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Part of Vista Outdoor’s strategic turnaround is to return more focus to the brands including marketing and partnership decisions. The company does plenty of traditional marketing but also mines social media outlets for brand ambassadors.

Vista CEO Chris Metz said the company has more than 100 brand ambassadors. They typically target outdoor enthusiasts who have fewer than 100,000 followers. “The road we are walking down is picking these ambassadors and trying to make stars out of them,” Metz said.

Two of their biggest brand ambassadors are already stars. Restaurant owner and television host Guy Fieri approached Vista to tell them he would promote the company’s Camp Chef brand and its line of outdoor-cooking equipment.

As Fieri tells it, when he opened his first restaurant it didn’t have money for fancy commercial ranges so staff made do with Camp Chef’s portable outdoor grills for the restaurant and onsite catering events.

As a way of paying it forward, Fieri told the company he would do some unscripted promotions for the company.

Last month Vista’s Federal Ammunition signed a partnership with Steven Rinella, a hunter, conservationist and multimedia personality.

Rinella’s MeatEater media company promotes the field-to-table message in articles, podcasts, social media and a television show.

“The MeatEater brand and Federal Ammunition are a great match,” said Federal Ammunition’s President Jason Vanderbrink in a news release. “The connection Steven Rinella has with his dedicated audience is on par with Federal’s history and heritage within the hunting community.”

Federal is launching an exclusive line of MeatEater ammunition in a variety of centerfire and rimfire calibers. Every centerfire box of MeatEater ammunition will include a recipe from the MeatEater kitchen.

“Our whole team is excited to be partnering with the brand we depend on for quality and consistency in the field which leads to quality and consistency in the meals we share with our families,” Rinella said in the release.

Patrick Kennedy