Why the BSN SPORTS Acquisition of Eastbay Team Sales Business from Foot Locker is Valuable 

Source: I recently discussed the lack of activations around the NBA Finals.

When Williams Trading analyst Sam Poser delivered this information: “In FY22 Nike (NKE-Hold-$125 PT) will represent ~55% of FL’s purchases, down from 75% in FY20, and 65% in 4Q21. Based on our estimates, FL’s 2022 purchases from NKE will be down over $800M,” it was evidence that Nike’s decision to diminish the allotment of sneakers to Foot Locker was going to weigh heavily on the chain. The announcement that Foot Locker has sold the Eastbay Team Sports, but not the brand is continued evidence of Foot Locker shedding weight to offset losses from the smaller quantity of sneakers from the Swoosh. This is a moment to look at the landscape of the sneaker industry as opposed to analyzing whether Foot Locker is in trouble.

BSN is a team sports company. The team sports industry hasn’t really changed in years. The dominance of affable box retailers for sports equipment purchasing is still the same as it was, but team footwear and apparel still can’t be purchased by simply walking into a Dick’s Sporting Goods. There isn’t a company that has really understood or focused on team sports in a new or innovative way. BSN has been attempting to understand and navigate the new sports equipment and apparel environment, but I don’t think even they fully grasp the opportunity available with the acquisition of Eastbay Team Sales.

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While Foot Locker undervalued Eastbay Team Sales, BSN already has concepts in play which could truly change the game for sneaker brands. BSN hosts Coaching Webinars and they have media which drives engagement and educates. While their YouTube link on their homepage isn’t linked correctly (fix that), their YouTube is active, but the company’s strategy isn’t quite nailed down.

BSN SPORTS Acquires the Eastbay Team Sales Business from Foot Locker Retail, Inc:

Missed Opportunity or Conscious Omission? Under Armour, Anta and Puma Own the NBA Finals but Aren’t Activating

In this post I began to talk about how the shift in sneaker sales from performance to casual has hurt basketball sneaker sales. With this Eastbay acquisition, the final paragraph in this post provides the topic of topic here:

Are we in a post marketing moment for basketball? Has the NBA become a runway platform where athletes are more influential as personalities than they are for their basketball talent? Which means that they can sell casualwear much better than performance gear? If we are in this moment, will brands begin to slow down on the introduction of signature sneakers, or are signature sneakers simply a tool to access the followers of professional athletes as brands? Is the international market now the home for professional basketball to drive performance basketball sales?

The first question is where BSN has an opportunity for a game changing connection with brands. We are definitely in a post-athlete marketing strategy for team sales, but this doesn’t mean that we are post signature sneaker sales. Sales on athlete branded gear has to happen at a different space now. BSN is now perfectly positioned to introduce a media, camp and league strategy to elevate brand footwear and apparel to a market waiting to be sold. BSN has a chance to reestablish a dope strategy for team sales if they understand how to elevate what they already are doing.

 

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