ACK Ignites Outdoor Adventure in the Community through Paddlesport Exploration

Austin Canoe & Kayak Holds Its 6th Annual Fall Demo Days & Outdoor Exposition

Austin, Texas – August 13th, 2013Outdoor retailer Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC., announces its 6th Annual Fall Kayak Demo Days & Outdoor Exposition.  Each of ACK’s physical store locations will host its own event with Austin and North Houston (Spring) on September 14th and 15th, and Houston and San Marcos on September 21st and 22nd. In addition to providing over 90 kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards to test-paddle, this expo will also offer informative and educational clinics for attendees.

Catering to outdoor enthusiasts ranging from the seasoned angler to the novice paddler, ACK Demo Days creates a platform for anyone interested in paddlesports to ask questions, receive product guidance, try out different models and expand their knowledge about the sport. Educational clinics will be held throughout the day by knowledgeable ACK staff members and select industry manufacturers covering topics such as “How to Paddle”, “Fly Fishing from a Kayak”, “Paddling Safety” and “Basecamp Basics.”

“There is no such thing as an all-around, perfect boat so it is hard to know which will be your perfect fit.  Each has its own strengths and downfalls depending on where and how you plan to paddle,” explains ACK Marketing Director, Kelly Leff. “The key is getting it on the water so you can get a true feel for how it paddles and what your comfort level is. Demo Days gives people the convenience of doing that with a variety of makes and models all at one time.”

Come try out over 90+ kayaks at the ACK Demo Days!
Come try out over 90+ kayaks at the ACK Demo Days!

ACK’s Kayak Demo Days & Outdoor Exposition is held bi-annually in the Spring and Fall seasons. Running for its 6th consecutive year, this event is open to the general public. Additional information and maps to each location can be found at www.ack.com/demo.

Dates & Locations

Austin

Hyde Park Quarry

Sept. 14th & 15th

Sat. 10 – 4

Sun. 12 – 4

N. Houston (Spring)

Conroe, Texas

Sept. 14th & 15th

Sat. 10 – 4

Sun. 12 – 4

Houston

Independence Park

Sept. 21st & 22nd

Sat. 10 – 4

Sun. 12 – 4

San Marcos

Texas Ski Ranch

Sept. 21st & 22nd

Sat. 10 – 4

Sun. 12 – 4

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within four physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring and Houston, Texas.

 

For more information about Austin Canoe and Kayak, contact:

Kelly Leff
Marketing Director
Tel: 512-687-3010
pr@austinkayak.com

 

 

Green Warehouse Brings Cost Savings to Outdoor Adventure Customers

MSP Holdings, LLC Integrates Eco-Friendly Mobile Inventory Management System

Outdoor Adventure Retailer Warehouse Tablet
ACK warehouse employee pulls product for a customer order with new digital inventory management system on a Nexus 7 tablet from Google.

Austin, Texas – July 16th, 2013Outdoor adventure retailer MSP Holdings LLC, parent company of Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), announced today the integration of a new mobile management system in its Austin, Texas warehouse, aimed at improving speed and accuracy as well as reducing its environmental footprint and operational costs.

An authorized reseller of top brands such as Hobie, The North Face and Yeti, ACK equips everyone from the novice camper to the professional angler with high quality, affordable camping, hiking and paddlesports gear. Since its initial opening over 20 years ago, ACK has been devoted to improving its customer’s experience not only in its four Texas stores, but online as well. By initiating a mobile warehouse management system utilizing Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets from Google, all warehouse functions are now paperless, utilizing real-time data which allows for quick and accurate order processing and enables ACK to pass along the cost savings to its customers.

“Our customers are what matter the most to us. When we invest in technology, every decision we make is driven by how it will help the customer.” explains ACK CEO, Peter Messana. “The use of tablets not only does that but also reduces our paper consumption and our carbon footprint.”

Along with ensuring every shopping experience is top-of-the-line, ACK is determined to do its part in protecting the natural environments in which its customers cherish. In 2009, ACK was awarded the WasteSmart award for reducing waste, reusing packaging and buying recycled product in the workplace from the City of Austin’s Solid Waste Services. Going digital was simply the next step in a long line of green initiatives that ACK has implemented over the years. By integrating a mobile management system, its warehouse will be able to reduce the amount of paper used each day by over 90%, continuing that trend.

“Having tablets in the hands of our employees is the most efficient way for us to pick, pack and ship orders to our customers,” added Adam Olson, Director of Internet Operations. “As we advance to this new technology, it is exciting to know that we are improving the shopping experience and doing our part to protect and preserve the environment at the same time.”

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within four physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring and Houston, Texas.

For more information about Austin Canoe and Kayak, contact:

Kelly Leff
Marketing Director
Tel: 512-687-3010
pr@austinkayak.com

 

BREAKING NEWS – There’s a New Predator at Old Town!

The Predator 13 in action.
The Predator 13 in action.

The suspense has been killing us here at ACK!  We have been excited for the unveiling of Old Town Canoes & Kayak’s “New Predator on the Water” and we’re definitely not disappointed.  It just so happens that ACK will be one of the first retailers to get these bad-boys in stock, so pre-order the Predator MX or Predator 13 so you can get it in the water ASAP!

Old Town, Maine (June 13, 2013) Old Town Canoes & Kayaks, one of the most storied brands in the paddlesports industry, today launched the new Predator kayak. Developed in combination with Old Town’s renowned designers and pro staff members throughout the country, the Predator is completely engineered, below and above the waterline, to deliver the perfect platform for fishing.

The Predator brings anglers closer to the water and the action with nearly unlimited options to customize the kayak around their specific equipment and unique needs. Featuring six strategically-placed, removable mounting plates, the Predator enables consumers to install rod holders, GPS units, fish finders, cameras and more virtually anywhere around the boat without drilling into the hull so they can tailor the craft for their personal style.

The Predator 13
The Predator 13

The Predator boasts standout features including the three-stage Element™ seating system that can be lowered for paddling, raised for fishing or even flipped out of the way in stand-up mode for poling, sighting and casting. The proprietary, slip resistant Exo-Ridge™ deck is designed for sure footing and superior drainage, while the Tri-hull construction provides both incredible durability and stability. A package unique in the marketplace, the Old Town Predator ensures anglers can paddle in comfort, arrange equipment to their exact specifications and even stand to fish.

Designing the Predator.
Designing the Predator.

“In designing and building the Predator, we set out to turn convention upside down and deliver a totally new fishing experience,” said David Hadden, Old Town Brand Director. “The Predator still delivers the stability and comfort kayak anglers demand, but the ability to customize this kayak to your specific needs, and adjust it on the fly as your needs change, helps set it miles ahead of the competition.”

The Predator possesses a large capacity center console for maximum storage and additional mounting options, while dual rod tip holders at the bow help store valuable fishing rods safely and securely. Other key features include a large bow hatch with Old Town’s patented Click Seal cover, scupper holes for quick drainage, large rear tank well with Exo-Ridge design to keep gear accessible and dry, paddle keepers, adjustable foot braces and side-mounted rod retainers that allow for convenient grab and cast.

The Predator is tailor made to accept aftermarket options like Scotty™ outriggers, Steady Stand-Up Bar and a Minn Kota™ trolling motor mount. Available in two new models, Old Town Predator kayaks land at authorized dealers in Summer 2013.

Key Specifications

Predator 13:

  • Length: 13’ 2”
  • Width: 33.5”
  • Seat Height: 15”
  • Leg Length: 48”
  • Weight: 72 lbs.
  • Max Capacity: 400-425 lbs.
  • MSRP: $1,299 US

Predator MX:

  • Length: 12”
  • Width: 34”
  • Seat Height: 15”
  • Leg Length: 48”
  • Weight: 68 lbs.
  • Max Capacity: 375-400 lbs.
  • MSRP: $ $1,199 US

Press Release: Austin Canoe and Kayak Announces 2013 Kayak Demo Days

Austin, Texas (March 11, 2013) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC announces the 2013 Spring Kayak Demo Days & Outdoor Expo in Austin, San Marcos, Houston and Spring, Texas.

The annual event is designed to give paddlers the opportunity to demo a combination of over 90 kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards. Representatives from all the major paddlesport manufacturers will be in attendance to help answer questions and offer guidance when shopping for a kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard. The ACK Demo Days cater to both the beginner looking to buy their first kayak as well as more seasoned paddlers interested in an upgrade.

Roland Jimenez, ACK Director of Marketing, explains the importance of a on-the-water demo, “The intent is to give paddlers a chance to do more than just look at a boat but also get a first-hand experience on the water because after all, that’s where they’ll be using it,” Jimenez said. Roland added, “I can assure attendees that after a few hours at this event, they’ll be hooked and shouldn’t be surprised to find themselves driving home with a new kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard.”

This year, the Houston demo days will be split up into two days at two different locations to better serve the region. Saturday’s event will be hosted at Independence Park in Missouri City, Texas and Sunday’s event will be at the Elizabeth Kaiser Meyer Park Pond in Spring, Texas.

In addition to being able to demo kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards, the even hosts a variety of educational outdoor clinics including kayak fishing, kayak camping, basics of paddling amongst several other topics.

Demo dates and locations:

Austin Demo Days:
Date: April 6 & 7 (Saturday & Sunday)
Location: Hyde Park Quarries
Sat 10am-4pm & Sun 12pm-4pm (rain or shine)

San Marcos Area Demo Days:
Date: April 13 & 14 (Saturday & Sunday)
Location: Texas Ski Ranch
Sat 10am-4pm & Sun 12pm-4pm (rain or shine)

Houston Area Demo Days:
**There will be two locations this year to better serve Houston area residents!**
Date: April 13 (Saturday)
Location: Independence Park
Time: 10am-4pm (rain or shine)

Date: April 14 (Sunday)
Location: Elizabeth Kaiser Meyer Park Pond
Time: 10am-4pm (rain or shine)

These events are free and open to the general public. Additional information and maps to each location can be found at www.ack.com/demo.

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within four physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring and Houston, Texas.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MSP Holdings, LLC, please email pr@austinkayak.com.

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Press Release: Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK) Surpasses Major Milestones in 2012

Austin, Texas (February 12, 2013) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC, surpassed several milestones in 2012 with the expansion of staffing, business facilities, an additional storefront, as well as an increased online presence.

ACK has experienced significant growth since brothers Steve and Peter Messana, along with friend and co-owner Chris Hackerd, took over the company back in 2005. But, it was in 2011 that this development led to significant changes within the company’s infrastructure contributing to several major milestones in 2012.

ACK grew from just two employees in 2005 to nearly 50 by the end of 2012. Staffing was added to focus on customer service and order fulfillment to help meet consumer demand.

In addition to experiencing explosive growth in staffing, ACK also expanded its operational facilities to include a new additional 7,500 sq. ft. warehouse along with a new 3,200 sq. ft. satellite office. This led to a 50 percent overall increase in leased space in Austin, Texas alone, bringing the company-wide total to 50,000 sq. ft. Both new facilities are located within less than one mile of the Austin storefront and within three miles of ACK’s headquarters, which are all located in the north Austin area.

Peter Messana, CEO MSP Holdings, says expansion is far from over. “So far, the rapid growth we have experienced in our staffing and facilities has been reactive to consumer demand — expect a more proactive and larger-scale approach in 2013,” Messana said. Peter added, “We are a mom-and-pop shop at heart, with a focus on human-to-human interaction, and we will continue to focus on this interaction with the customers. They got us here in the first place.”

In addition to staffing and facility expansions, in December, ACK opened a second store in the Houston area in Spring, Texas. The decision to open this store was strategically based on demographic data and in-depth regional research. ACK now operates four retail storefronts in addition to its online ecommerce presence.

Notable 2012 Milestones in Summary

  • Increased from two employees in 2005 to 50 in 2012
  • Grew leased space by 50 percent for a total of 50,000 sq. ft. including:
    • New store in Spring, Texas (5,100 sq. ft.)
    • Additional warehouse in Austin, Texas (7,500 sq. ft.)
    • Additional office space in Austin, Texas (3,200 sq. ft.)
  • Increased operations to include four retail store fronts
  • Opened four store-within-a-store Rack Boys vehicle rack concepts
  • Added over 2,000 new items to inventory (approximately 10,000 products now available)

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within four physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring and Houston, Texas.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MSP Holdings, LLC, please call Roland Jimenez at 512-687-3010, or email pr@austinkayak.com.

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Press Release: Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK) Launches Re-Designed Outdoor Gear Website

Austin, Texas (November 12th, 2012) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC announces the re-launch of AustinKayak.com — re-designed and re-engineered to deliver an enhanced outdoor adventure gear shopping experience.

Customer service was the driving force behind the re-launch of the website according to Peter Messana, CEO of MSP Holdings, “every single enhancement, whether on the front or back-end was examined, refined and delivered from a customer’s perspective, we were very cognizant of the fact that we had to develop a site that was equal to or better than the existing site to continue to win praise and awards.”

The re-launch of AustinKayak.com also signifies the start of a new era in ACK’s evolving business model, encompassing a wider array of outdoor adventure gear categories such as camping, hiking and snow sports. Known to be one of the nations largest paddlesports retailers, ACK will always remain true to its core but with the re-launch of AustinKayak.com, the evolution has become more apparent.

“While the site’s new look and feel emulates what ACK has become to date” said Peter, “it’s what you don’t see that is harnessing the power of where we are going to take this tomorrow,” referring to a highly customizable infrastructure ready to accommodate new business goals.

New Technology and Design Enhancements:

  • Improved Navigation – Refined product category and menu structure and product searching and filtering capabilities
  • Google “Search as You Type (SAYT)” – Predictive search technology (currently only available to select retailers)
  • User Friendly Interface – Updated look and feel throughout and a cleaner more attractive product catalog and presentation
  • Back-end Stability & Speed – Built from the ground with key components of the website hosted in the “cloud” allowing for scalability and fail-over abilities while producing faster response times
  • Customizable – 100% engineered and designed internally without any 3rd party software packages, enabling a future-proof and highly customizable infrastructure

The website re-launch was part of a cohesive strategy involving ACK’s internal development, merchandising and marketing teams. The site is currently live at www.AustinKayak.com.

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within four physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring and Houston, Texas.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MSP Holdings, LLC, please call Roland Jimenez at 512-687-3010, or email pr@austinkayak.com.

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Press Release: Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK) Receives 2nd Kayak Angler Choice Award

Austin, Texas (November 9th, 2012) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC is honored to have received the “Kayak Angling Retailer of the Year Award” in the “Kayak Angler Choice Awards” for the second year in a row.

Kayak Anglers Choice Awards (KACA) is a joint venture between YakAngler.com and KayakFishingRadio.com honoring individuals, companies, products, events, websites and organizations all within the kayak angling community. Kayak anglers from across the globe nominate and vote for their favorites in a variety of different categories.

“What really sets this apart from other awards we have received is the direct connection to our kayak angling customers” said Peter Messana, MSP Holdings CEO, “a segment of the industry in which we are deeply rooted and value, we are honored.”

According to the organizers of the Kayak Anglers Choice Awards, over 5,000 unique voters participated this year resulting in three winners in each of 12 categories. For more information about the 2012 Kayak Angler’s Choice awards visit: www.yakangler.com.

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within four physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring and Houston, Texas.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MSP Holdings, LLC, please call Roland Jimenez at 512-687-3010, or email pr@austinkayak.com.

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Press Release: Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK) Announces Houston Store Grand Re-Opening Event

Austin, Texas (November 5th, 2012) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC will be hosting a “Grand Re-Opening” event on November 10th and 11th to celebrate the reconstruction of the Houston store after experiencing a damaging fire back in March of 2012.

The fire, which originated within an adjacent building not associated with Austin Canoe and Kayak, caused significant damage to both the building and inventory. Only a portion of the store remained operable while more than half of the inventory was relocated to a temporary location. Today, the renovation is nearly complete and set to be in full operable condition by November 10th, 2012.

“When I learned of the fire, I was devastated but now I can see past it all with a new and improved store layout and product display,” said Chris Hackerd, VP of Store Operations. “It’s an improvement I know our customers will notice and appreciate.”

Chris added, “We are thankful for not only the support of our staff, which has enabled us to continue to operate very close to business as usual, but also for our customers that offered their understanding and support during this period of transition.”

The event is open to the general public and attendees will be able to enter drawings for a chance to win prizes and take advantage of special offers. The Houston store is located at 5822 Bissonnet in Houston, Texas and the event will take place both Saturday, November 10th and Sunday, November 11th during regular business hours. For more information or to access a map, visit: www.ACK.com

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.ACK.com and www.RackBoys.com and within four physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring and Houston, Texas.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MSP Holdings, LLC, please call Roland Jimenez at 512-687-3010, or email pr@austinkayak.com.

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Press Release: Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK) Announces the Opening of New Store in Spring, Texas

Austin, Texas (October 11th, 2012) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC announces plans to open a fourth location in Spring, Texas just north of Houston and south of the bustling communities of The Woodlands and Conroe. This new store is in addition to the current Austin, San Marcos and Houston locations.

The store will consist of 5100 square feet conveniently located at 23310 North I-45 near the Hardy toll road. It is approximately 45 miles from the current Houston location and will offer an expansive selection of paddlesport, camping and other outdoor adventure gear along with associated services and events.

“We are thrilled to be serving an area with loyal customers that have driven up to two hours to visit our current Houston location whether shopping for a new kayak or looking for a small hard to find repair part” said Chris Hackerd, MSP Holdings VP of Store Operations, “This store will be closer to home and will expand our reach farther north and into east Texas and western Louisiana targeting those who appreciate the region’s unlimited outdoor recreational activities.”

“Austin Canoe & Kayak’s newest store strategically places them in the heart of north Houston. They will be able to provide the same incredible selection and unparalleled service to outdoor enthusiasts in Spring, The Woodlands, Conroe, Kingwood, Atascocita, Cypress and surrounding areas that their existing customers have been accustomed to” according to Barry Sandler of Sandler Realty, “this location places ACK in the perfect place to expand its thriving business.”

The location was selected after careful consideration and in-depth market research. The results clearly identified a healthy and active lifestyle community interested in the great outdoors. The store is slated to officially open its doors December 1st of 2012.

This store will also house the fourth “Store-in-a-Store” concept with dedicated floor space for Rack Boys, providing a full assortment of vehicle racks, trailers and accessories and installation services.

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.ACK.com and www.RackBoys.com and within four physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring and Houston, Texas.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MSP Holdings, LLC, please call Roland Jimenez at 512-687-3010, or email pr@austinkayak.com.

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Press Release: Austin Canoe and Kayak Receives Fourth Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Award

Austin, Texas (September 20th, 2012) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC is once again honored to have accepted the Bizrate® Circle of Excellence award for the fourth year in a row.

The Bizrate Circle of Excellence award recognizes those online retailers within the Bizrate Insights Network who have demonstrated outstanding performance, as rated by their customers, throughout a one-year period. The ratings are from direct feedback, collected at the point-of-sale and after the delivery of goods, from customers concerning seven key satisfaction indicators.

“The difference between assuming you are providing the level of customer satisfaction your customers demand and knowing it goes a long way, doing this four years in a row is amazing” said Peter Messana, MSP Holdings, LLC CEO, “we don’t take our customer’s feedback lightly, it means everything to us. We can look at it as validation that we are on the right path but we don’t, instead we use it daily as a valuable resource to continue improving and we thank our customers for that.”

Out of the more than 5,200 retailers in the Bizrate Network only 1.8% received the Bizrate Circle of Excellence Award. The award period for the 2012 Award was August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2012. The key satisfaction indicators measured for award eligibility are: immediately post purchase: Overall Satisfaction, Product Selection, and Ease of Finding; after order receipt: Likelihood to Buy Again, Product Met Expectations, On-Time Delivery, and Satisfaction with Customer Support.

For more information about the 2012 Bizrate® Circle of Excellence award visit: http://www.bizrate.com/boutique/2012circleofexcellence.html

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.ACK.com and www.RackBoys.com and within three physical locations in Austin, San Marcos and Houston, Texas.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MSP Holdings, LLC, please email pr@austinkayak.com.

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