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MVP.com Restructures

MVP.com, the sporting goods and outdoors e-tailer that has as board members sports legends John Elway, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretsky, said it is closing down two offices and cutting 79 jobs, including 20 at its Chicago headquarters.

Being shuttered are offices in Boulder, CO (39 people) and Austin, TX (20 people). The privately-held company said all operations in Chicago are being consolidated.

The Austin and Boulder operations were acquired through e-commerce business purchases that MVP.com made in 2000, the company said, adding that "This move will help lower the company's cost structure to operate more effectively and efficiently in a challenging business environment."

Last October, the company missed a $5 million payment -- due Oct. 1 -- to backer CBS Sportsline.com, and was reportedly turning to Sportsline and other partners for additional funding.

On Nov. 20, SportsLine.com Inc., publisher of CBS SportsLine.com, terminated its agreement with MVP.com, saying the sports e-commerce company was "overdue" on its scheduled payment for the fourth quarter.

A spokeswoman for MVP.com said at the time that renegotiations of the portal deal were unsuccessful, but "sales have been steadily increasing since the summer." The spokeswoman said the bulk of the company's revenues come from its flagship site and other venues.

Founded last year, MVP.com, which "helps individuals achieve their personal best in sports and outdoor activities," markets sporting goods merchandise and apparel.

In its announcement on the job cuts, the company said that MVP.com customers "will not be affected by the changes announced today. The site continues to offer customers a strong assortment of sporting goods and outdoor gear and apparel, including 40,000 products from more than 400 brands."