January 10, 2017, 3:58 PM

A manufacturer of sports gear drives home another acquisition

BSN Sports, No. 166 in the B2B E-Commerce 300, buys Marlow Sports, which sells sports gear to schools and professional sports organizations.

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BSN Sports continues its expansion. The manufacturer and distributor of sporting goods apparel and equipment has acquired Marlow Sports Inc., which sells stock and custom team apparel and gear online and through catalogs to high schools, universities and professional sports organizations. Marlow principally serves customers in Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.

BSN didn’t say what it was paying for Marlow.

Marlow, which operates MarlowSports.com, marks BSN’s second acquisition in the past few months. In October, BSN, No. 166 in the 2017 B2B E-Commerce 300, acquired Steadman’s Sports Center, a distributor of team apparel and equipment in the northwest region of Louisiana.

The Marlow purchase brings BSN embroidery, sewing and screen printing equipment and a 12,000-square-foot production facility. It also adds to a growing roster of sales reps, says BSN CEO Adam Blumenfeld.“With the addition of Marlow, we have added over 220 sales professionals in the last 12 months. We have recently added valuable teammates across the U.S.A., including Texas, California, New Mexico, Louisiana, Washington, New York, Florida and Idaho.”

Marlow’s “culture of putting the customer first, and commitment to quality, is an excellent fit with our omnichannel approach to the team sports and community marketplaces,” Blumenfeld says.

“We are very happy to be a new addition to the BSN Sports family,” says Dick Cann, president of Marlow Sports. “Our strong local platform coupled with BSN Sports’ technology, large inventory and national footprint is a winning combination for customers.”

BSN Sports, a division of Varsity Brands, counts as clients more than 100,000 institutional and team sports customers in colleges and universities, middle and high schools, and recreational programs throughout the United States. BSN sells via catalog, e-commerce, at BSNSports.com and direct sales.

BSN did an estimated $39 million in online sales in 2016, up 8.3% from $36 million in 2015. The company, which began selling online in 1999, sells through its six B2B e-commerce sites: BSNSports.com; USGames.com, which sells playground equipment and sports activity packages to elementary school physical education departments; CampExpress.com, which sells outdoor equipment to summer camps; AthleticConnection.com, which sells sports equipment and trophies to small retailers; GearProTec.com, which sells BSN’s line of shoulder pads to high school and professional athletes; and Ekho.us, which sells heart rate monitors to educational institutions. All of these sites share a product catalog and code base developed using Magento Enterprise Edition e-commerce software.

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