Sports Authority Prepares To Auction Off Its Name, Your Name, Broncos Stadium Naming Rights

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

When a company files for bankruptcy protection and goes out of business, it sells off everything it owns with any value. That includes your name, if you’re on the retailer’s mailing list or part of their loyalty card program. Even the company’s own name goes up on the auction block. In the case of Sports Authority, the bankrupt company’s intellectual property includes the right to plaster their name on the field where the NFL’s Denver Broncos play.

All of this is part of an auction that will be held two weeks from today, and will be handled by Hilco Streambank, which specializes in selling intellectual property and domain names on behalf of other companies.

At the moment, for example, they’re selling some food and pet food brands that BJ’s Wholesale Club developed and apparently no longer wants, and they’re also selling the A&P brand, the supermarket’s house brand names, and its customer data to a qualified buyer.

What’s on the auction block from Sports Authority? Hilco Streambank lists the following trademarks:

  • Tommy Armour Golf®
  • Alpine®
  • Aspire Style®
  • bloom®
  • Bodyfit by Sports Authority®
  • Ram Golf®
  • S A Gear® and Design
  • Slalom®

The URL is also for sale, and apparently the site received 125 million visits last year. It might be of use to an online sporting goods retailer that would set up a zombie retail operation, like what TigerDirect tried to do with CompUSA and Circuit City.

There are also “114 million customer files” on the block, and “25 million opt-in mailing addresses,” along with the store’s loyalty program that includes 28.5 million members. Eventually, the bankruptcy court will appoint a privacy ombudsperson to supervise the handling of this data if it’s sold to ensure it doesn’t fall into the hands of the lowest-bidding sneaker spammer.

Finally, there’s the naming rights to the Broncos’ field at Mile High Stadium.The Broncos object to this item being put up for public auction [PDF], partly because Sports Authority is behind on its payments.

Intellectual Property Acquisition Opportunity The Sports Authority, Inc. [Hilco Streambank]

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