CHICAGO, Ill. – MVP.com announced its plans to acquire PlanetOutdoors.com, the leading outdoor e-commerce site based in Boulder, Colorado. This acquisition marks MVP.com’s further advancement into vertical sports categories to enhance the breadth and depth of merchandise offered on its flagship mvp.com site. MVP.com also owns igogolf.com and tennisdirect.com, co-owns and operates mvp.ca in Canada, and powers the e-commerce sites of Sportsline.com and Faceoff.com. PlanetOutdoors.com’s financial backers will invest additional funding in the combined company. Terms of the agreement with PlanetOutdoors.com were not disclosed.
“MVP.com is committed to offering customers the best products and services in each category in which we compete, from team sports and fitness to outdoor recreation and individual sports,” said John Costello, CEO of MVP.com. “PlanetOutdoors.com has established the definitive destination for outdoor gear and apparel on the Internet, and is dedicated to the same excellence that we pursue at MVP.com.
“The U.S. Market for outdoor products is about $16 billion with the online segment projected at $1.6 billion by 2002. By combining PlanetOutdoors’ merchandising and customer service strengths with MVP.com’s technology, fulfillment and marketing expertise, we are creating a superior site to attract more customers and lead this market.”
Customers will continue to find the widest variety of name-brand outdoor products at PlanetOutdoors.com, and will be able to chat in real-time with online customer service experts who focus exclusively on the outdoor category. World-class customer service from some of the top outdoor athletes in America has been a defining asset of PlanetOutdoors.com since its inception. Customers also will find many site upgrades over the next few weeks, including 24×7 customer service, and enhancements in the technology that powers the site.
MVP.com will continue to leverage PlanetOutdoors’ strong brand equity by maintaining and promoting the PlanetOutdoors URL. Customers also will be able to shop at PlanetOutdoors by entering through mvp.com.
“Our relationship with MVP.com will produce synergies that we could not have undertaken on our own,” said David Secunda, president and CEO of PlanetOutdoors.com. “PlanetOutdoors will gain more resources to expand the business while holding onto the core assets that made us a leading brand in the outdoor category, including our world-class customer service and the industry’s best merchants. We looked at a number of potential partners who could recognize our existing value and allow us to stay true to our mission, and MVP.com presents the perfect fit. Together, we will empower active people of all abilities and interests to quickly and easily gear up and get outdoors.”
About Planet Outdoors.com
Founded in 1999, PlanetOutdoors offers customers of every interest and participation level a unique and authentic online experience where they can learn about different products and prepare for and plan outdoor activities. The company received more than $20 million in funding from venture partners, including CMGI@Ventures, Trinity Ventures, APV Technology Partners, all of Menlo Park, California; and New York’s I-Hatch investors and Boulder’s Sequel Venture Partners, Tango Partners, Forefront Capital and Canyon Capital.
MVP.com offers a broad assortment of apparel and equipment for all skill levels from amateur sports and outdoors enthusiasts to professional athletes. The MVP Edge portion of the site, authored by its team of experts and the MVP.com Advisory Board, provides a unique perspective on training and performance, as well as up-to-date information about the products it sells – including product technologies, nutrition information, and buying guides. MVP.com’s Advisory Board includes the world’s top athletes and experts, including John Elway, Michael Jordan, and Wayne Gretzky.
MVP.com’s partners include leading sporting goods retailer Galyan’s Trading Co., providing merchandising expertise, customer service and fulfillment, SportsLine.com, the leading global Internet sports media company and a four-year, $85 million marketing agreement with CBS Corporation. MVP.com operates the official e-commerce sites for Major League Baseball (majorleaguebaseball.com) and the PGA Tour (pgatour.com).
Chicago-based MVP.com was founded in October 1999 and has received financial backing from Benchmark Capital and Freeman Spogli. The site launched January 26, 2000, and carries more than 50,000 unique stock keeping units and over 500 brands.