Sporting Goods Hall of Famer Link Piazzo Passes Away at 95

Was War Hero, Philanthropist and Community Leader

Marty Maciaszek, Director of Communications
(847)296-6742, ext. 1260

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL (Nov. 26, 2014) ­– Link Piazzo, a member of the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame who served as Chairman of the NSGA Board of Directors in 1962, passed away Nov. 14 in his hometown, Reno, Nev. He was 95.

Piazzo, the son of Italian immigrants, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991 in recognition of a career that began in 1938 when he and brother Chet opened The Sportsman, Inc. He returned to the family business after World War II. During his career, he became a noted industry expert and advisor on matters related to golf, baseball, firearms and hunting, fishing, and basketball.

He was a founding partner of Clossco, the West Coast distributor for adidas, and served as an official timer for the Nevada state high school basketball tournaments. He also broadcast University of Nevada-Reno football and basketball games in the 1940s and ’50s.

During the war, Piazzo was a squadron leader as a captain in the Army Air Corps and flew 67 bombing missions, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross.

In his hometown, Piazzo supported many worthy causes. He made million-dollar donations to the University of Nevada-Reno, the Nevada Humane Society and the Reno YMCA, while making large gifts to many other causes including his alma mater, Reno High. The school’s alumni center and basketball court both are named after him. He also donated funding to build the Link Piazzo Dog Park.

He also served as president of the Western Sporting Goods Association, the United Way and YMCA. He founded the Reno chapter of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.

“We are saddened by Link’s passing,” NSGA President & CEO Matt Carlson said. “As noteworthy and successful as his sporting goods career was, Link’s influence will be felt for generations thanks to his selfless support of his local community.

“Men like Link Piazzo are rare, indeed, and he will be missed,” Carlson said.

Link is survived by his son Craig and beloved dog Lily. Funeral services have been held. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Nevada Humane Society, 2825 Longley Lane, Reno, NV 89502.