Global Sports Inc. has won the license to operate the online store of Blades Board & Skate LLC, an action sports retail chain.
This brings the number of e-commerce businesses operated under license by Global Sports on behalf of its retail clients to 18. Other sites managed by Global Sports include The Sports Authority, Dick's Sporting Goods, The Sports Chalet, The Athlete's Foot, Bally Total Fitness and Fox Sports.
As part of the deal, Global Sports will run Blades.com, merchandising and fulfilling product bought directly from manufacturers of snowboards, skateboards, in-line skates, footwear and accessories. It has a distribution center in Louisville, KY, that fulfills orders for all sites it licenses.
Blades, New York, will be paid royalties on sales from Blades.com. Blades will promote the Web site through print and radio advertising, direct mail and specialty sports marketing.
In addition, the Web address will be prominently displayed in 15 Blades' stores across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Prior to Global Sports, Blades used an application service provider for the technology end for a fee, while Blades stores fulfilled orders and handled customer service.
Michael Conn, senior vice president of business development at Global Sports, King of Prussia, PA, said the sporting goods category was ideal for his company.
“You have a category that is very complex for any one person to manage on their own for e-commerce because it requires carrying a broad selection of products that have a wide variety of sizes and shapes,” Conn said.
“It's difficult for them to kind of get the scale necessary to develop into a money-making proposition,” he said, “where else by aggregating this demand for an entire category we get a lot more scale and the economics are better for us.”