About Us | STACK


STACK exists to inspire and empower the next generation of athletes. Our mission is to bridge the information gap between professional and amateur athletes. We attempt to level the playing field and democratize sport. We believe that every athlete should have the information and tools they need to reach their potential.

We are the athlete's partner in achieving their athletic destiny—whether it is to make the team, become a starter, earn a scholarship or go pro. We provide authentic training, nutrition, motivation, skills and gear advice from the best pro athletes and performance experts.

We work with schools and leagues. We help teams win. We train and motivate athletes. We educate parents, coaches and trainers. We make a difference.

We create content and provide tools, but we are more than a media company. We are a brand. We are an authority. We are a competitive edge. We are a movement.



STACK is a multimedia company that provides credible and reliable information, tools and services to help active sports participants get better at the games they play and the lives they lead. Since its founding in 2005, STACK has continually launched new products and services to meet the needs of athletes and fitness enthusiasts, helping them improve not only their on-field performance but also their off-the-field lifestyle and entertainment habits.

STACK Partners


STACK's official retail partner, Eastbay is the world's leading supplier of athletic shoes, clothing and sports equipment. Established to meet the performance needs of local high school and college athletes in Central Wisconsin and originally viewed as a grassroots project, it grew into a worldwide direct mail catalog and internet sales conglomerate featuring top athletic brands such as adidas, ASICS, Reebok, Jordan, New Balance, Saucony and Nike.

Foot Locker

Foot Locker is a specialty retailer that operates approximately 3,400 stores in 22 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Through its Foot Locker, Footaction, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports and CCS retail stores, as well as its direct-to-customer channel Footlocker.com/Eastbay/CCS, the Company is the leading provider of athletic footwear and apparel.


A division of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), Gatorade provides sports performance innovations designed to meet the needs of athletes at all competitive levels and across a broad range of sports. Gatorade Thirst Quencher® is backed by more than 40 years of research and is scientifically formulated and athletically proven to quench thirst, replace fluids and electrolytes, and provide energy to enhance athletic performance. The company's product portfolio is built around the G Series™, a 1-2-3 approach to athlete nutrition and hydration—before (Gatorade Prime 01™), during (Gatorade® Perform 02 and G2® Perform 02), and after (Gatorade Recover 03™) training or competition. For more information, please visit www.gatorade.com


beRecruited is the nation's leading online networking destination for high school student-athletes seeking to be recruited by college and university coaches. On beRecruited.com high school student-athletes can build profiles of verified academic and athletic information, collect information on colleges and universities, and reach out to college coaches. Registered college coaches can search a vast database of potential recruits and directly connect with them. beRecruited has over one million registered users, including at least one student in 80% of U.S. high schools, 68% of college coaches, over 25,000 high school & club coaches, and over 25,000 parents.

STACK Editorial Advisors

Tim Grover

Michael Jordan and 7% of the current NBA

Known as the "trainer to the pros" and as one of the top trainers in the business, Tim Grover has spoken to audiences around the globe. He has been recognized as one of the leading sports enhancement specialists since 1989, when he was selected as exclusive trainer to Michael Jordan. Grover's clients include Dwyane Wade, Ben Gordon, Elton Brand, Antoine Walker, Alex Rodriguez, Simeon Rice and many other sports stars.

Mark Verstegen

Olympic Teams and MLB Stars

One of the world's elite performance enhancement specialists, Mark Verstegen, founder of Athletes' Performance (Tempe, Ariz.), has trained first-round NFL draft picks, WTA Grand Slam champions, top PGA/LPGA players, AL and NL MLB rookies of the year, MLB batting champions, NBA All-Stars and world-class athletes from many other sports. Verstegen authored the acclaimed training book, Core Performance: The Revolutionary Workout Program to Transform Your Body and Your Life. Athletes' Performance clients include Nomar Garciaparra, Curt Schilling, Carl Crawford, Brett Favre and Mia Hamm.

Chip Smith

NFL, NBA, MLB Players

One of the foremost speed and strength experts in the United States, Chip Smith has trained more than 200 current NFL players. He offers one of the best Combine preparation programs in the nation for scores of players selected each year in the NFL Draft. Smith did post-graduate work in speed and strength studies at the world-renowned Soviet Sports Institute. He trains many NFL, NBA and MLB stars, including Brian Urlacher, Champ Bailey, Antwaan Randle El, Mike Williams, Kendrell Bell and Ashley Lelie.

Tom Shaw

70 First-Round NFL Draft Picks

Tom Shaw is one of the nation's leading authorities on flexibility and strength conditioning for football, track and baseball. Since 2001, he has served as assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Prior to that, he held the same position for the New Orleans Saints. Shaw offers one of the premiere NFL Draft Combine preparation programs, and he has worked with 70 first-round draft picks in the past eight years. Shaw's clients include Deion Sanders, Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Laveranues Coles, Jevon Kearse, and many other top NFL stars.

STACK Founders

STACK was created by Nick Palazzo and Chad Zimmerman in 2000, while they were both playing football in college—at Harvard and Carnegie Mellon, respectively. As serious athletes, the two were continually frustrated by the lack of credible sports performance and training information.

STACK Managers

Josh Staph, SVP, Content

Josh Staph is the Senior Vice President, Content at STACK, Inc. He joined the Company shortly after it was founded in 2005, and he currently oversees content strategy, editorial production and custom content campaigns for the Company's marketing partners.

In 2002, Josh graduated from Harvard College Cum Laude with a degree in economics. He was the starting running back for Harvard's 2001 undefeated, nationally ranked football team; and following the season, he was selected as a Division I Academic All-American. After college, he helped design and implement workouts for professional athletes, including NFL Pro Bowlers, Heisman Trophy winners and perennial All Stars, at Speed Strength Systems in Euclid, Ohio.

Over the past eight years at STACK, Josh has established himself as one of the nation's leading authorities on sports performance and fitness training.

Carl Mehlhope, SVP, Integrated Sales and Partnerships

Based in STACK's New York office, Carl is Senior Vice President, Integrated Sales and Partnerships. He joined the Company shortly after its founding in 2005. He is in charge of developing partnerships with marketers who want to engage and empower athletes. Prior to STACK, he spent 17 years at Time, Inc., where he worked primarily on campaigns for People magazine.

STACK Board of Directors

Nick Palazzo, CEO

A 2003 cum laude graduate of Harvard College, Nick compiled a distinguished athletic and academic record. As a running back, he finished among Harvard's all-time leading rushers and scorers, earning the Vic Gatto, Buzz Crain and Henry Lamar Awards during his career. Academically, Nick was honored as a Harvard Scholar, Holland Scholar, Harvard's nominee to the National Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame and Academic All-Ivy League.

Since his graduation, Nick has served as STACK's CEO, overseeing the Company's sales, marketing and business development operations and establishing and maintaining relationships with more than 100 blue chip marketers and over a dozen strategic partners. With his unique insights into the mindset of high performing and highly motivated athletes, Nick provides feedback and perspective to marketers, creating relationships that go beyond advertising and sponsorship.

Nick has been featured in numerous publications and broadcast programs, including The New York Times, the Today show, Mediaweek, MIN, Folio, Sports Business Journal, Forbes and Adweek, and he is a frequent keynote and panel speaker at media industry events on digital media and online video, including OMMA Global, MIN Day Summit, OMMA Publish, Niche Digital Conference, Folio: Growth Summit, Niche Media Conference. In 2009, he was featured as a "C-Level Visionary" by Folio as part of its annual Folio:40 list of media industry influencers and innovators, which also included President Barack Obama.

Chad Zimmerman, President

In 2004, Chad earned a degree in Chemical Engineering from the prestigious Carnegie Institute of Technology, ranking among the top student-athletes at Carnegie Mellon University. An All-America and All-Region honoree in his senior year, Chad was a team captain, four-year starter at offensive guard and three-time First Team All-Conference selection. Academically, he won the Enterprise Award with Special Distinction from The Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship and the Senior Leader Award from the Carnegie Mellon University Faculty.

Upon graduation, Chad became STACK's President. Under his leadership, the company established its brand, grew its media properties, attracted a large audience, and established itself as a leader in its field of sports performance. STACK Magazine commands the largest teen readership in the country (more than five million readers per issue); and STACK.com and its affiliate sites are among the top 15 largest sports properties in the U.S. per comScore. Chad is currently laser-focused on content strategy and audience development, initiatives to reach and serve the needs of millions of athletes, their parents and coaches, trainers, nutritionists and other professionals who work with athletes.

Jeff Lucier, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief

Jeff has spent most of his career in the publishing business. A native of New Hampshire and a graduate of Union College and the University of Chicago, he taught English at Northwestern University and sold securities for PaineWebber before, in 1971, joining Banks-Baldwin Law Publishing Company in Cleveland. In 1979, he acquired Banks-Baldwin, served as its CEO for sixteen years, and, in 1993, sold it to West Publishing Company (later acquired by Thompson Corporation, now Thompson-Reuters).

Jeff subsequently served as CEO of two early-stage companies—Pegasus Technologies, a neural-network software vendor to the electric utility industry, and All-Stater Sports, a national magazine and website on high school sports. He joined STACK in 2005.

Jeff has been active in several non-profit organizations, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Banks-Baldwin Foundation, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, The Cleveland Music School Settlement, JumpStart, E City, E Prep, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Horizon Montessori School and Hawken School. He recently joined the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance (www.positivecoach.org). He is married and has four daughters.

Peter Johnson, Vice Chairman & COO

Peter is the former CEO, Sports & Entertainment (S&E) at IMG, the largest sports, entertainment and media company in the world, with over 3,000 employees operating out of 60 offices in 35 countries. S&E included all business related to Clients, Tennis, Events & Federations, Fashion, Consulting, Broadcasting, Licensing, Publishing, Arts & Entertainment and other divisions. Prior to that, Peter was the Chief Operating Officer of IMG, where he started and managed the team sport businesses; directed IMG's worldwide sales force; personally managed some of the most celebrated athletes in the world; directed most of IMG's international offices; and spearheaded three global reorganizations of IMG's structure and staffing.

During his thirty years at IMG, Peter played a critical role in many of the largest and most influential global sports deals, events and precedents. In 2004, he was named the "Most Influential Agent" in the United States by Sports Business Journal and honored as a "Top Marketer" by Advertising Age.

Peter began his career at IMG in 1976. During his tenure, he was responsible for the management and marketing of three NFL Most Valuable Players, two first selections in the NFL Draft, a world #1 male tennis player, a world #1 female tennis player, a world #1 female golfer, a world heavyweight boxing champion and numerous NFL and NBA All-Stars. Among his clients were Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Rich Gannon, Tim Couch, Herschel Walker, Ivan Lendl, Martina Navratilova, Nancy Lopez, Evander Holyfield and Shane Mosley.

He serves on the Board of Advisors of the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital; MAI, a financial planning and investment advisory firm; the Wharton Sports Business Initiative, an educational and corporate think tank, and the McDonough Business School Advisory Council at Georgetown University.

Peter is a graduate of the University of Delaware, and earned his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the University of Delaware's Division II National Championship football team. He later played for the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions. He and his wife, Stephanie Tolleson, live in Moreland Hills, Ohio. Their daughter attends Georgetown University and his son and daughter live and work in Los Angeles.

John M. Saada Jr., Partner, Jones Day

John regularly represents private equity funds and strategic investors in investment activities, including venture capital investments, leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, exits, restructurings, joint ventures, mezzanine financings, and private equity fund formation and governance matters. In the past several years, the main focus of John's practice has involved the formation and governance of private investment funds and the organization and documentation of fund sponsors' internal firm arrangements and compensation matters. John also represents limited partners in their investments in private equity funds.

The private equity funds with which John has recently worked include Edgewater Capital Partners, Goode Partners, High Road Capital Partners, Morgenthaler Partners, Key Principal Partners, Kirtland Capital Partners, Parallel Partners, Patriarch Partners, Primus Capital Partners, Resilience Capital Partners, The Riverside Company, and Rockwood Equity Partners.

John also advises private and emerging growth companies in sectors such as health care, technology, information services, and consumer products. John's work with these companies focuses on strategic counsel, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, financing transactions, executive compensation, and corporate governance matters.

In community matters, John is chairman of the board of trustees of the Positive Education Program and is on the boards of directors of the Association For Corporate Growth Cleveland Chapter and United Way of Greater Cleveland. He is also a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2008.

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