. The company enhanced its focus on Shooting Sports and Fishing/Camping/Marine.
2014 To enhance the restructuring process, Big Rock Sports launches a new brand that includes a redesigned website, all-new digital services and an updated Big Rock Sports logo.
2015 Big Rock acquires KTL Canada, a leading fishing tackle and outdoor recreation distribution company in Eastern Canada
Where Did We Get Our Name?
Big Rock Sports Chairman Adrian Holler, an avid angler, named Big Rock Sports after a series of underwater peaks and plateaus about 40 miles off the coast of Morehead City, NC. The area is considered to be the premier spot for marlin fishing on the East Coast, and is the location of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. Although Big Rock Sports does not have a direct affiliation with the tournament, our private label brand Calcutta is a Major Sponsor.