Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monroe native's "Outdoor Shopper" program goes nationwide on the Pursuit Channel

This article was written by Greg Hilburn of

Monroe native Speed Bancroft Jr. knew there had to be a way to combine his love for the outdoors with business, and as he began researching Bancroft learned it’s a $120 billion retail industry.

Bancroft wanted to connect directly with those consumers, so he founded “The Outdoor Shopper”, which he describes “as QVC for the outdoors industry."

After four years of laying the foundation, Bancroft launched his home shopping concept on Cox Sports Television , a sports broadcasting network with about 2.4 million viewers in the South.

“We went small to test the waters,” said Bancroft, 31, who graduated from St. Frederick High School and attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe before moving to Baton Rouge. “We wanted to get the model right.”

But this fall, “The Outdoor Shopper” went nationwide on the Pursuit Channel, which is available on Direct TV and Dish Network, reaching 38 million customers on Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and Tuesdays at 11 p.m.

“It’s been a dream for more than four years, and to see it materialize is extremely exciting,” Bancroft said. “It’s a good business to be in, and we’re the first entry into the market.”

“The Outdoor Shopper” features products used in fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, cooking and anything else related to the outdoors.

The products are all demonstrated during “The Outdoor Shopper” shows.

Once “The Outdoor Shopper” gains traction, Bancroft said he plans to return to Ouachita Parish to grow the company.

“I grew up in Monroe and all of my friends are there,” he said. “We intend to eventually move back and establish the headquarters there.”

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