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Sports Authority Spiffs Up

Sporting goods retailer The Sports Authority Inc. launched a new, spiffier e-commerce Web site developed by Global Sports Inc..

The retailer said the revised site features increased search functionality, an improved checkout process, streamlined navigation and sports tips from hundreds of athletes.

Global Sports, which has been actively making deals this week, develops and operates e-commerce sporting goods businesses for specialty retailers and general merchandisers.

The company today signed an agreement with America Online Inc. for seven placements within the Sports & Outdoors area of the Shop@AOL online shopping destinations as well as integration into the Shop@AOL shopping search engine. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

The Sports Authority becomes a gold tenant in the Sports & Fitness, Golf & Racquet, and Camping & Outdoors departments, and other Global Sports-operated sites gain similar placements in various categories.

Yesterday Global Sports signed a marketing agreement with Microsoft's MSN network to add two of the retailers for which it develops and operates e-commerce sporting goods sites to MSN eShop.

Under the agreement, thesportsauthority.com and oshmans.com, both developed and operated by Global Sports, will be featured prominently throughout the Sports & Outdoors section of the MSN eShop.

The new version of The Sports Authority site was launched in time for the upcoming holiday season and features a new look and feel.

The site now incorporates a new Info Zone area, which features over 100 buying guides for more than 25 sports, The concept is to help consumers select the merchandise that is most appropriate for their level of sports play.

Info Zone also includes Pro Tips from over 50 professional athletes to help users hone their game the way the pros do.

Product descriptions offer more detailed information and there is now a comparison features, so consumers can easily see the differences in the products they are considering.

The Sports Authority Inc. directly operates 199 full-line sporting goods superstores in 32 states across the United States. Mega Sports Co. Ltd. operates another 28 stores in Japan under a license agreement with the company.