Sport Supply Group buys Har-Bell
Direct retailer Sport Supply Group is steadily growing across the country, with its latest acquisition of Har-Bell Athletic Goods, according to the Dallas Business Journal
Har-Bell is the third acquisition for the Farmers Branch, Texas-based company this year. Financial terms of the deal were not announced, but with Har-Bell, SSG increases its presence in the Midwest.
Earlier this year SSG acquired Evansville, Ind.-based Doerner’s Team Sports Division and Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Webster’s Team Spots. Springfield, Mo.-based Har-Bell is similar in size to Doerner’s and Webster’s.
Har-Bell’s current owner Bryan Tucker will join the team at SSG, along with a team of salespeople.
SSG touts itself as the country’s largest manufacturer, marketer and distributor of sporting goods. The company sells branded equipment and team apparel from leading athletic brands including Nike, Under Armour, Rawlings and many others. In addition to sports apparel, the company manufactures equipment like bleachers, goals and backstops.
’s Chief Executive Officer Adam Blumenfeld gave WinmoEdge further details on the company’s plans as it continues to grow.
Blumenfeld said that Har-Bell is a “classic ‘roll-in’” acquisition, of which the company has done many over the years. He said that integrating and assimilating Har-Bell into SSG’s culture is a top priority for the company in the initial steps pots-acquisition.
“(We’ll be) getting them on our system, trained on our proprietary equipment and getting them out there selling,” he said. “This is largely an acquisition of an experienced sales team.”
Tucker will head up the Missouri sales efforts for SSG, Blumenfeld said, adding that the company views the Har-Bell acquisition as a staging platform for future regional growth.
“Near-term goals include geographic expansion where applicable, potential acquisition of proprietary brands and more than anything, in this economy, execution of the basic business plan,” he said.
The company utilizes direct sales efforts, and Blumenfeld said that the more feet on the street or catalogs placed in the hands of prospects and customers, the faster SSG can bring in clients.
“Today SSG markets via 200-plus direct road men, three million catalogs, 40 telesales reps, 92 Web sites and nearly 3,000 redistributors, of which 60 of them are consider ‘Platinum Partners’, meaning they get special treatment due to the commitment they make to us in volume,” Blumenfeld said.
He said that the company does very little consumer business, with the exception of online efforts. The company has not utilized typical advertising in trade publications.
“The marketing mix may be ramped up in quantity, but the methods to market will remain the same,” Blumenfeld said.
According to Blumenfeld, almost all of SSG’s marketing is done in-house, although the company is beginning to test services from outside firms to help with some brand development and marketing.
Blumenfeld said that SSG is in the earliest of stages in breaking away from its direct selling model, which is akin to Dell’s. Keep the company on a long-term prospect list, as its needs may change as it continues to grow region-by-region.