- Foot Locker is selling its team sales business to sporting goods and apparel maker BSN Sports for an undisclosed price, according to a press release.
- The footwear retailer said it expects the deal to close in the coming weeks.
- The team sales business, under the company’s Eastbay division, historically accounted for less than 1% of Foot Locker’s annual sales.
The team sales divestment comes as Foot Locker works to focus around its core consumer business and consolidate and strengthen its brands, including through the ongoing merger of the Eastbay and Champs Sports brands.
Eastbay’s team sales business has employed a team of more than 100 salespeople to sell merchandise to “thousands” of high school coaches and athletic directors, according to the company’s annual reports. The unit was founded in 1980 and came under Foot Locker when the retailer acquired Eastbay in 1997, BSN noted in its announcement of the deal.
Foot Locker CEO Richard Johnson said in a statement that “the Team Sales business has connected directly with high school coaches and athletic directors across the U.S. to offer the best performance product and a premium service level.”
Terry Babilla, president BSN Sports — which is a division of the Bain Capital-owned Varsity Brands — said of the acquisition that “our new Sales Professionals will benefit from the best and broadest inventory selection, leading design and customization tools and support resources.”
Meanwhile for Foot Locker, the team sales divestment likely further simplifies its Eastbay business as it merges with Champs. Along with the announcement around team sales, Foot Locker said that it would fully consolidate Eastbay.com website into the Champs Sports banner. According to a spokesperson, the transition will take place starting in the third quarter, with performance sportswear from Eastbay.com to be sold at ChampsSports.com and “select” Champs retail locations.
That is part of a process that has been going on since 2019. Since then, Foot Locker has integrated the integrated the corporate organizations for Champs and Eastbay. Last year, it announced it would merge the two brands into a combined brand dubbed Champs Sports x Eastbay, with combined logos and offerings, and aimed at the youth sports market.
Historically, Eastbay had focused on sports performance products, sold through DTC channels, while Champs was a lifestyle brand with a retail presence. “The brands coming together will continue to inspire the next generation of athletes by helping them game, train and live at their best, with a mission to be the true expression of sport culture,” the company said last year of the brands’ merging.