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Selkirk Sport welcomes new leadership to drive innovation and growth amid pickleball surge

March 28, 2024

Photo of Selkirk Sport pickleball paddles and balls lying down on a pickleball court.

COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO – March 28, 2024 – In a significant move to bolster its position as a leader in the rapidly expanding world of pickleball, Selkirk Sport is proud to announce the addition of four key executives to its leadership team. 

Selkirk Sport welcomes Jason Dunlap as Chief Financial Officer, Doug Thielen as Chief Marketing Officer, Anthony Saraceni as Creative Director and Ali Carlile as Head of Soft Goods, marking a pivotal moment in the company's trajectory.

As the sport of pickleball surges in popularity — with 13.6 million playing in the U.S. in 2023, an increase of 52% since 2022  — Selkirk Sport continues to see remarkable growth. The company expanded from 10 employees in 2020 to more than 100 today and continues to innovate top-of-the-line paddles made in the U.S. 

"Our growth is a testament to the surging popularity of pickleball and the decision to welcome four new executives into our leadership team is a strategic move designed to harness this momentum and steer our trajectory to even greater heights,” said Mike Barnes, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Selkirk Sport. 

Selkirk Sport prides itself on a comprehensive approach to the growth of pickleball, including community engagement, ambassador programs and technological innovations like Selkirk TV and Selkirk University. The new leadership is poised to build on this foundation, driving initiatives that will continue to elevate pickleball's profile and accessibility.

"The ability to attract executives of such high caliber and extensive backgrounds to the pickleball industry is a clear indicator of its lasting power,” said Rob Barnes, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Selkirk Sport. “This movement speaks volumes about the industry's growth, dynamism and the increasing recognition of pickleball as a significant sector within the sports world.” 

Selkirk Sport’s new executives

Jason Dunlap, Chief Financial Officer

Jason Dunlap has 30 years of experience in senior financial leadership roles for iconic outdoor equipment and lifestyle brands, most recently as the Chief Financial Officer of Osprey Packs, Inc., and the Vice President of Finance at Black Diamond Equipment.

Dunlap is an accomplished financial executive with a proven track record of optimizing operations and driving value. He has a vast array of finance and accounting experience at publicly traded companies and private equity-backed firms. Throughout his experience, Dunlap has managed strategic and capital transactions totaling more than $800 million. 

At Selkirk Sport, Dunlap is looking forward to supporting the growth of the brand and its operations. Outside of work, Dunlap is a keen pickleball player, often competing in local tournaments. 

Doug Thielen, Chief Marketing Officer

Doug Thielen has spent the past 20 years working with outdoor and lifestyle brands where he’s led award-winning campaigns for companies such as REI, Filson, Ford Bronco, Mtn Dew, Native Eyewear, Qdoba and Dickies. 

As the Chief Marketing Officer for Selkirk Sport, Thielen is focused on shepherding the growth-oriented brand toward the intersection of commerce and content, as well as culture and community — the place where modern brands thrive.

Thielen has been featured as a thought leader on various platforms, including podcasts such as “Outdoor Industry Dream Jobs” and “CMO & JOE,” as well as brand spotlights on Gear Patrol. In his role at Selkirk Sport, Thielen oversees numerous departments, including marketing, creative, e-commerce, media, public relations and sponsored athletes.

Anthony Saraceni, Creative Director

With more than 20 years in activewear and fashion, Anthony Saraceni is a renowned creative director celebrated for his unique style and fresh perspective. He played a pivotal role in the 2019 launch of the men's division at Fabletics, helping drive an extraordinary 500 percent growth in less than three years.

Now, Saraceni sets his sights on the dynamic sport of pickleball with Selkirk Sport. Armed with innovative thinking and a commitment to excellence, Saraceni aims to further amplify Selkirk's brand output and presence in the industry, setting the stage for unprecedented sales growth and market dominance.

Ali Carlile, Head of Soft Goods

Ali Carlile is a seasoned product designer with more than 20 years of experience in product innovation. An alumna of Brigham Young University's prestigious product design program, Carlile brings a wealth of knowledge and creativity to Selkirk Sport. 

She has designed hundreds of products for major corporations and startups, including Nike, New Balance, Owlet Baby Care, Adidas and WANDRD bags. Most recently, Carlile was active in the wearable technology space, earning three separate Innovation Awards at the Consumer Electronics Show in recent years, and holds a double-digit patent portfolio. 

Beyond her professional achievements, Carlile is an avid athlete with a passion for pickleball that sees her on the court daily. She is setting her sights on climbing to a 5.0 DUPR ranking this year.

About Selkirk Sport

Selkirk Sport, a made-in-the-USA manufacturer of pickleball paddles and accessories, is a family-owned and operated company. Selkirk Sport is based in Hayden, Idaho, in the shadows of its namesake, the Selkirk mountain range. Founded in 2014, Selkirk Sport was born from a passion for sport and the Western outdoor leisure lifestyle that was afforded to the company’s founders, Rob and Mike Barnes, along with their father Jim, who is Selkirk’s production manager. Backed by the philosophy of always pushing the limits, Selkirk Sport is committed to manufacturing products that deliver the highest performance with unmatched quality and service. Selkirk Sport has become one of the industry’s fastest-growing companies, with paddles used by many of the game’s premier players, such as Jack Sock, Catherine Parenteau, Parris Todd, Dylan Frazier, Mary Brascia, Maggie Brascia, James Ignatowich and a host of others premier players and national/regional champions.

Media Contacts

Kyle Whatnall: Kyle@Selkirk.com

Brynn Grissom: Brynn@Selkirk.com

Media Assets

For headshots of each executive, please visit this folder. 

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