Report: Dick’s Wins Sports Authority Brand, Including Domain Names

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

In the future, when you forget that Sports Authority went out of business and type in their website address, you’ll end up on a page owned by the defunct retailer’s biggest competitor. Dick’s Sporting Goods reportedly scooped up the Sports Authority name, including its domain names and customer mailing lists, for $15 million in the company’s intellectual property auction.

Reuters reports that a source close to the auction shared that Dick’s was the big winner in this auction. The sporting goods retail landscape isn’t a promising one lately, but Dick’s did also reportedly win 31 leases for a total of $8 million, most likely in areas where it doesn’t currently have a store.

When Sports Authority put its current stores up for sale as a going concern, which means buying the business and all of its inventory, liquidators made the highest bids, selling off inventory at nice discounts eventually.

Buying the intellectual property of Sports Authority, as Reuters reports that Dick’s Sporting Goods has done, would allow Dick’s to open Sports Authority stores or an e-commerce site if it wanted to, but it probably won’t. Instead, purchasing the mailing list and loyalty card member information means acquiring some customer names, especially in areas where it doesn’t currently have stores. Buying the brand means that no one else can own it.

Now Dick’s can let the brand that used to be plastered on tickets and billboards at sporting events simply die off instead of worrying about the brand being resurrected, as Modell’s and UK retailer Sports Direct had planned to do with the Sports Authority brand on a small scale.

There was no reported winner for the naming rights to the field where the Denver Broncos, reigning Super Bowl champions, play. That will please the Broncos: the team wanted to prevent the contract from being sold at the bankruptcy auction, and to perhaps find a more lucrative deal with a new sponsor on its own.

Dick’s set to win auction for Sports Authority brand: sources [Reuters]