RealTime IT News

Sports Sites Unite

Seeking to shore up its vertical sports gear portal MVP.com Tuesday cemented a deal to acquire outdoor sports outfitter PlanetOutdoors.com.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but MVP.com said PlanetOutdoor's financial backers will invest additional funding in the combined company.

Because PlanetOutdoors.com already has strong brand equity, MVP.com said it would continue to maintain and promote the URL. The company said there would also be many site upgrades in the next few weeks, including 24/7 customer service and enhancements in the technology that powers the site.

MVP.com already runs its flagship site as well as igogolf.com and tennisdirect.com. It co-owns and operates Canada's mvp.ca and powers Sportsline.com and Faceoff.com. And to give a little oomph to the company's line up, it is chaired by former Denver Broncos Quarterback John Elway. Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky serve on the board.

"The U.S. market for outdoor products is about $16 billion with the online segment projected at $1.6 billion by 2002," said John Costello, chief executive officer of MVP.com. "By combining PlanetOutdoors' merchandising and customer service strengths with MVP.com's technology, fulfillment and marketing expertise, we are creating a superior site to attract more customers and lead this market.