Nashville Sporting Goods was established in 1945, concentrating mainly on recreational boat sales, as well as fishing and hunting equipment. Walter R. Nipper purchased the company in 1950, and saw a need for team sporting goods equipment sales. Since that time Nashville Sporting Goods has become a leader in team sports in Tennessee and the Southeast.
Born in 1920, Nipper was the eldest of nine children. With a keen love for sports, Nipper played football at Cumberland High School and was part of the All-State team in 1939. After taking bookkeeping and auditing classes at the Watkins Institute, he went to work for Miller Flying Service, and then Sears in 1945. Thanks to the investment by Third National Bank President Sam Fleming, and Vice President John Clay, Nipper made the purchase of Nashville Sporting Goods in 1950. His business philosophy can be summed up as the following:
"I worked real hard. I would be the first to come in and I would be the last at night. And built my business on delivery: whatever I promised, that's what the customer got. If I say I'll do something, I'll do it."
Nipper attributes NSG success to the great people. One of those key people was his son-in-law Bob Butler. Butler joined the team in 1972, running the retail side and then eventually running the team division. Butler became the President and owner upon Nipper's death in 2001.
During his years as President and leader of the team division, NSG Team Sports became one of the premier dealers in the South, building a business from the Mid-State to regional. Known for hard work, intelligent buying, and a keen business mind, Butler took NSG to the top ten in most all categories. Butler added Robert A. Butler, Jr. to the team in 2001. Bob Butler retired in 2010 and named Robert A. Butler, Jr. President.
NSG Team Sports remains true to the "core values" established by its great leaders - work hard and deliver what you promise.