Product Development Manager | Job Description

TITLE                          Product Development Manager

REPORTS TO            CFO, Owner


Location:                     3445 36th St. Kentwood, MI 49512

Hours & Schedule:      Full-time on-location, Monday to Friday 8 AM – 5 PM

Compensation:           Salary TBD


Howies Hockey Tape is a locally owned and fast-growing business that has been around the Grand Rapids area since 2002 with another distribution facility operating out of Burlington, Ontario, just outside of Toronto. Our focus is selling high quality hockey tape, accessories, apparel, and many other sporting goods. Over the years we have become a staple in the hockey community, and we are currently working with every team in the NHL, AHL, and the majority of division 1 colleges around the country.

In 2015 we launched our sister company, Howies Athletic Tape. This allowed us to branch into new markets and has given us the opportunity to work with all sports. We have built this side of the company to an elite level that allows us to supply products to MLB, NFL, MLS, and NBA teams. We are also supporting D1 football programs like the University of Michigan, Alabama, and Michigan State, as well as thousands of high schools across North America. If someone needs tape or sports medicine products, we want to be the ones to supply it.

All in all, we pride ourselves on providing the world’s highest quality products to pro shops, retail stores, teams of all levels, and international distributors. Another facet we are focused on is expanding our internet sales business directly to consumers so everyone can use Howies. Our team-oriented culture, industry-leading customer service, and ability to fulfill orders quickly and error free across all sales channels sets us apart from the competition.


“One Thing”: Oversee and drive all activities involved in product life cycles.

Howies Hockey / Athletic Tape is looking to hire a Product Development Manager who will organize and direct the development of every Howies product from start to finish. Starting with the idea phase, seeing it through development, assisting in vendor selection, being involved in pricing negotiations, facilitating production, and supervising the acquisition of both hockey and sports medicine products. We are seeking an intelligent, well-spoken individual who will interact daily with manufacturers, vendors, and the entire Howies commercial team. We expect to continue our substantial growth and we require another team member who loves sports and is eager to play a major role in growing our business. This is a full-time position with the opportunity to start immediately. Primary responsibilities include maintaining relationships across all sports channels, compiling current and new product information, and creating / developing new products that will keep Howies on top of the hockey and sports medicine world.  


  • Have an outgoing personality and demonstrate outstanding verbal skills
  • Ability to communicate well, think on their feet, and be persistent
  • Be extremely confident with decision making and negotiation
  • Supply chain / sourcing and management experience is preferred
  • Important to possess a solid general business acumen
  • Must have a team-oriented and growth mindset


  • Drive product development activity from top to bottom by focusing on high volume products
  • Maintain a pulse on hockey and sports medicine markets to understand opportunities
  • Work closely with sales staff to identify potential products we can bring to market
  • Manage the process of new product development and drive ideas until completed
  • Partner with marketing team to develop products with top tier quality, look, and feel
  • Ensure consistency with other Howies products in product packaging and branding
  • Display strong negotiation skills with multiple suppliers to secure top tier products and reduced lead times
  • Identify optimal shipment / transportation routes to assist warehousing and distribution
  • Lead and manage sourcing specialist and other employees involved in procurement
  • Be prepared to perform other related duties as assigned


  • Excellent verbal and written communication including skills in negotiation setting
  • Ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with suppliers and shippers
  • Creativity to develop new products that can fill potential customer demand
  • Self-starter with positive, never satisfied attitude
  • Must have excellent time management skills and be highly organized to handle managing multiple projects simultaneously without hindering quality
  • Exceptional knowledge of Microsoft Office, particularly Excel
  • Hockey or sports experience to understand players’ needs are preferred

GENERALAs a small business there are many other tasks that will be required

  • Represent Howies Hockey / Athletic Tape at tournaments and tradeshows as needed
  • Order fulfillment – know how to process and pack all orders that come into Howies
  • Work with the management and marketing teams to develop new marketing pieces
  • Work with the management and sales teams to develop new sales ideas
  • Communication and positive relationships with the entire team – top to bottom
  • Engage both the operations and sales sides of the business daily
  • Anything else required from Howies to be a best-in-class business


Here at Howies, we take the phrase “work hard, play hard” very seriously. When we are not busy assisting our customers, we are busy playing hockey and having a good time. When the days are just too perfect to be working, we will take a quick trip to the driving range, play pickup basketball, throw the football around, or get some batting practice in to stay seasoned for our summer softball league. In the wintertime, we will crack open a couple of cold ones and watch the Red Wings or even pop downtown and catch a Griffins game at the Van. All in all, we are always up for a good time, both in the office and out. We strive to make the office an awesome environment that our team is excited to come to on a daily basis and put in a hard day’s work.