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Making A Splash In Outdoor Lifestyle Products


Our private equity client, Prairie Capital, was considering an investment in BOTE, a rapidly growing company that produces paddleboards. The company was in its early stages, yet the future looked bright with stand-up paddleboarding one of the fastest growing outdoor sports in the U.S. BOTE was interested in turning its paddleboard product into a lifestyle brand. Prairie wanted to show BOTE it could provide access to senior leadership from top lifestyle brands, and also needed help with its due diligence.

Key Concerns

Prairie Capital needed to make a good first impression with BOTE at an upcoming management meeting. They sought out Apex Leaders seeking a way to distinguish itself as a differentiated buyer, rather than solely a financial partner.

Once the firm has demonstrated its available resources to evolve the CEO’s company into a lifestyle brand, our clients engaged Apex Leaders to help with the next wave of diligence. We would need to help with deep dive research into the market as a whole to make sure the investment was sound.

“Today’s market is so competitive, you’ve got to be more than just smart to win. Working with Apex Leaders on a retainer basis gives us the edge on every deal we’re serious about.”

Stephen King
Founding Partner, Prairie Capital

The Search

We initially helped Prairie Capital engage current or former leaders from top lifestyle brands with an expertise in building out these brands, which cemented a good first impression. From there, we provided Prairie with needed expert insight into the overall market to ensure the deal was a good fit. We first sought out experts that could help fill general knowledge gaps, and subsequently drilled down into niche areas for a comprehensive due diligence period that lasted four months.

“We started BOTE to capitalize on a massive void in the active outdoor lifestyle category, starting with stand-up paddleboards and accessories. We’re pumped to continue to aggressively expand our leadership position with our partners at Prairie, and look forward to extending our brand reach across the globe.”

Corey Cooper

The Results

We contacted and fully vetted 65 expert advisors across the industry for Prairie, from senior leadership—CEOs and VPs of Sales—to store owners and managers in the paddleboard space. Prairie engaged with 15 advisors, which included:

  • CEO, Patagonia (formerly)
  • VP of Product Marketing, Thule Group (bike racks)
  • VP of Marketing, Black Diamond
  • VP of Sales, Marmot
  • SVP of Sales and Global Marketing, Spyder Active Sports
  • CEO, Tahoe SUP Co. (formerly)
  • President, Imagine Surf (formerly)
  • CEO, Surftech, (formerly)
  • Owner, Clavey Paddlesports
  • Purchasing departments at major retailers like REI

Last Word

Prairie Capital went ahead with the deal after gaining valuable insight from Apex Leaders‘ expert advisors, who guided them all the way from initial conversations with BOTE to high-level analyses. Our expert advisors gave them the assurance they needed to invest in BOTE.